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Oklahoma State rising, Arizona falling in non-con matchup

It ultimately won’t affect how either team does in their respective conferences this year, but the early season match-up between No. 9 Oklahoma State and Arizona was challenging enough to be a good benchmark game for both teams.

And, just like in their meeting in the Alamo Bowl two games before, OSU came out on top in a big way, manhandling the Wildcats 37-14.

The Cowboys got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 21-0 lead before things leveled out for a bit. OSU’s quarterback/receiver combination of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon was lethal. Weeden completed his first 12 passes on his way to a nearly 400-yard night; Blackmon, last year’s Biletnikoff Award winner for best receiver, hauled in 12 catches for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

It’s going to be hard for Oklahoma State (and Texas A&M) to top Oklahoma this season, but as we’ve mentioned in our preseason top-25, the Bedlam game between the Sooners and the Cowboys on Dec. 3 has all the ingredients for a BCS showdown.

Early season impressions would have to place OU, OSU and A&M on a level higher than anyone else in the Big 12.

Yes, even above Baylor.

Arizona, on the other side, still has yet to prove they can win the big game consistently (or at least be competitive), even if it has no implications for a Rose Bowl berth. The numerous injuries UA faced prior to the season have been devastating, and losing receiverJuron Criner for the evening was no help, but Mike Stoops needs a quality win and bad.

It doesn’t get any easier, either; Stanford, Oregon and USC are the Wildcats’ next three opponents.

Good luck with that.

Arizona is used to getting off to fast starts under Stoops, only to sputter to a painful halt when it matters most. It might be the opposite case this year.

I’m not one for writing off teams early, but ‘Zona hasn’t given any indication to believe their fourth-place Pac-12 South preseason ranking wasn’t merited.