If your team was wearing purple, it was not a fun weekend. But otherwise, it was a good weekend overall for the Big 12. And now every current and future Big 12 team has played a conference game, so we can get really crazy with things.
I was all set to put Cincinnati in the top spot by themselves. But then the Pokes went out and actually beat the Longhorns in Austin. It wasn’t particularly pretty, but they Cowboys overcame a slow start, and scored 16 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to remain undefeated on the season. Next up is a big trip to Ames to face the Cyclones. The last time the Pokes went to Ames undefeated, they did not leave that way.
See above. The Bearcats are still the class of the conference, and showed that again while pasting UCF 56-21 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. The Bearcats just keep rolling along, and if they keep it up, with be the first true Cinderella in the CFB Playoff. Next up is a trip to Annapolis to face off against Navy.
The Sooners finally did something they had struggled to do so far this season: they actually solidly put away a team with a pulse. OU looks a ton improved behind Caleb Williams, and they might have actually turned a corner on this season. The question in Norman is now how long until we see Spencer Rattler’s name in the transfer portal. The Sooners get a break this week with a trip to Lawrence.
4. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
The Chanticleers were off this week, and hopefully they used it well. Coming up this week is probably the second biggest game left on the schedule, with a trip to Boone, NC to face Appalachian State, and the following week will be the biggest game with Troy headed to Conway, SC. If the Chants survive this two-game stretch, they are likely to be undefeated for a second-straight season.
5. Baylor Bears
Okay, seriously, these Bears are looking legit. Their lone loss this season was a close game in Stillwater, and they just beat a solid BYU team at home. Are the Bears now a darkhorse candidate for the Big 12 title game? They still have Texas (next game) and OU on the schedule, but right now they are still in the conversation. Next up for the Bears is a bye week before returning to action on Halloween weekend with a visit from the Longhorns.
6. Houston Cougars
The Cougars were off this week, but get to move up because of what happened around them. Houston returns to action this weekend with a visit from East Carolina, and they will need to remain focused on this week, because ECU would love nothing more than to catch the Cougars looking ahead to their game the following week against SMU.
The Cyclones looked like the team picked second in the preseason Big 12 rankings. Or maybe it was just a K-State team that’s made three straight QB’s look like Heisman contenders. Either way, the Cyclones did something they’ve done just one other time in 31 years and won a game in Manhattan. Next up for the Cyclones is a visit from Oklahoma State, and they would really love to play spoiler to the Pokes current winning streak.
8. BYU Cougars
Welp, the Cougars first foray into the Big 12 did not goes as planned. A trip to Waco for their first meeting with the Baylor Bears ended with a BYU loss, and now the Cougars are on a two-game losing streak after opening the season 5-0. Next up for BYU is a trip to Pullman, WA to face a Washington State team that just picked up a surprising win over Stanford this past weekend.
LOLUT. But seriously, wo weeks iow now, the Longhorns have overcome leads heading into the 4th quarter to end up losing a game to a school from Oklahoma. However, unlike last week, this was not the final result we expected, and the Horns opened the game as a slight home favorite against the Pokes. But yet again, UT actually looked mostly competent for the first 45 minutes of the game., though in the end, again they just couldn’t do quite enough to get the win. The Cowboys broke a two-game losing streak to the Horns, and dropped UT’s title game chances off the block. The Longhorns are off this coming weekend, and will need the break as they head to Waco the following week to take on the Bears.
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Red Raiders are sneaking back to respectability. With an impressively solid 41-14 win in Lawrence, Tech is 5-2 and just a game from securing bowl eligibility. For as much as we’ve given the Red Raiders a hard time this season, they’ve really only had two bad outings this season. They’ll be looking to secure a bowl bid this weekend as the struggling Wildcats are in Lubbock.
11. TCU Horned Frogs
We praised TCU last week, but clearly they’ve still got a lot of work to do. Sure, OU is much improved with the QB change, but TCU is the first FBS team this season to fail to stay within a touchdown of the Sooners. And oddly enough, the score in TCU’s last two games has been exactly the same (52-31), just with the scores flipped for TCU between the two. After two straight road games, the Horned Frogs are back in Ft. Worth to take on the Mountaineers.
12. UCF Golden Knights
How does a team that gets demolished move up? Well it sure helps when teams above you somehow look even worse. UCF is struggling in year one under Gus Malzahn, and weren’t expected to hang with Cincinnati. So at least they are playing to form. It doesn’t get much easier for the Knights, as this coming Friday they have a visit from a solid Memphis team that will be looking to show the Big 12 why they should be invited and not the Knights.
Gross. The Wildcats are now 0-8 in Big 12 play since their victory over KU back in late October 2020. Sure, K-State hasn’t exactly had an easy start to conference play this season, facing both Oklahoma schools and Iowa State, but the Wildcats have done themselves exactly zero favors with a litany of unforced errors and sloppy play. They’ll need to get things figured out quickly, as the Wildcats are headed to Lubbock to take on a Red Raiders squad that would love to take advantage of the struggling Cats.
Well, WVU didn’t lose the bye week, so that’s nice. The Mountaineers are on a three-game losing streak, and their best win (only one of their two) is over an equally struggling Virginia Tech team at home. Neal Brown’s squad is struggling as much as fellow third-year coach Chris Klieman’s bunch. Maybe it’s just not a good time to be a third-year coach? Regardless, the ‘Eers have to hope they’ve gotten something figured out during their bye week. They’re back in action this week with a trip to Ft. Worth to take on TCU.
15. Kansas Jayhawks
Well, KU did improve slightly in Big 12 play. They actually scored two touchdowns this past weekend against Texas Tech. But don’t worry, expect that to even back out with OU in town next weekend. Several teams are struggling this season, and then there is KU. Props to KU for setting the bar so low.