Yikes. Sorry about the delay this week, sometimes #LIFE happens and you just can’t get out of the way.
1. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
The Chants remain the only undefeated team with a Big 12 win, and at this rate they are headed for a big showdown with currently undefeated Liberty to end their regular season. But between now and December 5th they still have to make it through tough games with Troy on the road and at home against Appalachian State. If they are still unbeaten two weeks from now, they’ll likely remain that way through the end of the regular season.
*Update: This weekend’s game with Troy has been postponed due to COVID and injury issues with Troy.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys, while still technically a half-game back (thanks Baylor), are clearly the top team in the Big 12 right now. Their three best offensive weapons were hobbled against K-State, but the Pokes still managed to eke out a victory with the help of a lucky scoop-and-score from the defense. Though they had better hope this bye week is enough to get those guys healthy, because a resurgent OU squad is waiting around the corner. This could be one of the more meaningful Bedlam games in a while, and if the Pokes can win, there’s no stopping their roll towards Dallas.
3. Iowa State Cyclones
The Cyclones were primed to fall way down this list. But then they decided to actually play football and turned around and beat Baylor. It wasn’t pretty but they got it done. In the process, Breece Hall dropped his name into the Heisman conversation, and is now the nation’s leading rusher and the first back to break the 1,000-yard mark this season (seriously, Bill, you couldn’t have let your staff call that guy a few more times??). The Cyclones welcome the Wildcats into Ames after the bye week, and if they start slow again there may no be coming back this time.
4. Kansas State Wildcats
Oh, you expected the Wildcats to fall further on this list? Well, guess what, a close loss to Oklahoma State is still worth more than a blowout of the Jayhawks, and the Wildcats still control their own destiny as we head to the finish of the season. Sure, there’s some other things at play here, but basically, if the Cats win out, they will be headed to Dallas in December for a rematch with the Cowboys. But there’s still serious questions with the Wildcats offense, and the injury situation just makes maters worse. But if they can get a few guys back after the bye week, the Wildcats should be in much better position.
5. Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners look resurgent, but haven’t looked great against anyone with a pulse. Their last two games were against Big 12 bottom-feeders Tech and KU, and their only win of significance was the 4OT win over a mediocre Texas team. Of course that hasn’t stopped pollsters from shooting the Sooners right back up the rankings like it’s their job. Whatever. Anyway, the Sooners host Bedlam this year, and the Pokes will put up much more of a fight than their last two opponents. Time to find out if the Sooners are just buoyed by an easy stretch to the schedule, or if they really are “back”.
6. Louisiana Ragin Cajuns
Louisiana survived a stiff test from the Red Wolves, including being down at halftime at home before coming back and earning the victory. The Ragin Cajuns are still the favorites to win the west and earn their rematch with the Chanticleers, but they’ve got one more test this weekend as South Alabama visits Lafayette for final control of the west division in 2020.
7. Texas Longhorns
It’s hard to give props to Texas for their win over West Virginia. Sure, they have struggled against the ‘Eers since the hillfolk have joined the conference, but make no mistake, Texas got bailed out at the end of that game (and at other times during the game) because “Texas”, and really probably should have dropped another one to West Virginia. Texas is still a fraud team this year, despite their crazy upset of the Cowboys. The Longhorns have to travel to Lawrence after the bye week, and of course this sets up a prime opportunity to rehash a favored meme. Not that the Jayhawks will actually win with Les Miles still at the helm, but stranger things have happened.
8. TCU Horned Frogs
TCU only gets the nod here because they won last week and WVU didn’t. But they’ll have the opportunity to settle this on the field this weekend as one of the pair of Big 12 games on the docket. So far this season TCU has beaten the teams they should have beaten, and lost to the teams they should have lost to, which makes this weekend’s game their first “coin-flip” game of the season. TCU is starting to sound a lot more like another purple team during the middle half of the last decade...
9. West Virginia Mountaineers
Like I said in the Texas ranking, the ‘Eers got robbed at the end of the game last week. Of course, it should have never needed to come to that, but it still sucks for them. But they’ll need to get over it quickly with TCU in town this weekend. Sure, they aren’t playing for a ton of space right now, but with games left against OU and Iowa State, and a win over K-State, the Mountaineers aren’t actually eliminated from Big 12 championship game talks just yet.
12. Arkansas State Red Wolves
The Red Wolves fought hard, but it wasn’t enough and they fall to 1-4 in the SBC. However, they’ve still got opportunity to move up in the standings with games against Texas State and South Alabama remaining. Win both, and the Red Wolves should be feeling pretty good about how their season closed out. They get a bye week this week after a rough slog through a trio of top teams in the SBC before heading down to San Marcos, TX on the 21st.
11. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Red Raiders have not looked good since their surprising win over West Virginia several weeks ago. A blowout to OU certainly doesn’t help, but they looked rudderless against TCU as well. Tech has two more good opportunities for wins left on their schedule. First up is Baylor this weekend in the other half of the Big 12 slate. If they can’t beat the Bears, then it all comes down to the last game of the season, a home affair against KU. While watching a Toilet Bowl might be fun, it would probably be better for everyone if Tech just beats Baylor this weekend.
12. Baylor Bears
The Bears had Iowa State on the ropes early, and after the Cyclones charged back Baylor was still in position to win at the end of the game before giving it away in much the same way that K-State did a little earlier in the day. It was a rough loss for the Bears, who finally looked like they had figured some things out. Realistically, their last best chance for a win is this weekend, when they head out to Lubbock to face Tech. If they are able to pick up from the Iowa State loss and move ahead, they may just win this weekend. Or they could fall flat after the effort against the Cyclones and get run out of West Texas.
13. Kansas Jayhawks
We’re all for laughing at KU around here, but at this point it’s getting a little ridiculous. KU looks worse and worse each week, with their lone bright spot a less-than-blowout loss to West Virginia while Les Miles wasn’t on the sideline. Hmm, interesting. I think we’ve found the problem in Lawrence, too bad KU’s AD is an idiot and locked up Miles with stupid money. By the time KU can afford to pay off Miles to leave, it might just be too late to save the program, if it isn’t already. At this rate, KU might be better off just dropping football to FCS and joining the Big East, where they might have some more consistent competition in basketball.