Let the hype begin for the biggest Kansas-Missouri game ever.
Todd Reesing passed for 253 yards and four touchdowns and No. 4 Kansas remained unbeaten yesterday with a 45-7 rout of visiting Iowa State, setting up a grand showdown with sixth-ranked Missouri for the Big 12 North title and possibly much more.
Missouri did its part to set up the most-anticipated game in the history of the bitter rivalry, which started in 1891 and is so fierce the sides cannot agree on what the overall record is. A few hours before the Jayhawks won, the Tigers beat Kansas State, 49-32.
The Tigers (10-1, 6-1 Big 12) and Jayhawks (11-0, 7-0) will meet in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday to see who plays for the Big 12 title, a game that could launch the winner into the national championship game.
With Oregon losing Thursday to Arizona, Kansas figures to move from third to second in the BCS standings behind LSU. Missouri will also move up from No. 5, leapfrogging fourth-ranked Oklahoma, which failed to wrap up the Big 12 South by losing at Texas Tech last night.
Reesing, the remarkable sophomore who has never lost a collegiate start, hit 19 of his first 20 passes as the Jayhawks romped to their first 11-0 mark in school history.
The Jayhawks, who were picked fourth in the Big 12 North and did not become ranked until after their fifth game, scored on four straight possessions to take a 28-7 halftime lead.
Missouri 49, Kansas St. 32 - Jeremy Maclin scored three touchdowns and had 252 total yards to set the NCAA freshman record for all-purpose yards, helping the sixth-ranked Tigers rally from a sluggish first half for a victory over the host Wildcats.
Maclin returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and caught two touchdown passes, giving him 2,201 all-purpose yards for the season - 175 more than Terrell Willis of Rutgers had in 1993. Maclin finished with nine catches for 143 yards.
Chase Daniel threw for 284 yards and four touchdowns, including two to tight end Martin Rucker, helping Missouri to its first victory in Manhattan, Kan., since 1989.
LSU 41, Mississippi 24 - Trindon Holliday returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and LSU forced two turnovers during goal-line stands as the top-ranked Tigers slipped past the host Rebels.
The Tigers (10-1, 6-1) didn't play especially well on offense, but Craig Steltz (two interceptions) and the nations' top-ranked defense helped them earn their first outright Southeastern Conference Western Division title and set a school record with three consecutive seasons of 10 wins or more.
W. Virginia 28, Cincinnati 23 - Versatile quarterback Pat White ran for 155 yards and a pair of second-quarter touchdowns and threw for 140 more in Cincinnati as the fifth-ranked Mountaineers (9-1, 4-1) knocked the No. 21 Bearcats (8-3, 3-3) out of the Big East title picture.
Steve Slaton added 103 yards rushing and a 1-yard touchdown dive early in the fourth quarter for West Virginia, which hosts No. 25 Connecticut next weekend to decide the conference title.
Ohio St. 14, Michigan 3 - Chris Wells ran for a career-high 222 yards and two touchdowns and Vernon Gholston had three sacks for the No. 7 Buckeyes (11-1, 7-1), who are likely headed to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1997 after winning consecutive outright Big Ten titles for the first time in a half-century.
The loss might've been coach Lloyd Carr's last regular-season game with the 23d-ranked Wolverines (8-4, 6-2). The 62-year-old is expected to announce his plans within days, and ESPN last night reported Carr has scheduled a news conference tomorrow morning to announce his retirement.
Georgia 24, Kentucky 13 - Knowshon Moreno ran for 124 yards, Matthew Stafford surprised Kentucky with a 10-yard touchdown run, and the No. 8 Bulldogs (9-2, 6-2) overcame four turnovers and an early deficit to beat the 22d-ranked Wildcats in Athens, Ga., and remain in hunt for the SEC title.
Florida 59, Fla. Atlantic 20 - Tim Tebow became the first player in NCAA history with at least 20 touchdowns passing and rushing in the same season, and the 14th-ranked Gators (8-3) hammered the Owls in Gainesville, Fla.
Tebow finished 25 of 34 for a career-high 338 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score. He has 20 rushing touchdowns and 26 TD passes. His 20th on the ground broke the previous Southeastern Conference season record of 19.
Boise St. 58, Idaho 14 - Taylor Tharp threw for 282 yards and four touchdowns and the 17th-ranked Broncos (10-1, 7-0) routed the visiting Vandals to set up a showdown for the Western Athletic Conference championship next week at undefeated Hawaii.
Tennessee 25, Vanderbilt 24 - Daniel Lincoln kicked a 33-yard field goal with 2:46 left to cap a 16-point fourth-quarter comeback and the 19th-ranked Volunteers (8-3, 5-2) stayed in control of the SEC East race with a victory over the Commodores at Knoxville.
Illinois 41, Northwestern 22 - Juice Williams ran for 136 yards and two TDs, and threw for 220 yards and another score as the 20th-ranked
Wisconsin 41, Minnesota 34 - David Gilreath racked up 226 return yards, and the injured P.J. Hill's fill-in, Zach Brown, rushed for 250 yards and two touchdowns to help the 24th-ranked Badgers (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) beat the Gophers in Minneapolis.
Tyler Graunke, playing in place of the injured Colt Brennan, passed for 358 yards and two touchdowns and Dan Kelly kicked a 45-yard field goal with 11.7 seconds left to keep No. 13 Hawaii (10-0, 7-0 WAC) undefeated with a 28-26 victory over Nevada Friday night in Reno.