- David Ubben, College Football
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It's "Championship Week" in the Big 12 with Bedlam set to go down Saturday night in Stillwater. This one's for all the flavors — all 23 of 'em.
1. Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1, last week: 1) The Cowboys didn't get any national title help from Auburn, and had to stare at the loss to Iowa State during the bye week, but there's no time to feel sorry for themselves. OSU's never been to the BCS and never won the Big 12. It can do both with a victory over Oklahoma, even if the national title is off the table.
2. Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2, LW: 2) The offense isn't its usual self without Ryan Broyles and Dominique Whaley, and the Sooners will need more than five catches for 70 yards from new No. 1 target Kenny Stills to beat Oklahoma State. Oklahoma will get an opportunity for its eighth Big 12 title since 2000 in Stillwater — and a chance to ruin rival OSU's dream season.
3. Kansas State (9-2, 6-2, LW: 3) Kansas State is a victory over Iowa State from a 10-win season in Bill Snyder's third year of his second tenure as head coach. How crazy is that? That's what happens when you play great team defense and have a running, throwing, bleeding stone pillar for a quarterback in Collin Klein.
4. Baylor (8-3, 5-3, LW: 4) Baylor experienced life without Robert Griffin III for the second half on Saturday night, but the Bears responded well, outscoring Texas Tech 35-14 over the final 30 minutes. If RG3 leaves after this season, Nick Florence and Terrance Ganaway showed they're ready to be playmakers.
5. Missouri (7-5, 5-4, LW: 5) A nice finish for Missouri on Saturday after a tough start. The Tigers won four of their final five games to finish at 7-5 and get a winning record in conference play. It wasn't the kind of season Mizzou would have liked on its way to the SEC, but it's still solid and something to build on as the offense matures.
6. Texas (7-4, 4-4, LW: 8) The Longhorns are a big reason why teams like Nebraska and Texas A&M left the Big 12, but you've gotta give it up for the Longhorns' defending Big 12 turf against both teams. The Huskers and Aggies didn't get the last laugh against the Horns, and Texas's rebuilding project continues with seven wins this year after last year's five-win disaster. They'll have a chance for No. 8 Saturday against Baylor.
7. Texas A&M (6-6, 4-5, LW: 6) Oh, Aggies. So much talent. So many blown leads. We've never seen anything like this. In 11 of Texas A&M's 12 games this year, it led by double digits. And yet, the preseason top-10 squad won six games this year. If this had happened last year, would Texas A&M have had the gumption to leave for the SEC? It's certainly up for debate, but coach Mike Sherman's status apparently is not.
8. Iowa State (6-5, 3-5, LW: 7) The Cyclones couldn't get the victory against Oklahoma, but the biggest mission's been accomplished in Ames: bowl eligibility. Iowa State beating Kansas State in Farmageddon on Saturday could be a delicious finish, dessert at the end of a tasty three months.
9. Texas Tech (5-7, 2-7, LW: 9) Injuries aren't the only reason, but it's clear that they've cost Texas Tech a lot in the past two seasons. The Red Raiders lost six of their final seven games and suffered through their first losing season since 1992, but who could have ever thought that Tech's one win over that stretch would be Oklahoma? How badly would the Sooners like a mulligan on that stormy Norman night back in October?
10. Kansas (2-10, 0-9, LW: 10) The Jayhawks' offense was awful for most of the season and the defense was one of the worst in college football history. The Big 12's offenses helped worsen those numbers, but Kansas held leads of at least 20 points against Texas Tech and Baylor but still went winless in Big 12 play and lost its final 10 games. Turner Gill is 1-16 in Big 12 play and the coach he beat (Dan Hawkins) was fired before he could coach another game.