Just what in the hell has happened to the Big 12? I know two teams are leaving next year, but it looks like everyone figured they’d get a head start by turning the league upside-down and inside-out this season. The Thirsty Beagle will try to make sense of this. On with the rankings!
1. Kansas (2-3, lost to Baylor 55-7): The Big 12 seems to have a lot of wait-and-see teams. We just don’t know how good they are yet. Well, we don’t have that problem with the Jayhawks. We know how good they are. Not very good at all. If losing at home to North Dakota State was a warning shot, then the Baylor beat-down was a direct hit to Kansas’ pride. I’ll say this again: It’ll be a long year in Lawrence.
2. Texas Tech (2-2, lost to Iowa State 52-38): This game was a little closer than the score indicates, and after a slow start, Tech’s offense really got rolling, but giving up 50+ to Iowa State can never be good. All the sudden Tech is 0-2 in conference and essentially out of the Big 12 South picture.
3. Iowa State (3-2, beat Texas Tech 52-38): The Cyclones proved me wrong: I predicted Tech would rebound from its loss to Texas with a win over ISU. Not only did ISU not let Tech win, they pretty much beat them into submission.
4. Texas A&M (3-1, lost to Oklahoma State 38-35): Exhibit No. 1 why winning is better than losing: A&M’s offense looked unstoppable at times and its defense befuddled the previously un-befuddled OSU attack, but a couple breaks went the wrong way for the Aggies and now OSU is ranked and A&M is viewed as a disappointment.
5. Baylor (4-1, beat Kansas 55-7): Fine, I’ll give Baylor a little credit. Granted, the Bears beat a team that lost 6-3 on its home field to North Dakota State, and in their only other game against a name opponent they got massively drilled. But they’re 4-1, and ever so close to a bowl berth.
6. Colorado (3-1, beat Georgia 29-27): It took a last-minute gaffe by a now 1-4 team, but you still have to give the Buffs credit for their win over Georgia. There probably weren’t too many sane people or non-Colorado fans who picked CU to beat the Bulldogs.
7. Texas (3-2, lost to Oklahoma 28-20): I wanted to put Texas a lot lower, but surely they can’t be that bad, can they? I know one thing for certain: All those “experts” that deemed this squad one of the top six or seven teams in the country really knew what they were talking about.
8. Kansas State (4-0, bye): The league’s run of unbeaten teams starts here. Kansas State remains a mystery team — they haven’t played anyone and haven’t looked outstanding beating anyone. History tells us teams that start out like that are destined to fall. We should know more Thursday night after the KSU-Nebraska game.
9. Missouri (4-0, bye): See above note. Hard to say who this Missouri team is. All we know is that the Tigers took care of business in the non-con portion of the schedule.
10. Oklahoma State (4-0, beat Texas A&M 38-35): A wild game for a wild conference. For every possession OSU’s offense looked dominant, it threw out a possession where it looked terrible. For every sack, forced fumble or interception, there was a conceded third- or fourth-and-long. But still, 4-0 is better than 3-1 any day.
11. Oklahoma (5-0, beat Texas 28-20): OU didn’t look dominant against a team everyone agrees was way overrated. In five games, the Sooners have looked dominant only once. And certainly they’ve not showed any type of killer instinct.
12. Nebraska (4-0, bye): Nebraska faces an interesting road game against Kansas State on Thursday. Will it be the Huskers that stormed through Washington, or the ones that scraped by on their home field against a directional North Dakota school? We’ll see if they can hold on to their reign at the bottom of this (lack of) power poll.