If you would have told me when this football season started that on Oct. 25 there would be only two Big 12 teams in the top 25 of the BCS standings, I quite frankly would have called you dumb. Well look who’s dumb now, mister! Indeed, only Texas and Oklahoma State are hanging around in the BCS top 25, and if OSU loses to Texas on Saturday, there’s no telling if they’ll hang around — after all, one computer doesn’t even have OSU in its top 25! The point is, this has been a seriously wacky Big 12 season. I’m fairly certain pretty much all the teams in the conference are terrible. But even if the teams aren’t bringing it on the field, that doesn’t mean The Thirsty Beagle won’t still bring it in the weekly (Lack of) Power Poll…
1. Nebraska (4-3, 1-2, lost to Iowa State 9-7; next, at Baylor) The Thirsty Beagle is not afraid to hand the bottom/top spot in this poll to a team with the history and tradition of the Corndroppers, I mean Cornhuskers. Let’s just say that when you’re Nebraska and you lose 9-7 at home to Iowa State, that deserves some recognition. Nebraska’s challenge for this week’s game at Baylor: More points than turnovers.
2. Baylor (3-4, 0-3, lost to Oklahoma State 34-7; next, vs. Nebraska) Poor Baylor. After all the high hopes they had of finally getting to a bowl this year. Well you know who didn’t have high hopes? This guy! I predicted Baylor would be Baylor this year, and voila, Baylor is Baylor this year. Baylor making a resurgence in football? Let’s keep the natural order of the universe in line, thank you very much.
3. Colorado (2-5, 1-2, lost to Kansas State 20-6; next, vs. Missouri) The Lower Buffs thought they had perhaps turned a corner by beating Kansas last week. No soup for you, Buffs fan! And now with Kansas looking thoroughly exposed as a contender, that win doesn’t look so good either.
4. (tie) Kansas (5-2, 1-2, lost to Oklahoma 35-13; next, at Texas Tech) I struggled mightily on the order I would rank Kansas, Missouri, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, so I called it a draw. I present my analysis in alphabetical order, starting with Kansas: Did you see the throw in the first half that OU intercepted and ran in for a touchdown? Absolutely terrible. It’s like Reesing took a lesson last week at the Cody Hawkins School of Lazy Passes That Any Cornerback Will Jump on and Return for a Touchdown.
4. (tie) Missouri (4-3, 0-3, lost to Texas 41-7; next, at Colorado) Tigers look more like kittens in conference play. Looking bad against Texas and not-so-good against Oklahoma State are two things, but looking atrocious against Nebraska in their conference opener? That only looks worse now.
4. (tie) Texas A&M (4-3, 1-2, beat Texas Tech 52-30; next, vs. Iowa State) Texas A&M avoided an all-out disastrous start to conference play by whipping Tech in Lubbock. I did not see that one coming.
4. (tie) Texas Tech (5-3, 2-2, lost to Texas A&M 52-30; next, vs. Kansas) This loss was so bad, Mike Leach made a post-game reference to coaching the Swedish bikini team and called his quarterback “slow and statue-like.” Ouch if your Taylor Potts. And on the bikini team, get in line Mike, I signed up for that job several years ago. Still waiting by the phone.
8. Iowa State (5-3, 2-2, beat Nebraska 9-7; next, at Texas A&M) If you open up the dictionary and look for the definition of “being handed a game,” you’d find a picture of Iowa State players celebrating on Nebraska’s field on Saturday. Seems like if your opponent commits eight turnovers and you only score nine points, you should actually be credited with a loss. That being said, I had to rank Iowa State in this spot based on how terrible all the other teams are.
9. Kansas State (5-3, 3-1, beat Colorado 20-6; next, at Oklahoma) What kind of ancient wizardry is Bill Snider practicing? I wasn’t even sure if Snider would live through the season, with the old age and all. When Kansas State lost to Louisiana-Lafayette, I thought he might keel over. Then when KSU opened the conference schedule by losing 66-14 to Texas Tech, I was pretty sure he’d croak. But somehow, that old codger not only hasn’t died, he’s actually got the team thriving!
10. Oklahoma (4-3, 2-1, beat Kansas 35-13; next, vs. Kansas State) Is the Sooners defense really amazing, or is the Kansas offense really terrible? While I think OU’s defense is solid, I’m going to lean more toward Kansas being terrible. Did I mention earlier that the interception return for touchdown in the first half was a terrible throw. Repeat: terrible. Still, OU appears to be fortune’s least-favorite son this season.
11. Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-0, beat Baylor 34-7; next, vs. Texas) Zac Robinson’s increase in efficiency is likely tied to his rediscovering how to throw the ball in a spiral. Good stuff. Maybe if OSU can do what it hasn’t done since 1997 — beat Texas — the Cowboys can crack the top 25 in that one computer poll they’re unranked in.
12. Texas (7-0, 4-0, beat Missouri 41-7; next, at Oklahoma State) After a couple scuffling results in conference, Texas put together a solid game against Missouri. Have they rounded into form as the dominating team in the conference? If they can beat OSU on Saturday, it looks like an easy ride to an undefeated season.