1. Oklahoma State:
Quarterback Brandon Weeden and the Cowboys laid it on thick in their 66-6 win over Texas Tech last week, leading from wire to wire. It’s beginning to look like the annual Bedlam game between the Cowboys and Sooners will be the deciding factor of which team from the Big 12 receives the BCS auto-bid. The Cowboys do have to get past Iowa State this week in order to set up that colossal game in Stillwater, Okla. There doesn’t seem to be a team in the nation that can slow down the offensive onslaught the Cowboys possess.
The Sooners’ loss to Texas Tech is beginning to look more and more like an anomaly. With a week of rest under their belts, the Sooners gear up for Baylor this week in a primetime matchup. This game will have its share of offense, but defense will be the deciding factor. The Sooners will have to keep Robert Griffin III under wraps if they want to keep any slim hopes of a national title appearance alive. The Sooners have begun to creep back up in the BCS standings and are currently No. 5 in the most recent standings. If they can avoid upsets these next two weeks they have a case to make for an appearance at the Sugar Bowl.
3. Kansas State:
It took four overtimes, but in the end the Wildcats got the best of the Aggies last week. Quarterback Collin Klein has bulldozed his way to 24 rushing touchdowns and has added another 10 through the air. He’s a workhorse and the main reason the Wildcats are 8-2 this season. Behind Klein, the Wildcats can’t be counted out of any remaining game this season. Klein and Co. head to Austin this week to play a dinged up Longhorn squad.
The Bears may not have envisioned being 6-3 after 11 weeks, but three games still remain for them to improve on that mark. Quarterback Robert Griffin III has continued his usual routine of scoring touchdowns at will over the past few weeks and has now scored at least one passing and rushing touchdown in three consecutive games. Griffin and the Bears face an Oklahoma team that seems to be back on track after an uncanny loss to Texas Tech at home.
Ouch. The Longhorns were without their top-two options at running back last week, and it definitely showed. On top of that, Texas lost the services of senior all-everything back Fozzy Whittaker to a torn ACL. At any rate, the Longhorns will need to find a solution to the running game woes fast with Kansas State coming to town this weekend. The ineffectiveness of freshman quarterback David Ash will also have to be addressed and corrected if Texas wants to make a case for a bowl not named “Pinstripe.”
Is it Missouri, or misery? Even though the Tigers defeated the Longhorns a week ago they still suffered a major blow. Sophomore running back Henry Josey was lost for the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL, MCL and patellar tendon. These kind of injuries almost always sideline players for an extended period of time, and the loss of Josey will be felt far beyond this season. However, the Tigers do retain a couple viable replacements in Kendial Lawrence and De’Vion Moore, who will need to carry the load this week against Texas Tech.
7. Texas A&M:
It’s deja vu all over again for the Aggies. In all but one game this year, the Aggies have held a double-digit lead, yet their record is 5-5. Perplexing to say the least. Last week’s quadruple-overtime loss at the hands of Kansas State was just the latest in disappointments this season for the Aggies. Lowly Kansas visits this week in what should be a win for the Aggies. The Aggies are still one win away from becoming bowl eligible, and if they are unable to do so this week it will only make the annual matchup with Texas on Thanksgiving night more interesting.
8. Iowa State:
Another bye this week for the Cyclones before they face Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas State in successive weeks. Barring some pretty big upsets, that’ll make three straight ranked opponents. Not just any ranked teams either, the Cyclones could potentially face three top-five teams in a row for the first time in school history. Currently at 5-4 on the year, it will be a tall order for the Cyclones to steal a win from any of their remaining opponents. Not much to be thankful for with that daunting of a schedule in front of the Cyclones.
It’s alive! It took 11 weeks but the Jayhawks finally showed some signs of life, taking Baylor to the brink in overtime, only to eventually lose 31-30. The Jayhawks were one missed two-point conversion away from earning their first conference win. Jordan Webb’s three interceptions didn’t help the Jayhawks’ bid for their first victory since Week 2 of the season, but Kansas did run for 296 yards in the loss. Who knows, maybe they can pull off a shocker this week in College Station against the Aggies.
10. Texas Tech:
Ever since the Red Raiders topped Oklahoma 41-38 three weeks ago in Norman, they have really struggled to find an identity. Last week was no different as Oklahoma State came in and absolutely wrecked Tech. 66-6 looks bad, but let us not forget that the Cowboys held a 49-0 advantage at the half. Coach Tommy Tuberville has to be sweating up in Lubbock after three straight conference losses by a combined score of 159-33. The Red Raiders travel to Columbia, Mo., to take on the Tigers this week. Careful, two players suffered season-ending injuries on the turf of Faurot Field just last week.