Big 12 power rankings: Week 9
1. Kansas State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12; last week: 1) The Wildcats are all alone in the driver's seat for the Big 12 title race, but Texas Tech could change that in a hurry next week if the Wildcats slip up. For now, though, it's going to be a fun week in the Little Apple with Collin Klein leading the Heisman race and K-State looking like a title contender.
2. Oklahoma (5-1, 3-1; last week: 2) If not for those two fumbles against K-State, would OU be the nation's No. 2 team? The Sooners have looked as good as, if not better than, any team in the country the past three weeks with wins by 21, 42 and 45 points in conference games. The Sooners need help to get back in the Big 12 title hunt, and even more for the national title hunt.
3. Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1; last week: 5) The Red Raiders are charging and are one of just three teams that control their Big 12 title destiny. The offense goes through dry spells, but the improved defense has given this team a chance in games all season long.
4. West Virginia (5-2, 2-2; last week: 3) West Virginia is sinking like a stone with two blowout losses in two weeks to good Big 12 teams. The Mountaineers aren't measuring up on defense, and now the offense looks like it has major issues. Just seven points on offense in Week 8, a week after scoring just 14 against Texas Tech? Trouble, trouble, trouble.
5. Texas (5-2, 2-2; last week: 4) Texas snapped a two-game losing streak and probably put to rest the questions (if only for awhile) about Mack Brown being on the hot seat. It's a silly debate at this point, fueled by frustration but with little basis in reality when you consider the losing streak consisted of just two games against then-top-15 teams. We'll see how the rest of the season plays out, but a big win for the Horns.
6. TCU (5-2, 2-2; last week: 6) The Frogs' resiliency impressed me against Texas Tech, but it's the same thing we've seen all season. TCU is playing on one foot with one hand tied behind its back right now when you consider the mountain of personnel losses but is still competing every week and is in position for a decent finish in the Big 12 in Year 1. Look out for this team next year. Devonte Fields, Trevone Boykin and LaDarius Brown are as good a freshman trio as you'll see in this league.
7. Oklahoma State (4-2, 2-1; last week: 9) OSU's stock could shoot through the roof in the weeks to come, with five ranked teams waiting on the schedule. The Pokes got their best victory of the season Saturday in their worst uniform combo, rolling over a good Iowa State team. Let's see those orange helmets with black jerseys.
8. Iowa State (4-3, 1-3; last week: 8) ISU didn't have the horses to hang with the Pokes. The quarterback issue is a major one at this point, and it's got to be even more troubling to see Sam Richardson isn't getting a shot. The bottom line: You can't count on Jared Barnett or Steele Jantz to consistently deliver accurate balls every week the way you can with most of the quarterbacks in this league. That's a problem, but the Cyclones' defense keeps them alive fairly often.
9. Baylor (3-3, 0-3; last week: 9) My gut says Baylor is better than this, but let's hear from the Bears when they win a Big 12 game. High-scoring wins over Louisiana-Monroe and SMU looked good at the time, but Baylor's not guaranteed a bowl berth this season, and the Bears join Kansas as the only Big 12 teams without a league win yet. BU will get a chance to end its three-game losing streak next week on the road versus Iowa State.
10. Kansas 1-6, 0-4; last week: 10) Kansas made the switch and let Michael Cummings get a shot under center, but it predictably had little effect on the outcome. Cummings completed 10 of 21 passes with a pair of picks in the loss to Oklahoma, and ran for just 21 yards on 12 carries. James Sims is still a bright spot, but the quarterback issues are killing the Jayhawks this year.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.