Ahhh ... it's started already -- the talk about a one-loss Big 12 team not making the season-ending playoff. Really? Something tells me that if a TCU, K-State or Baylor, sitting at No. 10, 11 and 12 in the AP Poll, or No. 10, 11 and 13 in the USA Today poll, respectively, finishes the year with a single loss, the Big 12 will be just fine.
And, if this season has proven anything through six or seven games, it's that we really don't have any business trying to predict the next seven weeks. Onward ... it's time to start the purple party!
1. TCU Horned Frogs (5-1, 2-1) -- The Big 12 doesn't have a place at the national scene's table? Hardly. Trevone Boykin and his Fightin' Frogs just housed nationally-ranked Oklahoma State, and they don't look like they're ready to slow down. With six games left to go, there's plenty of time to rise while others on the national scene fall. The Frogs just have to handle their business against two ranked opponents -- at West Virginia and against K-State -- over the next six. Certainly doable.
2. Baylor Bears (6-1, 3-1) -- Ugh. For all the talk about how the WR group might be the best in the country (at least, they'll tell you that in Waco), West Virginia was able to successfully press the outside for much of the game, which freed up an extra defender to help stop the run -- a pretty simple approach to thwarting a sophisticated attack. That's not supposed to happen to Baylor, but it did and innocent couches burned because of it.
3. Kansas State Wildcats (5-1, 3-0) -- The football gods apparently felt like they owed K-State, and the Wildcats escaped Norman with a huge win that leaves them alone at the top of the Big 12 standings for now. The 'Cats took advantage of nearly every OU miscue, to their credit, but it was an inexplicable sideways field goal attempt that gave KSU the win ahead of anything K-State did. Even Bill Snyder called the missed attempt "lucky."
4. Oklahoma Sooners (5-2, 2-2) -- The Sooners were wobbly going into the game with K-State, and that manifested itself again last Saturday in the form of a bad interception returned for a short touchdown; a blocked extra point; the inability to score a touchdown from a yard out; and the eventual 19-yard field goal miss by Michael Hunnicutt. OU should not have lost this game. Period. Now, the mission is to win the last five -- including home games with Baylor and Oklahoma State -- and hope for a lot of help from the teams at the Big 12's top.
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1) -- Unfortunately, there was nothing quiet about the riots that took place in Morgantown following WVU's stellar 41-27 win against Baylor. I'd love to talk about the game, but this deserves the attention more. If you want to be taken seriously, get your crap together, WVU fan. The couches thing is your thing, we get it. But, rioting is not cool, so quit it.
6. Texas Longhorns (3-4, 2-2) -- Not one part of the win against Iowa State made sense. The Longhorns couldn't stop the Cyclones offense. The Texas offense moved the ball like a well-oiled machine behind Tyrone Swoopes' 416 total yards and last-second winning drive. Because it was a win, one feels obligated to say the team took a step forward in some fashion, but I don't know if that's the case. In any fashion, the victory did stop a two-game losing streak before Texas heads to Manhattan.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2, 3-1) -- Anyone catch the license plate of that purple semi that trucked the Cowboys? Lord have mercy. The offense was dreadful, and Mike Gundy's group of young boys were taught a hard lesson in what it takes to be a top team in the Big 12. Sometimes, learning just hurts. A lot. Another lesson is letting it go in a hurry, which is what the Cowboys need to do since high-flying West Virginia is coming to Stillwater this week.
8. Iowa St. Cyclones (2-5, 0-4) -- Dang it if Texas wouldn't let Iowa State feel a little good about themselves after they tied the game up late. Dang it more if the Big 12 schedule makers did ISU zero favors by putting Oklahoma on the schedule right after the Texas road trip. Who knows, maybe the game this weekend can yield an unexpected result (like that's never happened in Big 12 play ...).
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-4, 1-3) -- The fightin' Kliffies were good enough to get a 13-point home win against hapless KU. *Slow golf clap inserted here.* At 3-4, you would like to believe -- if you believe -- Tech might stay competitive and find a way to make a bowl game from here on out. I don't believe in that; not when three games are against teams currently ranked No. 17 or better, and the other two games are against Texas' defense and at Iowa State. Nope, that feels more like a 4-8 or 3-9.
10. Texas A&M's swagger -- Ha. Hahaha. BWAHAHAHAHAHA. From top of the world to top of the season's football has-beens, the Aggies are in the middle of doing the kind of Aggie things people in the Big 12 were accustomed to seeing. Talented and underachieving. That should be a campus motto at this point, even if it took Kevin Sumlin awhile to buy in to this football fact of life.
11. NewsOK.com online photo editor person -- I mean, who doesn't mistake Bill Snyder for Bill Self? They look the same, coach in the same sport, both wear the same colors, etc. Name mistakes happen, trust me, I get it, but to mistake two of the most recognizable names and faces in all of sports is a doozy -- certainly enough to make the rankings this week.
12. Kansas Jayhawks (2-5, 0-4) -- The Jayhawks, over the span of three coaches, are now 1-33 in their last 34 Big 12 games. Four of KU's final five games are against ranked opponents (Baylor, TCU, OU, K-State), with the other a home game on 11/8 against Iowa State. Here's a positive: In Big 12 play this year, KU has scored a higher number of points with each game - moving from 0 against Texas, to 14 at West Virginia, then 20 against Oklahoma State and finally 21 at Tech. That's something, right?