1. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys were victim to a classic case of overlooking an opponent when Iowa State defeated them in overtime last week. Brandon Weeden threw three costly interceptions as the Pokes lost their first game of the season at maybe the most inopportune time. With several other big upsets last weekend, the Cowboys still have a chance at a big-time bowl, but they’ll need to bring their best against Oklahoma in two weeks. Despite the loss, the Cowboys still are a legitimate team and will test any team they face in a bowl.
2. Kansas State
Head coach Bill Snyder’s dominance over the Longhorns continued last week as the Wildcats were able to eke out a win in Austin. Quarterback Collin Klein was kept under wraps for the majority of the game, but once again he was able to lead his team to victory. The Wildcat defense keyed on the young quarterbacks and forced the Longhorns into some tough situations on offense. The Wildcats will be in search of their 10th win of the year when they take on Iowa State in two weeks.
In what may prove to be his last year as a Bear, quarterback Robert Griffin III notched the most important win of his career over Oklahoma last Saturday. He once again broke a school record for passing yards (479) and threw a spectacular go-ahead touchdown late against the Sooners. It was the first time the Bears had defeated the Sooners in 20 tries. The Bears now stand at 7-3 on the season and will face a struggling Texas Tech team this week to keep their hopes of a 10-win season alive.
The Sooners find themselves out of the top-10 in the polls once again after losing a tough game to the Bears. Defensively, the Sooners were unable to defend against Robert Griffin III as he tossed four more touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over. Quarterback Landry Jones was supplanted by freshman Blake Bell on goal-line situations and Bell responded by rushing for four scores. The Sooners’ defense will have to fix things quickly as BCS-buster Iowa State is next on the schedule this week.
A favorable bowl could be in the cards for the Tigers after all. With their 31-27 win over the Red Raiders last week the Tigers became bowl eligible. They were able to stifle Red Raiders’ quarterback Seth Doege and ran the ball well in the absence of the injured Henry Josey. Tigers’ quarterback James Franklin ran for two touchdowns and added another pair of scores through the air. He’s becoming a nice player in the twilight of his first season and will only continue to improve. The Tigers will have a chance to improve their bowl credentials this week against Kansas.
The Longhorns’ offensive woes befell them once again as they were unable to get any significant production from either of their young quarterbacks. The running game saw a slight boost with the return of injury-hampered freshman Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron, but the pair only combined for 73 yards on 20 carries. If there’s one bright spot on this team it’s the defense. They have kept the Longhorns in each of the past two games but the offense has failed to match their efforts. It’s a short turnaround this week with Texas facing the Aggies on Thanksgiving Day for the last time in a while.
7. Texas A&M
After three consecutive conference losses the Aggies got back on track in a big way with a 61-7 beatdown of Kansas. The win makes the Aggies bowl eligible, albeit most of the Aggies faithful would have rather not waited quite so long. Running back Cyrus Gray and receiver Ryan Swope are still potent offensive weapons and will surely be discussed ad nauseam this week in the Texas defense’s film room. There’s no question the Aggies will be ready for the Thanksgiving night matchup with the Longhorns after the kind of season they have had. A win over the Longhorns could soothe the pain of a disappointing season.
8. Iowa State
That was a Cyclone, all right. In one of the most shocking upsets all year the Cyclones topped Oklahoma State in overtime to officially cause chaos within the BCS top-10. It was the school’s first ever win over a top-two team. Head coach Paul Rhoads has done an excellent job this year and it seems as if his players and coaching staff are buying into him as the future of the program. Oklahoma hosts the Cyclones this week and can’t be pleased with losing to Baylor last weekend. Expect the Sooners to be prepared this time out.
9. Texas Tech
Another tough loss for the Red Raiders as they dropped their fourth consecutive conference game against Missouri last week. This time out the Red Raiders kept it close, but James Franklin and the Tigers were just too much. The Red Raiders remain at five wins, and are in jeopardy of being left out of a bowl game. They will face Baylor this week in their season finale. One more shot for head coach Tommy Tuberville to get Raider Nation into a bowl. Good luck, RG3 has shown time after time that he can’t be stopped.
A 61-7 loss to the Aggies last weekend makes nine straight losses for the Jayhawks. They’re 0-8 in conference play and some weeks I wonder if they ever even make it to the game. The Jayhawks have shown (minimal) flashes of brilliance, but none substantial enough to earn a win. With the addition of Texas Christian and West Virginia to the ranks of the Big 12 on the horizon, it seems as if the Jayhawks will revel in mediocrity for the foreseeable future. Don’t be surprised if the entire Jayhawks’ coaching staff gets the boot at season’s end.