1. Baylor (9-0, 6-0 Big 12, last week: 1)
Despite their offense getting all the attention, the Bears’ defense has been equally as impressive. Last Saturday’s win over Oklahoma was the sixth time this season that Baylor has held its opponent to 14 points or less and the Bears rank in the Top 10 in the country in six different statistical categories, including total yards and total points allowed.
2. Texas (7-2, 6-0, last week: 2)
The Longhorns won their first overtime game in program history last weekend, but the bigger news came the following day, when running back Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Whaley were ruled out for the season. There’s never a good time to lose two of your best playmakers but, with Oklahoma State rolling into town this weekend, the timing couldn’t be worse.
3. Oklahoma State (8-1, 5-1, last week: 3)
The Cowboys have improved each week since losing to West Virginia, but these last three games will be the true test. After facing only one ranked team through their first nine games, the Pokes play each of their last three games against ranked opponents — Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma.
4. Oklahoma (7-2, 4-2, last week: 4)
After showing some promise against Texas Tech, the Sooners took a huge step back in the blowout loss to Baylor last weekend. Blake Bell has failed to live up to the expectations his predecessors set for him and his offense continues to sputter. With a couple tough road games left on the schedule, it could get worse for Bob Stoops and Co.
5. Kansas State (5-4, 3-3, last week: 6)
In true Bill Snyder fashion, the Wildcats just keep getting better and better. Kansas State, who has yet to lose a game by more than 10 points this year, has now won three in a row. With games against TCU, a struggling Oklahoma team, and Kansas left on the schedule, an 8-5 finish is not out of the question.
6. Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3, last week: 5)
A few weeks ago the Red Raiders’ neutral-site showdown with Baylor this weekend looked like it would be for first place in the Big 12. Now? Texas Tech looks like nothing more than a stepping stone along Baylor’s march to the top of the college football world.
7. West Virginia (4-6, 2-5, last week: 7)
Morgantown lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest places to play last weekend, with the Mountaineers nearly pulling off another major upset at home. It was a tough pill to swallow for West Virginia, but a couple wins against Kansas and Iowa State to end the season will send them to a bowl game.
8. TCU (4-6, 2-5, last week: 8)
It was a struggle, but the Horned Frogs were able to eek out a win at Iowa State last weekend, keeping their bowl dreams alive. But, with a road trip to Kansas State this weekend and a game against Baylor to finish the year, those dreams could become nightmares in a hurry.
9. Kansas (2-7, 0-6, last week: 9)
We didn’t expect much from the Jayhawks offense this year, but nobody could have predicted this. Since defeating South Dakota in the first week of the season, Kansas has yet to score 20 points in a game. Oh, and consider this stat: Now in his seventh season as an FBS head coach, Charlie Weis has yet to win a conference game.
10. Iowa State (1-8, 0-6, last week: 10)
It’s not the way any team wants to be known, but the Cyclones have got to be the best one-win team in the country. Last week’s devastating loss to TCU was the fifth time this year that Iowa State has lost by eight points or less.