The Big 12 has clearly separated into two distinct halves. Will there be any crossover in the final month of the season? Here’s how the Big 12 ranks heading into November.
1. Baylor 7-0, 4-0, last week: 1. This week: Idle. It was good for Baylor to prove it could look like its usual self away from Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears got off to a slow start, but the No. 2 offense took over about midway through the third quarter.
2. Oklahoma 7-1, 4-1, last week: 3. This week: Idle. The Sooners earned their biggest win of the season by far, knocking off an undefeated Texas Tech team. How they handle Trey Millard’s torn ACL is a huge question mark, but Oklahoma’s offensive line had one of its most impressive performances of the year against a good Texas Tech defensive line, led by Kerry Hyder.
3. Texas Tech 7-1, 4-1, last week: 3. This week: vs. Oklahoma State. Tech lost a game but won a whole bunch of fans with an aggressive scheme. Tech came to Norman to win, and rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to almost do it. This probably isn’t Tech’s year to win the league, but it might come soon under Kliff Kingsbury. I couldn’t drop Tech more than a spot for losing a heartbreaker in Norman.
4. Texas 5-2, 4-0, last week: 4. This week: vs. Kansas. I hate having Texas below OU and Texas Tech considering what happened at Red River two weeks ago, but the Longhorns still haven’t outrun those two losses at the beginning of the season, even if they’re playing really good football right now. The defense has figured out its issues, and switching out Manny Diaz for Greg Robinson is looking better by the minute. 5. Oklahoma State 6-1, 3-1, last week: 5. This week: at Texas Tech. The Pokes’ offense came alive just in time for the bulk of its schedule to arrive. OSU is still kicking itself for that road loss at West Virginia, and the QBs still have big question marks, but OSU’s going to have a whole lot of say in the Big 12 title race if it runs for 300+ yards very many more times.
6. Kansas State 3-4, 1-3, last week: 7. This week: vs. Iowa State. Kansas State got the inside track to getting to a bowl game with a win against West Virginia, and that two-QB system looks pretty awesome when they combine to complete 18-of-21 passes. Every decision is right! Still, hold your Sams stock, investors.
7. West Virginia 3-5, 1-4, last week: 8. This week: at TCU. Dana Holgorsen is frustrated with his offense again after a 12-point outing at Kansas State. The receivers have struggled, and Charles Sims got 15 touches. There’s no obvious solution besides experience at this point. WVU has some talented athletes, but the inexperience is getting swallowed up in the Big 12 this year. “You’ve got to be able to throw to open people and complete it and Clint’s not doing a good job of that and he’s turning the ball over,” Holgorsen told reporters. The Mountaineers are in plenty of games, but haven’t finished enough this year.
8. TCU 3-5, 1-4, last week: 6. This week: vs. West Virginia. I don’t know what’s left to do for TCU’s offense. The lack of production just eliminates them from contention in too many games. Texas had a giant lead early, but the Frogs are running away with the title of the league’s biggest disappointment in 2013.
9. Iowa State 1-6, 0-4, last week: 9. This week: at Kansas State. The Cyclones better hope Aaron Wimberly’s hamstring injury is minor if they want to log a couple Big 12 wins by the end of the year. Sam Richardson hasn’t made the strides this year ISU hoped, and a banged-up defense is upping the degree of difficulty for the inexperienced offense. 10. Kansas 2-5, 0-4, last week: 10. This week: at Texas. KU can’t fire two consecutive coaches after two seasons, but Charlie Weis has a long way to go to get this team in shape for Year 3. Andrew Wiggins’ debut isn’t far away, Jayhawks.