What a crazy week. The Cowboys lost to the Longhorns, the Wildcats lost to the Mountaineers, TCU might actually have an offense. Next thing you know, KU might actually show a pulse for more than about ten minutes.
Well, it’ might not get that crazy, but it’s 2020, so I suppose it could happen.
And yes, with the top two teams losing this week, we have a new overlord of the Big 12 conference, and yes, they aren’t actually in the Big 12. But they’re undefeated, and looking pretty good doing it too, so we’ll have to give it up to the fancy roosters this week. That’s just how the Transitive Property works. Deal with it.
1. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
The Chants are the only team in the country with Big 12 wins that is still undefeated, so they get to move to the top of the pecking order this week. This weekend they absolutely destroyed Georgia State on the road, blanking a Georgia State team that hadn’t scored fewer than 31 points this season and was coming off a win over a decent Troy team. Impressive. Next up is a cross-division game against South Alabama, who is #2 in the west division of the Sun Belt behind Louisiana.
The Cyclones moved back into a tie for first place this week after not losing to Kansas on the road this weekend. I mean, they did what they were supposed to against a bad Jayhawks team, so it’s not like it was any sort of revelation. They gave up three scores, however, including a kickoff return for a touchdown. If they’re not careful, that’s going to hurt them a lot more in two weeks. The Cyclones have another easier week ahead before their bye week, as they welcome Baylor to Ames (presuming Baylor can actually make the trip).
In probably the most surprising outcome of the weekend, the Cowboys lost at home to the Longhorns. Yes, it took overtime, but they managed to drop from the ranks of the unbeaten. It was a close loss, and the Cowboys are still the odds-on favorite to win the league, so they don’t fall much in the rankings this week. But for now, they are still a half-game back in the Big 12 standings. They get to travel to Manhattan this week, to try and get back on the winning track.
After a sluggish start, the Sooners are finally looking like the Sooners should. They’ve won their last three, and just put up an absurd 62 points on Tech in Lubbock. Tech certainly helped them plenty with what seemed like a hundred interceptions, but the Sooners kept taking what they were given and scoring. They may try to break that point total this week, as the Jayhawks will be headed to Norman.
Yikes. It wasn’t just that they lost, it was how they lost. The Wildcats offense never looked like it woke up Saturday morning, and there was no magic from the defense or special teams for a wake-up call. The Wildcats certainly aren’t as bad as they looked against a WVU team that struggled with both Baylor and Kansas earlier this season, but they probably aren’t as good as their early 4-0 conference record made them look. But, thanks to Texas, the Wildcats still somehow still have a half-game lead in the Big 12 standings. But that likely won’t last too much longer, as Oklahoma State comes to Manhattan this weekend.
Texas is back? Well, at least they aren’t dead. Tom Herman found a fan this weekend to keep his seat slightly less hot, and somehow the Longhorns Big 12 title hopes aren’t quite dead yet. And at this point, it will likely take at least a title game appearance to save Herman’s job. The Longhorns will have to come down off their high pretty quickly, as they will have to face a Mountaineers squad this weekend that will be looking for their first road victory of the season.
There’s no sugar coating this for K-State fans, this was a bad loss for the Wildcats and a big win for the Mountaineers. Just last week, the ‘Eers lost on the road to a mediocre Texas Tech team, needed overtime to beat a bad Baylor team, and were embarrassed early by KU before waking up and putting them away. But clearly WVU is a much better team at home than they are away from Morgantown. And if they want to be a contender this year, they’ll have to start winning some road trips. There next chance is this weekend against UT, who might just be overlooking the Mountaineers.
TCU is a weird team. But goodness did they make Baylor look bad this weekend. At least early on. The Horned Frogs, and their relatively anemic offense, were up 30-0 before Baylor got on the board just before halftime. The Bears tried to comeback late, but it wasn’t enough, and TCU secured their second win of the season. They’ve got Tech in Ft. Worth this weekend, so they need to hope the offense can put up a few more than 33 points or the Frogs could be tumbling back down the rankings.
Louisiana gets jumped some this week thanks to the craziness of Texas winning, and struggling a bit on the road against Texas State. No, the Bobcats aren’t a bad team, but they have one win on the season so you’d expect the Ragin Cajuns to put them away with a bit more ease. But a win is a win, and their Big 12 win is still better than the teams below them in the rankings. Next up, they play host to the Red Wolves to complete to “Beat Big 12 Teams” triangular.
When are we going to learn to stop trusting Tech? A week after a solid-looking win over West Virginia to earn their first conference win, we thought maybe the Red Raiders were starting to turn a corner. Now, sure, around that corner was the spinning buzzsaw of the Sooners, but it wasn’t expected to be that much of a bloodbath. In fact, we even talked about how the Red Raiders might even catch the Sooners over-looking them and make a game of it. LOL, silly us. They’ve got to travel to TCU this week, so expect a Red Raiders win, because they should really lose this game.
The Red Wolves are starting fall into dangerous territory after losing their second-straight. To be fair, their three losses in conference play have been to the top three teams in the east division (Coastal, App State, and Troy), but they didn’t really look competitive in any of the three losses. They’ve got their last really tough game this weekend as they head to Lafayette, LA to take on the Ragin Cajuns, who sit just above them in the west division standings. If they can pull off the upset this weekend, they will very likely be the west’s representative in the Sun Belt championship game.
12. Baylor Bears
Baylor has played four games this year, and their sole win was against KU. I mean, at least it can’t possibly get worse. But with a new coaching staff and COVID issues, the Bears just cannot seem to find any sort of identity. They better be thanking the schedule makers for giving them Kansas so early, otherwise we might be talking about two winless Big 12 teams right now, as we look forward to the Toilet Bowl. Assuming they can make it, the Bears travel to Ames this weekend were they will look to avoid getting beaten too badly by the Cyclones.
13. Kansas Jayhawks
What’s probably most astonishing about KU isn’t how bad they are — and let’s be real, they are historically bad and deep in pre-Snyder K-State territory. No, what’s astonishing is that there really is honest-to-goodness legitimate P5 talent on their roster. They’ve actually got a good group of players that would be starters or serious role-players on just about every other Big 12 team. But the coaching is so bad right now that it’s hard to see at times. And not just for the fans, I think they players themselves have a hard time seeing that they could actually be below-average instead of putrid. Of course, they’d have to shut their mouths and play football for once (seriously, it’s absurb how much crap those dudes talk while they’re getting their teeth kicked in), but it’s possible. But it’s not going to happen this year. KU head to Norman this weekend, and will try to get on the scoreboard before garbage time, which may or may not start at halftime depending on how generous Lincoln Riley is feeling on Saturday.