This week in the Big 12 (Lack of) Power Poll: Making your dreams come true at Baylor, keeping things in shambles both on and off the field at Kansas, and grabbing a seat on the OU bandwagon — plenty of good spots available!
1. Colorado (3-8, 2-5, lost 31-28 to Oklahoma State; next, vs. Nebraska) The Lower Buffs couldn’t win on Thursday night even though I started at quarterback for OSU. What’s that? I didn’t start at quarterback? Oh, that’s right, it just looked like I played the first half. Either way, all that’s left now is for the Buffs to play for pride. What’s that? They’ve been playing for pride for like four weeks now? Never mind.
2. Baylor (4-7, 1-6, lost to Texas A&M 38-3; next, vs. Texas Tech) In the preseason, Art Briles said Baylor was a place where you could achieve your dreams. If you dream of never playing in a bowl game, then Baylor’s the place for you.
3. Kansas (5-6, 1-6, lost to Texas 51-20; next, vs. Missouri) Not only does Kansas rate highly in on-field lack of power, the team is No. 1 for off-field lack of power. Up to this point, Colorado fans fretting over the school’s ability to buy out Dan Hawkins was the most dramatic thing we’d seen. But this whole Mark Mangino fiasco makes Colorado’s situation look like a tea party.
4. Kansas State (6-6, 4-4, lost to Nebraska 17-3; season complete) I mentioned this point last week, but it’s worth repeating: Kansas State is 6-6 but not bowl eligible because they can only count one of their two wins against FCS opponents this year. They also lost to a Sunbelt Conference team, which is just about as bad as losing to a FCS opponent. I believe all the talk of Bill Snyder winning conference coach of the year should be put to rest now. He took a team that finished 5-7 the past two years and improved them to 6-6 — and even that took two games against FCS teams! I think Snyder is a good coach, but he did not part the Red Sea at Kansas State this year. End of story.
5. Iowa State (6-6, 3-5, lost to Missouri 34-24; season complete) You want to talk about a reclamation project? Let’s talk about Iowa State. Paul Rhoads took a team that was 4-8 in 2006, 3-9 in 2007 and 2-10 last year and led them to a 6-6 year. The Cyclones also won three conference games — the same amount of conference games they won from 2006-08 combined! If you want to crown a 6-6 coach as coach of the year, this is your coach.
6. Texas A&M (6-5, 3-4, beat Baylor 38-3; next, vs. Texas) Nothing tops the pomp and circumstance of the Texas A&M-Baylor rivalry. Actually, that’s not true. Pretty much anything tops that. Hope you feel really good about qualifying for a bowl game, Texas A&M; beating up on poor, defenseless Baylor like that.
7. Oklahoma (6-5, 4-3, lost to Texas Tech 41-13; next, vs. Oklahoma State) I was zipping in to work this morning down the Broadway Extension, when all of the sudden this prairie schooner-type thing flies past me on the inside lane. I didn’t even think prairie schooners could go that fast. That’s when I realized I was passed up by the OU bandwagon, running a lot lighter these days.
8. Missouri (7-4, 3-4, beat Iowa State 34-24; next, vs. Kansas) Don’t get too high about this ranking, Missouri. Your loss to Baylor still leaves a resounding empty feeling. You will be a proud recipient of a better-than-deserved bowl placement due to your and everyone else’s overwhelming mediocrity.
9. Texas Tech (7-4, 4-3, beat Oklahoma 41-13; next, vs. Baylor) The Thirsty Beagle did not see the beatdown in Lubbock coming. Congrats to Tech on the win, but I suspect it had a little bit to do with OU throwing in the towel on their season somewhere near the end of the first half.
10. Nebraska (8-3, 5-2, beat Kansas State 17-3; next, at Colorado) The Huskers have a date with destiny, I mean, with destruction on Dec. 5. Nebraska’s offense is soooooo bad, they’ll be lucky to put up any points against Texas in the title game. I can’t emphasize this enough. This may be the worst offense of any team to win the Big 12 North. Ever.
11. Oklahoma State (9-2, 6-1, beat Colorado 31-28; next, at Oklahoma) If only Oklahoma State hadn’t thrown and fumbled the game away against Houston. The Cowboys could have been sixth or seventh in the BCS right now, just waiting for their plum bowl invite, regardless of the Bedlam outcome. Now, OSU needs to beat OU, hope Texas doesn’t slip up and keep its fingers crossed that one of the BCS bowls will pass over four other teams with similar or better records. Damn you Houston Cougars!
12. Texas (11-0, 7-0, beat Kansas 51-20; next, at Texas A&M) Texas maintains the lack of power ranking it has held pretty much all season. Nothing really lacking in power about that. And as if they needed any more help, the Longhorns now have the OSU nation solidly behind them for the stretch drive.