Big 12 rankings: Unbeaten Oklahoma State moving up

October, 6, 2008
10/06/08
11:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No major changes at the top as Oklahoma State nosed past Kansas for fifth place on the conference list. Here are my latest rankings heading into Saturday's games.

1. Oklahoma -- No pre-Red River Rivalry swoon this time around. The top-ranked Sooners are humming heading into their biggest game of the season.

2. Missouri -- Don't pull on Chase Daniel's cape and for goodness sakes, don't spit at him. His performance against Nebraska serves as reminder why he's the most valuable player in the conference.

3. Texas -- Longhorns made Cody Hawkins miserable on almost every play and need to duplicate that against Sam Bradford for any hopes of springing an upset.

4. Texas Tech -- Workman-like 30-point road victories don't happen very often for the Red Raiders. But Graham Harrell had his best game of the season against Kansas State and has found some other receivers besides Michael Crabtree to balance his passing attack.

5. Oklahoma State -- Cowboys have scored 50 points in each of their last four games. Their hopes of springing an upset in Columbia will likely depend on hanging another half-a-hundred against Missouri.

6. Kansas -- Jake Sharp is back as the primary rushing threat, but the Jayhawks need much more production if they are going to contend for the North title.

7. Colorado -- The Buffaloes were doomed again by special-teams struggles against Texas. But that still doesn't explain why Josh Smith was taken out of the game for much of the second half. And with Cody Hawkins' struggles, could there be a quarterback controversy looming?

8. Nebraska -- The operative word around Lincoln these days isn't dirty -- it's sloppy. And even bigger concerns are the offensive line's struggles and the lack of athleticism on defense. Both trends were obvious against Missouri.

9. Iowa State -- Strong start against Kansas, but just didn't have enough to finish the job. The performance bodes well for the future, as Austen Arnaud looks like the real deal at quarterback.

10. Baylor -- Fell into an early hole against Oklahoma and couldn't get back into the game. Robert Griffin was effective running the ball (102 yards) but couldn't pass (11-of-26 for 75 passing yards) against Oklahoma's superior athletes. Baylor's game this week against Iowa State could be a track meet.

11. Kansas State -- The most telling sign I noticed Saturday at the Little Apple was apathy. The Wildcats have been gashed for more than 500 yards in three straight games. If they can't win Saturday at A&M, they might not win the rest of the season.

12. Texas A&M -- Turnovers doomed the Aggies early against Oklahoma State and it could really get bad this week if Mike Goodson isn't healthy for Kansas State. This could be Mike Sherman's most important early game, dictating how the rest of the season will play out.

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