We know where teams are at this point, and we've reached a place where we bid adieu to those three less-than-stellar Big 12 football programs that won't be among the 76 (!) teams needed to fill 39 bowl games in 2014-15.
1. Baylor Bears (8-1, 5-1) -- Time to put those prayin' shoes on and tie 'em tight, Bears. While the schedule would suggest that at least one or two more losses are coming among the nation's current Top 4 teams, it appears the College Football Playoff committee is none too impressed with BU's body of work. That's despite this team sitting on top of the nation's second-toughest conference, according to some guy named Algo Rhythm, and despite this same committee loving it some Kansas State a few weeks ago.
The whole thing is just so damn ... human, and it makes Dec. 6 pretty important.
2. TCU Horned Frogs (8-1, 5-1) -- A three-point loss to the nation's No. 5 ranked team and four Top 20 wins aren't enough to get TCU into the Top 4, either. Not after the Frogs looked flat awful against one of the nation's worst teams. Is it completely fair? Who cares. This time of year, when you're trying to squeeze into one spot with three other teams, every single style point matters.
3. Kansas State Wildcats (7-2, 5-1) -- The Wildcats had to sit and stew on the TCU loss for well over a week. It's hard to say whether that was a good thing or not with K-State now traveling to Morgantown to take on a messy-haired, erratic group of Mountaineers, who happen to have one of the top two receivers in the Big 12. This game is treacherous, to say the least. Drop to 7-3 and the rest of any remaining "How awesome is this team!?" gets punched out of Willie's bag.
4. Oklahoma Sooners (7-3, 4-3) -- This team is playing like the head coach is house-shopping in Ann Arbor or Gainesville. Seriously, he's a great coach, but this whole thing feels like it is tottering worse than some former Kansas State assistants who shall remain nameless (it sounds like Stob Boops and Stike Moops) used to in Aggieville back in the day. Overall, Trevor Knight is hurt, the once iron-clad defense has been reduced to a broken gate, and there's really no good reason for any of it.
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (6-4, 4-3) -- Does the ol' Mountaineer have one more bullet left in the gun? That's the question as WVU gets ready to host KSU - its fifth opponent ranked No. 12 or better this year. WVU is 1-3 so far in those match-ups, having really demonized Baylor's national hopes in the process. The game doesn't have that much riding on it in comparison, but KSU still has a lot to play for, and lose, should it fall to the couch-burnin' crazies back East.
6. Texas Longhorns (6-5, 5-3) -- Four wins in its last five games has restored a little faith in what the Longhorns have cooking as the season winds down. None of it has been terribly exciting, however, with wins against Iowa State, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Oklahoma State.
It kind of makes me think of something like: "Now see this? This is a really fine piece of broccoli. Good stem, some nice overall shape, decent bloom. Not too many places you find a good piece of broccoli like that anymore."
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-5, 3-4) -- Your 2014 version of the 2013 Texas Tech Red Raiders. Credit to Phil Steele for making the comparison a few weeks ago. He was right (per usual). With two games left against Baylor and Oklahoma, it might be six losses in a row to close out the year. And a missed bowl game. Yikes.
8. Kansas Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6) -- I don't know if what has happened the past few weeks with KU is enough to get Clint Bowen the head coaching gig, but he has my vote as a head coach somewhere. That said, I don't know what Sheahon Zenger could be looking for or think he could get at this point that would be better than a guy who has been eating, drinking, sleeping and living KU football for many years. I mean, at the base of it, isn't that what every program should be so lucky to have? Wins would decide that fate eventually, but this seems as good a place as any with which to start a rebuild.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-7, 1-6) -- If Texas is broccoli, this program is dead broccoli inexplicably eaten by a fat man, and this season is the resulting musky, sad air that's been trapped in the fat man's couch cushions. And sure, some of that air might escape to freedom briefly in the form of a flatulent win against Iowa State, but is that air getting out really nice for anybody? No, no it's not.
10. Will Muschamp's pride -- Been a tough one for the guy once heralded as the top coaching prospect in college football. I guess I see the dignity that Muschamp gets to keep in coaching his team over the final two games, except, no I don't. Walking out onto a field in front of tens of thousands of people who know you've been let go ... and doing it twice ... Ugh.
11. Weber State's cheating ability -- While North Carolina continues to have full blown academic scandal problems, involving fake classes, that go unresolved, the NCAA swiftly dealt with collegiate terror Weber State and imposed sanctions after it was found a math instructor improperly helped players with course work and tests. Know where Weber St. went wrong? It picked a subject where cheating is common.
12. Iowa St. Cyclones (2-7, 0-6) -- Where some teams only have a game or two left, you have three more still to suffer, ISU fan. And, that's AFTER losing by 20 to KU. Our condolences.