This was a pretty fun project when my team was 3-0, had a road win over an SEC team, and was looking to seriously shock some people in 2019. It’s a lot harder now.
Of course, it’s not just the Wildcats making things difficult. Outside of OU, UT, and maybe KU, no one in the Big 12 has played consistently from week to week. It’s like we’re dealing with a game played by a bunch of college kids or something else crazy like that.
So while Week 5 seemed to be a return to order, Week 6 brought back the utter chaos that is college football. So lets try and figure it out.
It took the Sooners a little while to get fully awoken in Lawrence. That’s not a Sooners problem either, many good and great teams have gone in to Lawrence and looked not good for a while, because it’s really hard to get up for a game that you know you should win (and a rain delay didn’t help). But once the Sooners woke up, that was all she wrote, and the Land Thieves cruised to another blow-out victory.
With their sole record blemish a close non-conference loss to a Top 5 SEC team, the Longhorns have done nothing to disprove that they are the second-best team in the Big 12 right now. Yes, they didn’t look great at times against West Virginia, but it was one of their two games this year outside of the State of Texas (you have to feel for those poor Longhorns being a little homesick... /s). Regardless of the Big 12 championship game in December, the actual Big 12 crown will be decided next weekend in Dallas.
3. Baylor Bears
The Bears are still undefeated, and the way this season has started that’s no small feat. Matt Rhule looks like he might have actually built a decent defense in Waco, and if they can stay healthy on offense this is looking like a more legitimate team every week. Of course it helps when you get to avoid the best teams in the conference through the first few weeks, and we’ll see what happens next week when the Bears welcome in the potentially explosive Red Raiders to Waco.
Yes, I skipped #4. You find me a team that deserves it right now, and I’ll put them there next week. Oklahoma State still has the best resume of the “middle” teams, but looked absolutely lost, especially on defense, against a Texas Tech squad that hadn’t looked great so far this year. Chuba Hubbard got his, again, but the Pokes defense just could not stop the Red Raider aerial onslaught. The Cowboys will have a week off to lick their wounds and regroup before hosting Baylor in two weeks.
With the win over the Cowboys, the Red Raiders have the best conference win of the “middle” teams. But there are still big question marks in Lubbock, and this same team that torched this week OSU couldn’t get anything going last week against an OU team that just gave up 20 points to Kansas. So the Red Raiders move up, but even with the head-to-head victory I can’t reasonably put them ahead of Oklahoma State.
Iowa State feels like the bi-polar team of the Big 12. Barely beat and FCS team and lose to a mediocre Iowa, before running a bad G5 team out of the stadium, then a tale of two halves in Waco, before putting a hurt on TCU. This might be the weirdest 3-2 team in the conference. Of course, all three wins have come at home, so that explains a few things. The Cyclones travel to Morgantown next week, and the Mountaineers are suddenly starting to look dangerous.
WVU gets the nod here for looking half-way decent against Texas, and holding a a couple of decent wins over P5 teams. However, I can’t put them above Iowa State, yet, because a win over TCU trumps a win over KU. Those are the rules. Should WVU beat the Cylones next week, they may gain more than one spot on this list.
TCU is only a little less confusing then Iowa State, but at least they haven’t lost a game because they couldn’t field a punt properly. The loss to SMU stings more after thatthe Mustangs needed three overtimes to put away Tulsa (LOL @ the SMU kickoff return unit), and a win over KU just doesn’t move the needle a whole lot. The Horned Frogs have a week off this week, before heading to Manhattan to take on the anemic Wildcats.
The Cats started the season 3-0, and looked impressive doing so. Enough that we had K-State ranked as high as #2 just a few weeks ago. But two straight losses to open Big 12 play show that the Wildcats still have a lot of work to do, and depth at the skill positions is a serious issue. The Wildcats have a week off (yes, in the span of four weeks they will have two weeks off), and hopefully the coaching staff can un-break whatever it is they broke during the last week off — because the offense looks seriously broken right now. Until then, the Wildcats will share the Big 12 cellar with their in-state rivals as the only two teams without a Big 12 victory.
12. Kansas Jayhawks
Even “acrobatic dancers” and money guns can’t gloss over just how bad the Jayhawks are. Of course, KU can at least score some points (having an NFL-level talent at running back sure helps), so there’s that. But things in Lawrence are still looking much worse than they are in Manhattan. Is it basketball season yet?