The Horned Frogs proved Saturday that they are the head of this class, absolutely mashing a solid Kansas State team. With just Kansas, Texas and Iowa State left on the schedule, it’s looking very likely the Horned Frogs will represent the Big 12 in the first College Football Playoff. After a full year of struggles, Trevone Boykin is now a Heisman contender. Most important for him and TCU, he is limiting his turnovers. In 350 attempts, he has thrown just four picks, compared to 23 touchdowns.
With a statement win at Oklahoma on Saturday, the Bears have shot their way up the rankings. They have just one loss, to West Virginia, and have an offense that’s No. 1 in the nation, averaging more than 50 points per game. If they run the table — which includes a home contest against Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats — they will win the Big 12, as they own the tiebreaker because of the win over TCU. Will that be enough for the committee to bump them ahead of the Horned Frogs?
3) Kansas State
The Wildcats’ shot at a Big 12 crown and a spot in the final four went crashing to the ground, as TCU drove them out of Fort Worth. Kansas State, normally so disciplined, committed five penalties for 68 yards, as they lost both the turnover and penalty battles. A better ground game could help them out, but, for now, they are fighting for a better bowl game and hoping to play spoiler against Baylor in their final game of the season.
There is talk of firing head coach Bob Stoops in Norman. While there’s no way he will actually get canned, that speaks volumes to how disappointing this season has been for the Sooners. They have won all the games they should have won, but they have lost to all three ranked opponents. Without a statement game left on the schedule, Oklahoma is going to end the season as a disappointment.
5) West Virginia
The Mountaineers looked terrible against Texas. But that’s just one game, and they have looked good otherwise. What hurt them specifically against Texas was their 3-for-17 conversion rate on third downs. Without first downs, it’s hard to win. But there were positives from the game: receiver Kevin White caught 16 passes, and Clint Trickett completed over 73 percent of his balls. This team is still good and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
6) Oklahoma State
The bye week should have helped the Cowboys figure out what had been going wrong in their three-game losing streak. Unfortunately for them, they may have the toughest remaining Big 12 schedule. They get Texas at home this week before finishing at Baylor and Oklahoma. Oklahoma State’s game against the Longhorns may determine which one of these two will make a bowl game.
Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes’ poor play is preventing the Longhorns from moving up this list. But the Texas defense is for real. It shut down a high-flying West Virginia offense with an incredibly dominant performance. The secondary prevented the big play, while the defensive line made plays all afternoon.
8) Texas Tech
The Red Raiders’ defense is still awful, and their offense isn’t good enough to make up for it. A week for quarterback Davis Webb to get healthy will benefit the Red Raiders immensely. Unfortunately, it won’t matter against Oklahoma. They have one winnable Big 12 game left, against Iowa State, as they fight to avoid finishing at the bottom of the league.
9) Iowa State
The Cyclones had their worst loss of the season against Kansas in one of college football’s most meaningless games of the season. Regardless, they are still ahead of Kansas in the rankings. There’s a good chance they will be the only winless team in Big 12 play, and that can be attributed largely to their almost-as-bad-as-Texas Tech defense. They allowed 514 total yards against Kansas and did not force a single turnover.
The Jayhawks proved all of us wrong. With an “upset” over Iowa State, they ended their Big 12 winless streak. That’s still just their second conference win in four years for a reason: they aren’t good. But they head into basketball season with a football win, and that’s all anyone will remember, as they shift their focus to hoops in Lawrence.