Today is the next step in a new series on the Big 12 blog that we've never done before. I love predicting the standings from top to bottom, but we're going to do it week by week leading up to the season. The end goal is to offer my official prediction for each Big 12 team's record heading into the bowl games.
Remember, these are preseason predictions. We'll obviously still do week-to-week picks once the season arrives, and they may change between now and then. There are a lot of preseason practices and a whole lot of games between now and the end of the season.
There are always teams who disappoint and teams who surprise. But here's how I see the Big 12 shaking out in Week 7.
TCU 38, Baylor 34: TCU's return trip to Baylor? For most of the day, Casey Pachall looks like he did in the fourth quarter of last year's game and the Horned Frogs get a little revenge on their former Southwest Conference rivals. The game gets pretty chippy in the final minutes when the teams keep jawing at one another, but a major incident is avoided.
Iowa State 27, Kansas State 24 (OT): The top-15 'Cats fall victim to Paul Rhoads in Ames. Just because he's got the job security of a 10-year deal doesn't mean he'll stop frustrating Big 12 fans. Rhoads has come so, so close in two neutral-site losses to the Wildcats in 2009 and 2010. The Cyclones nearly knocked off K-State last year, too. This time, they get the job done.
Oklahoma State 44, Kansas 24: Last year's game was 56-7 at halftime. This one's better, but not much better. Oklahoma State's offense is just too much. Kansas never gets much of a pass rush, and the improving Jayhawks offense just can't keep up.
Oklahoma 20, Texas 17: This one's a classic. The defenses get real stingy, but Texas had one final chance to go win the game with David Ash under center. The Longhorns reach midfield, but Oklahoma's defense holds, flushing Ash from the pocket and intercepting a desperate fourth-down heave to seal the win and set off a raucous celebration in the Cotton Bowl.
West Virginia 47, Texas Tech 41: Texas Tech jumps out to a 14-0 lead early, and West Virginia looks a little rattled by the Lubbock fans heading into halftime, trailing 31-14. However, at halftime, Mike Leach disciple Dana Holgorsen brandishes a sword given to him by Leach, the pirate-loving coach, himself. "Swing it, boys," Holgorsen says to close his halftime speech. In the second half, they do.
After seven weeks of football, just three undefeated squads remain. The Big 12's old guard, and its new blood.
BIG 12 STANDINGS (after Week 7)
1. TCU: 6-0 (3-0)
1. West Virginia: 6-0 (3-0)
3. Oklahoma: 5-0 (3-0)
4. Oklahoma State: 4-1 (1-1)
5. Kansas State: 4-2 (1-2)
5. Texas: 4-2 (1-2)
5. Texas Tech: 4-2 (1-2)
8. Iowa State: 3-3 (1-2)
9. Baylor: 3-2 (0-2)
10. Kansas: 3-3 (0-3)