Well, Oklahoma did what we expected, Baylor is doing the unexpected, and Iowa State is finally starting to look like we expected. Those expectations will certainly get you.
This week first and last remain the same, but we’ve got movement just about everywhere else. This season has definitely not been a disappointment so far, at least as far as the craziness of the Big 12 conference is concerned. So with another week of conference action under our belts, lets rank these teams again.
1. Oklahoma Sooners
Welp, there really isn’t any question now. The Sooners took down their main rival to the Big 12 throne yesterday, and the final score doesn’t indicate how much better OU actually looked in that game. The defense is still a work in progress (but looked pretty solid yesterday), but the offense is so elite that it may not matter. It feels now like the only way OU loses before the College Football Playoff is if something freaky happens.
2. Baylor Bears
The Bears may be the most surprising team in the Big 12 right now. They haven’t always looked pretty doing it, but the Bears are still undefeated on the season after needing overtime to put away the Red Raiders in Waco yesterday. Next week the Bears travel to Stillwater, and the way the schedule lines up, there’s a real possibility of Baylor being 9-0 headed into their home match-up with the Sooners in mid-November.
3. Texas Longhorns
You lose a game, you fall. The Longhorns are no longer undefeated in conference play, so they fall behind the teams that are. I still think, on paper, that the Longhorns are a better team than the Bears, but the two won’t duke it out on the field until later in to November, so unless Baylor’s luck starts to fall, this will likely be the Longhorn’s position until at least the Thanksgiving break.
4. Iowa State Cyclones
The Cyclones are three games in to conference play and it looks like Matt Campbell is finally starting to get this team moving together. There were still some sloppy plays, but when things are working, it covers up a lot. The Clones will still have trouble getting back to 8 wins this season, but they’ll have a lot better chance if they can continue their current progression.
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Off week for the Cowboys, so they get passed by Iowa State. But they’ll have a chance to make waves again when the Bears visit Stillwater this weekend. And Gundy’s had a week off to prepare, so anything is possible.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
A week after surprising the Cowboys in Lubbock, the Red Raiders took Baylor past the wire in Waco. Matt Wells’s team actually seems to look better with Jett Duffey at quarterback, and their schedule is quite favorable to end the season, with the very real possibility of being bowl eligible before the regular season finale against the Longhorns in Austin (heck, they could be bowl-eligible before the Wildcats visit on Senior Night).
7. TCU Horned Frogs
TCU was off this week, so like the Cowboys, teams just move around them this week. We get the Purple Clash in Manhattan this weekend, and that should tell us quite a bit about how these two teams will respond to adversity.
8. West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers like to bounce around this ranking. A week after getting a bump for looking good in a losing battle with the Longhorns, they get a serious knock for getting run out of their own stadium by the Cyclones. They still have a conference win, so that keeps them out of the cellar for now, but Neal Brown has plenty of work to do in Morgantown.
9. Kansas State Wildcats
The Wildcats were off this week, and hopefully Chris Klieman and his staff were fixing the offensive line, offensive playcalling, and tackling issues that have crept up doing this two-game losing streak. Next weekend is critically important for the success of the season, and a loss would mean the very real possibility of heading in to Lawrence in three weeks in desperation mode.
10. Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks joined the Wildcats, Horned Frogs, and Cowboys on the bye week. Can’t move up if you don’t play, but can’t move down either. Les Miles also took the opportunity of the extra practice week to make a staff change, and we’ll see if replacing the offensive coordinator will fix any problems for KU.