Well, we took last week off because there was going to be little movement with only a couple games being played. But we’re back this week, and for Cyclones and Sooners that’s a good thing. For Wildcats it’s, uh, not.
Our top and bottom teams have remained unchanged this week, but we’ve got a lot of movement through the middle after things had calmed down a bit the last couple weeks.
1. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
It was about as tough a game as was expected, but the Chants were able to hold off Appalachian State to retain their undefeated record and their first place spot in the east division. Coastal has three games remaining, including now-not-undefeated Liberty in two weeks, and the regular season finale at Troy. But Texas State is up this weekend, and while the Bobcats are better than their 2-9 record indicates, Coastal should be headed home to Conway, SC with an easy victory.
With a dominating win in Ames over the Wildcats, and a loss by the Cowboys in Bedlam, the Cyclones are all alone in first place in the Big 12 and currently look like a lock to end up in Big 12 Championship game for the first time in program history. But they better not start celebrating yet, as the Cyclones still have to travel to Austin to face the 3rd-place Longhorns, who will be looking for a big win to earn their own way back to the CCG.
Oklahoma has officially climbed out of the hole the fell into at the start of the Big 12 slate. A dominating victory over Oklahoma State has put the Sooners right back into contention for the regular season Big 12 crown. However, thanks to COVID issues in the OU program, this weekend’s game has been postponed until December 12th, and they’ll have to hope the extra week off gets them enough players back to not stumble against a Baylor team that would love nothing more than to get a little payback.
The Longhorns have also seemed to climb out the hole the fell into at the start of the Big 12 slate, and since the loss to OU they’ve rattled off three straight wins, including an improbable upset of Oklahoma State to end October (back when the Pokes were still really good). And thanks to COVID issues at KU, the Horns have had two weeks off to get ready for Iowa State in Austin on Friday. Tom Herman likely needs to at least make it to the Big 12 title game to feel comfortable about keeping his job, and to do that they have to beat the Cyclones.
After a closer than expected win in Manhattan a two weeks ago, we knew the Cowboys were struggling. But until Both the Pokes and Wildcats played last weekend, we couldn’t have know just how much. The Pokes have now lost two of their last three, and despite three games left on their schedule, they’d need a minor miracle to work their way back into discussion for Arlington. They get Texas Tech at home this weekend, and if they want any shot at the championship game, they’ll need to get some things figured out.
6. Louisiana Ragin Cajuns
Really, the Ragin Cajuns should probably be higher on this list. They soundly beat a good Iowa State team to open the season, and their sole loss of the season was by three to Big 12*-leading Coastal Carolina. They were supposed to have a game this past weekend against FCS Central Arkansas, but that game got cancelled, which would have been the last home game of the regular season. Louisiana has two road games to finish out, starting with a trip to Monroe, LA this weekend to face the win-less Warhawks of ULM.
West Virginia has been kind of up and down this season, but at least it’s been a fairly consistent roller coaster. After dropping a heart-breaker to Texas a couple weeks ago, they got this past weekend off thanks to COVID issues at OU. And thanks to having a previously scheduled bye week this week, they get two weeks in a row off. They’ll appreciate that extra rest if they want to play spoiler to the Cyclones next week.
Since beating KU a month ago, the Wildcats have dropped three straight, including this past weekend’s beating at the hands of the Cyclones. There are significant problems with the Wildcats offense right now that have nothing to do with the recent rash of transfers. At this point, it is still mathematically possible for the Wildcats to make it to Arlington, but realistically the Wildcats are finally out of contention. And unless they can get some things figured out, especially on offense, the current three-game losing streak could easily turn into four or five.
TCU doesn’t rise above here only because they didn’t play last week thanks to having their final bye week of the season and so couldn’t make themselves look any better. Outside of their regular win over UT way back in the second game of the season, TCU has only managed to beat the teams currently below them in the rankings. And they’ll get at least one more win this season, because they get to travel to Lawrence this weekend to pick up their win over the Jayhawks.
10. Arkansas State Red Wolves
The Red Wolves are falling apart as the season draws to a close. Since beating Georgia State in a barn-burner back on Oct. 15th, Arky State has now dropped four straight after falling to Texas State this past weekend. Sure, they only lost to the the Bobcats by three, and the Ragin Cajuns by a touchdown a few weeks ago, but a loss is a loss, and the Red Wolves are stacking them up. However, they will have a good chance to finish the season with some wins, as their final three games are all at home in Jonesboro, AR. This weekend they get South Alabama, and the Jaguars, who sport a similar overall record, could be the right team to get the Red Wolves back on the winning path.
Somehow, some way, the Red Raiders have managed to scrape together two wins this season. And they might just be able to pull off a third this weekend as they head to Stillwater to play a suddenly reeling Oklahoma State team. I mean, it’s not likely they’ll win, but they likely have a better shot now than they would have been given credit for just a few weeks ago. While Tech has nothing really meaningful to play for, they do have a chance at sneaking into four conference wins this season, which would be huge for Matt Wells’ program in Lubbock.
12. Baylor Bears
Since beating the Jayhawks to open their 2020 season, the Bears have lost five straight, including a one-point loss in Lubbock two weeks ago. The Bears are a weird team, and while losing haven’t really been blown out in any game. They even had a big early lead on Iowa State a few weeks ago before the Cyclones made a late comeback to steal a victory. They get to host K-State this weekend, and it is likely their best chance at one more win this season, as they finish up with the Sooners and Cowboys.
13. Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks managed to avoid losing on the football field this weekend, but mostly because they lost to COVID off it, forcing their game against the Longhorns to be postponed until December 12th. But really, it sets-up KU to be a huge spoiler to Texas, who will probably still be dreaming about the Big 12 title game. Not that we advocate in any form for KU to actually win, but the sheer madness of it all might be good for a few giggles. But that will have to wait. TCU is headed to Lawrence this weekend, and they won’t be overlooking the Jayhawks like the Longhorns will.