- David Ubben, College Football
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Well, Week 7 in the Big 12 was a mess, but here's how I slot the league after this week's topsy-turvy results.
1. Kansas State (6-0, 3-0, last week: 2) Kansas State got a big win on the road at Iowa State as the teams below it in last week's rankings crumbled. Texas and West Virginia are on the schedule, but if only we knew what would happen if the Sooners and Cats played head-to-head! Life is good for the Big 12's last remaining undefeated squad.
2. Oklahoma (4-1, 2-1, last week: 3) The Sooners have turned on the afterburners the past two weeks with a pair of blowout wins against good Texas and Texas Tech teams. K-State's win in Norman was huge, but it might have been bad news for the rest of the Big 12. The Sooners look like an awakened giant.
3. West Virginia (5-1, 2-1, last week: 1) WVU falls to No. 3 this week, but there's nowhere else for the Mountaineers to fall, despite getting sufficiently humbled by Texas Tech in Lubbock. The offense had better figure out what went wrong and fix it quick. There's no time for the offense to feel sorry for itself. K-State is on the way this week.
4. Texas (4-2, 1-2, last week: 4) The Longhorns were humbled, as well, but the two teams below them on last week's power rankings didn't look sharp, so Tech slides up to the No. 5 spot and Texas has nowhere to fall. The Longhorns better hope Case McCoy is ready. David Ash's wrist didn't look good, and the hard truth is that Ash has largely carried this team to 4-2.
5. Texas Tech (5-1, 2-1, last week: 7) Texas Tech is the week's second-biggest mover. The Red Raiders' résumé is solid with wins over West Virginia and Iowa State, with the lone loss coming to an Oklahoma team that's playing as well as any team in the Big 12. Great stuff from the defense against the Mountaineers on Saturday.
6. TCU (5-1, 2-1, last week: 9) TCU makes a big jump here with one of the week's best wins. Baylor looked like a good team, and TCU looked like it was in a whole lot of trouble after getting run out of its own stadium by Iowa State. Not this week. Trevone Boykin bounced back and, suddenly, TCU's hopes for the rest of the season look pretty buoyed.
7. Baylor (3-2, 0-2, last week: 5) Baylor's in the frustrating spot of being 0-2 in Big 12 play and now has to play a Texas team reeling from an embarrassing loss of its own. BU's offense turned it over six times against TCU and forced zero. The Bears have a great offense, but no offense can do that and still win a game.
8. Iowa State (4-2, 1-2, last week: 8) ISU offered a valiant effort against Kansas State and nearly pulled off another huge win in Ames, but Kansas State's late-game execution was too much. The Cyclones' Jared Barnett looked pretty average against K-State, but the defense is better than everybody in the Big 12 except Oklahoma.
9. Oklahoma State (3-2, 1-1, last week: 6) Oklahoma State is probably better than this, but show me the proof. A five-point loss to Texas? A six-point win over KU? Torching Louisiana-Lafayette? The Cowboys have the worst résumé of wins of any team in the Big 12. Gotta earn your way up in a league this tight from top to bottom. Wes Lunt might be back this week. That helps.
10. Kansas (1-5, 0-3, last week: 10) The Jayhawks came pretty close this week, but a late roughing-the-punter call killed the drama in Lawrence. Will Charlie Weis pull the trigger and start Michael Cummings next week? What, exactly, would he have to lose by doing so? Kansas doesn't have a win over an FBS team this season.
2dDavid M. Hale