No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Wake Forest each entered Week 9 with conference championship game, and maybe even New Year's Six game, hopes. However, those hopes took a couple of hits after both programs lost in blowout fashion during Saturday's action. The Cowboys were completely shut down No. 22 Kansas State, 48-0, for the worst loss of the Mike Gundy era, while the Demon Deacons gave up 35 third-quarter points as part of an eight-turnover day in a 48-21 loss to Louisville.
Combined, the top-10 teams were outgained by their opponents by nearly 50%, allowing more than 900 combined yards.
Oklahoma State had been battling health issues coming into Week 9, particularly with quarterback Spencer Sanders. While Sanders showed plenty of grit in a win over Texas in Week 8, he was largely ineffective against K-State. Though the Wildcats had their own quarterback injury issues, the rushing attack of Deuce Vaughn proved more than enough to complement the surprisingly big day from quarterback Will Howard, who threw for nearly 300 yards and a program-tying four first-half touchdowns
The Cowboys, meanwhile, struggled to get anything going in the first half against Kansas State and never found their rhythm. They allowed 495 yards, mustering just 217 of their own, as Sanders completed just half of his 26 pass attempts.
Wake Forest put together its worst quarter of the season to lose its second ever game as a top-10 team. The Demon Deacons 14-13 at the half, but star quarterback Sam Hartman had a shocking six third-quarter turnovers to spur a 35-0 run for the Cardinals. Six of Wake Forest's seven drives in the quarter ended with turnovers, including pick sixes to bookend the period.
The blowout losses have major implications for both teams in their conference championship races and bowl selection. Oklahoma State now has tiebreaker losses against TCU and Kansas State, meaning the Wildcats have the inside track to nudge the Cowboys out of contention for the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington. Wake Forest was perhaps the favorite to back up Clemson if the ACC's Orange Bowl bid became available, but it's unlikely the Demon Deacons will remain high enough in the College Football Playoff Rankings to seriously push for a New Year's Six bid.
The first College Football Playoff Rankings will be released on Tuesday evening.