Here's how the Big 12 stacks up heading into this weekend's games.
1. Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 in Big 12, last week: 1): I don't know how big the gap between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is, but I know it exists. Oklahoma State may be able to make it up in December in Stillwater, but until then, the Sooners have ascended into the first group of national title contenders via a road win over Florida State and an evisceration of Texas.
2. Oklahoma State (5-0, 2-0, LW: 2): Saturday was definitely the first time I've seen a group of starters get pulled with five minutes left in the first half. That's what happens when you hang 35 in the first quarter and settle for a paltry 21 in the second. Cowboys head to Austin on Saturday to face a Texas team still trying to prove it's for real.
3. Kansas State (5-0, 2-0, LW: 4): The Wildcats are the new Oklahoma State. Picked eighth in the league and unimpressive at the season's start, the Wildcats are maybe the most surprising undefeated team left in the country. Not buying yet? Ask what Miami, Baylor and Missouri think. Three quality wins that rival almost any other team in the Big 12's résumé.
4. Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1, LW: 6): The Aggies aren't that far from challenging Oklahoma as the best team in the Big 12, and are a lot more talented than Kansas State, but the Wildcats have proven their worth. Second half collapses have prevented Texas A&M from doing the same. Such is college football.
5. Baylor (4-1, 1-1, LW: 5): After a frustrating loss a week ago, Baylor did a nice job validating its status as a top 25 team while hosting Iowa State. Want people to take you seriously? Beat Iowa State by 23 at home. The Bears did that, and now will chase the biggest win of their season against Texas A&M at Kyle Field.
6. Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1, LW: 7): To my knowledge, Texas Tech is the first team to move up in the rankings despite a loss. The Red Raiders rise is aided by two things: 1) Texas getting obliterated and 2) hanging tough and looking like it belonged against a team that's as good as any in the Big 12.
7. Texas (4-1, 1-1, LW: 3): Did Texas do much right against Oklahoma? The Sooners are tough, but I didn't see a whole lot. Right now,there's no definitive answer to "Was Oklahoma that good? Or Texas that bad?" but the truth will be revealed in coming weeks.
8. Missouri (2-3, 0-2, LW: 8): Missouri's stretch of three losses has caused plenty of frustration, but don't lose sight of who was beating the Tigers: top 20 teams in their respective home stadiums. Mizzou finally comes home this week, and Iowa State will come to Faurot Field. Could be a welcome sight, but there are no guarantees in the Big 12.
9. Iowa State (3-2, 0-2, LW: 9): Iowa State was forcing turnovers early, but without them, the Cyclones 49-26 loss might have been even more lopsided. Baylor's a more talented team than Iowa State, but if the Cyclones keep games close, they've shown an ability to make plays late and win games.
10. Kansas (2-3, 0-2, LW: 10): There's no doubt Turner Gill's seat is heating up in Lawrence as the Jayhawks aren't showing much improvement in Year 2. He still has (or at least should have) plenty of time to turn it around, but simply put, this defense is playing too awful to give Kansas a fighting chance in conference play. Has to improve for Gill to quiet those calling for his job.