The November gauntlet has started in the Big 12 as undefeated Oklahoma State and TCU squared off last week in Stillwater. It keeps going next week with a resurgent OU team heading to Waco to take on Baylor. How does the Big 12 stand currently? The CRFF team takes a look.
1. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys come out of this weekend having put doubters on notice. Mike Gundy's 9-0 team looks like a real challenger for the Big 12 crown, possibly even the favorite. The Pokes took down TCU at home and travel to Iowa State next week. Prepare for the 2011 comparisons and beware of the trap game because if the Pokes can get past the Cyclones they will have Baylor and OU at home for a chance at the Big 12 title. ISU on the road is not a game you can overlook and the Pokes better be aware.
The Bears had their closest game of the season last week when they took on K-State. Jarred Stidam looked very good in replacing Seth Russell so it doesn't look like that will a problem for Art Briles and company. The Bears will get an opportunity to make a big statement this week as they take on their toughest opponent to this point, Oklahoma. With College Gameday traveling to Waco and it being a 7 o'clock kick next weekend should be a great atmosphere.
Ever game the Sooners play makes the Texas loss more and more head scratching. The Sooners dominated the Cyclones this past weekend in another impressive performance. The Sooners will have the opportunity to put themselves squarely back in the playoff picture when they travel to Baylor next weekend. If the Sooners want a shot at the playoff they are going to have to win out and it starts next week.
The Horned Frogs took a tough blow this past weekend. They're going to need some help now if they are going to capture the Big 12 crown and Trevone Boykin's Heisman hopes took a hit as well after throwing four picks this last weekend. The Horned Frogs get an opportunity to bounce back versus Kansas next week before traveling to Norman to face the Sooners.
5. West Virginia
In something you would think is very strange until you looked at their schedule, the Mountaineers earned their first Big 12 win of the season last week in a win over Texas Tech. Taking over the lead for the second tier teams. The Eers look to close strong with four very winnable games coming with a date with Texas next week.
6. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders seem stuck in the area of not good enough to be top tier, not top of their own tier, but not bad enough to be a lower tier. Tech has only two more games remaining for an opportunity to be bowl eligible. Both are games the Raiders should win versus Kansas State this week and at Texas on Thanksgiving. After some up and down conference play Tech will want to close out the season strong.
It's hard to describe the Longhorns season as anything other than a rollercoaster ride. After challenging OSU, to getting crushed by TCU, beating OU, losing to ISU you cannot tell what's going on from one week to the next with Charlie Strong's team. If the Longhorns want to be bowl eligible they'll have to win two of three versus West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Baylor, which will be a big challenge.
T-8. Kansas State
After going undefeated in the non-conference the Wildcats have not been able to get a win. They have contended with and pushed a lot of teams, like Oklahoma State, TCU, and Baylor, while they have gotten handled by OU and Texas. They have a chance to turn it around in the coming weeks as they take on Texas Tech next week.
T-8. Iowa State
Coming off an dominant upset victory over Texas the Cyclones turned in the opposite of that performance against Oklahoma. Paul Rhode's team got dominated on all sides of the ball. This week the Cyclones play host to Oklahoma State in Ames while they try to channel their 2011 selves to try to pull of the upset.
The Kansas masterpiece is almost complete. While this team looks to have taken some steps towards building a program they have been consistently blown out in Big 12 play. It doesn't look to get any better this week as they get to go play TCU. Don't worry Jayhawks, basketball is almost here.