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 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 might change between now and then. There are a lot of preseason practices, and a lot of games between now and the end of the season.
There are always teams that disappoint and teams that surprise. But here's how I see the Big 12 shaking out in Week 10.
West Virginia 38, TCU 28: The Horned Frogs will be walking into a powder keg in Morgantown. A year ago, these teams were to meet in a conference game, but who would have figured it'd be a Big 12 game instead of a Big East game? WVU takes care of business against a TCU secondary that can't handle the Tavon Austin-Stedman Bailey duo. Big game for Geno Smith. Two consecutive losses for TCU after starting 7-0.
Texas 31, Texas Tech 17: Texas has had some tough games in Lubbock, including a hard-fought win in 2010 to stay undefeated before the wheels fell off on a five-win season. Texas does the same thing it did last season and walks away a winner again, just not as emphatic. Texas uses a powerful running game to control the pace from start to finish.
Kansas State 28, Oklahoma State 24: Kansas State nearly knocked off the title contender in Stillwater last season. Kansas State got better. Oklahoma State's not as good. Kansas State takes care of business in Manhattan this time around, keeping the ball out of the offense's hands. OSU's biggest strength on defense is at cornerback. Collin Klein takes advantage of its biggest weakness, the defensive line. Snyderball, baby.
Oklahoma 37, Iowa State 24: These two played in maybe the windiest conditions of any game in the conference last season. Oklahoma didn't play its best, and receivers' drops were maddening for the Sooners' coaching staff. This time around, the Sooners' talent gap is pretty large when you compare the depth charts. Ames is proving to be a difficult place to play these days, but Oklahoma's got this one.
Baylor 27, Kansas 24: Baylor needed overtime and a three-touchdown comeback last season, and Kansas gives the Bears another scare. Nick Florence leads a game-winning touchdown drive in the final minutes with a touchdown pass to Jordan Najvar to win it. Kansas is threatening to break the barrier and its Big 12 losing streak, now at 15 games.
BIG 12 STANDINGS (after Week 9)
1. Oklahoma: 8-0 (6-0)
2. West Virginia: 7-1 (4-1)
3. Kansas State: 7-2 (4-2)
3. TCU: 7-2 (4-2)
3. Texas: 7-2 (4-2)
6. Oklahoma State: 6-2 (3-2)
7. Baylor: 5-3 (2-3)
8. Texas Tech: 4-5 (1-5)
9. Iowa State: 3-6 (1-5)
10. Kansas: 3-6 (0-6)