Lillian Michel/ The Daily Texan
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the October 8 Double Coverage flipbook.
1. Oklahoma Sooners
Although the Sooners barely scraped by Kansas State with a 37-31 win last weekend, they still sit atop the Big 12 throne. Oklahoma has struggled against unranked Kansas State squads in the past, losing to two unranked Wildcats teams in the last two years. Last week’s win proved that the reigning Big 12 champions can still overpower teams who have caused them trouble in the past.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Both of the Big 12’s Oklahoma-based teams are representing the state well, as they are the conference’s remaining unbeaten teams. The Cowboys delivered Baylor its first loss of the season in a 24-14 win last Saturday. Oklahoma State’s defense has managed to keep opponents under 30 points, which can only get more important as conference play picks up.
3. Texas Longhorns
Coming off an exciting win over TCU, the Longhorns had not won a game against the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth since 2013. Last weekend’s win should give Texas the confidence it needs to beat old rival Oklahoma this Saturday.
4. Iowa State Cyclones
Despite sitting at 3–2 right now, the Cyclones showed their strength on Saturday in a 59-7 blowout win over Kansas. The season has not exactly been kind to the Cyclones, with a close two-point loss against Baylor and a dismantling by now-No. 3 Iowa back in Week 2. However, Iowa State demonstrated the best of its abilities in the Kansas game and is on track to return to the Big 12 Championship Game if the Cyclones can continue their streak.
5. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Red Raiders pulled off a 23-20 win against West Virginia last Saturday. A win over the Mountaineers was just what Texas Tech needed after its 35-point loss to Texas two weeks ago. Even though the Red Raiders are 1–1 in conference play, quarterback Henry Colombi had completion rates of 73.9% against Texas and 67.6% against West Virginia, respectively. Texas Tech will need another high completion rate from Colombi if the Red Raiders plan on beating TCU Saturday.
6. Baylor Bears
Even though the Bears are currently 3–1, they were not able to pull off an upset against Oklahoma State in Week 5. Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon had a rougher game, with his lowest completion percentage of the season at 48.1%. Although the Bears are the three-point favorite against West Virginia on Saturday, Bohanon will have to work on his performance when the Mountaineers arrive in Waco.
7. West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers have shown glimmers of hope this season, but their loss to Texas Tech on Saturday was a duller moment. West Virginia was the seven-point favorite against the Red Raiders, but the Mountaineers took a 20-23 loss. The West Virginia defense must step up as the Mountaineers look for their first conference win of the season in Waco.
8. TCU Horned Frogs
The past few weeks have not been kind to the Frogs after a loss to Texas last Saturday. In Week 4, TCU lost to crosstown rival SMU in a wide 34-42 victory for the Mustangs. In Week 2, the Horned Frogs clawed their way to a close 34-32 win over the California Golden Bears, one of the Pac-12’s historically weak teams. Despite its losing streak, TCU opens as 1.5-point favorites when they match up against the Red Raiders this Saturday.
9. Kansas State Wildcats
Like WVU, the Kansas State Wildcats are still in the search of their first conference win. However, the next matchup might not be it for the Cats. The Wildcats will be facing Iowa State on home turf next week, where the Cyclones are favored to win by 34 points. Even though the Wildcats are once again sitting at the bottom of the Big 12, there may be some hope. Last week, Kansas State was only one touchdown away from tying the Sooners. Even if this season ends up with another losing record, there are signs of an upward trajectory for the struggling Wildcats.
10. Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks have not had a winning record in over a decade, and that does not look like it will be changing this year. Kansas has not won a game since its close Week 1 win over the South Dakota Coyotes. The Jayhawks have scored a lackluster 14 points combined against Big 12 opponents this season, and as the Kansas offense continues to trip over itself week after week, it looks like the Jayhawks’ home will be at the bottom of conference standings once more.