1) No. 10 TCU (5-1, 2-1) 42-9 win vs. Oklahoma State
(Last week: 2)
Despite a slip-up in Waco, Texas, the Horned Frogs are still the team to beat in the conference. They have what might be the best all-around quarterback in the league in junior Trevone Boykin and are primed to win the conference with one of the best defenses in the country.
2) No. 11 K-State (5-1, 3-0) 31-30 win at Oklahoma
(Last week: 3)
On the backs of senior quarterback Jake Waters and the Wildcat offense, this team is riding high since their loss to Auburn on Sept. 18. As the last Big 12 team that’s undefeated in conference play, they are in prime position to make a run through the rest of its schedule and compete to win the conference championship. However, nothing will be easy for the No. 11 Wildcats as road contests at TCU, West Virginia and Baylor still exist.
3) No. 12 Baylor (6-1, 3-1) 27-41 loss at West Virginia
(Last week: 1)
In by far their worst game of the season, the Bears had issues with both consistency and committing penalties. Baylor took over Texas Tech’s spot as the league and nationwide leader in penalty yardage with 104.57 penalty yards per game.
Even with the loss, the Bears still remain one of the top teams in the conference and remain a team to beat. With Heisman hopeful Bryce Petty at the helm of the offense, this team is never out of a game.
4) No. 17 Oklahoma (5-2, 2-2) 30-31 loss vs. K-State
(Last week: 4)
In need of serious help, the Sooners continued to struggle against the Wildcats. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops couldn’t get his team to stop the rushing and passing attack of the Wildcats’ option-oriented offense. The delayed pass continually destroyed the Sooners secondary, while Oklahoma allowed Waters to confuse them beyond belief.
The Sooners have a lot to prove about their performance late in games before they can become a competitive team in conference play.
5) No. 22 West Virginia (5-2, 3-1) 41-27 win vs. Baylor
(Last week: 6)
Dana Holgorsen and his team have slowly made a comeback in the eyes of the Big 12 elite. After having their comeback stifled against Oklahoma, they’ve gone on quite a run following dominant wins over Kansas and Texas Tech. The Mountaineers have had one of the most lethal air attacks in the nation and will look to stretch it forward as they head to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State on Saturday.
6) Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) 9-42 loss at TCU
(Last week: 5)
The Cowboys record shows signs of conference dominance, but all of those wins have come against the teams in the bottom half of the Big 12. Mike Gundy’s team is ranked in the bottom half of most stats in the conference. They haven’t shown that they can be competitive against their better opponents, mainly because of a blowout loss to TCU, and they’ve yet to reach the toughest part of their schedule.
7) Texas (3-4, 2-2) 48-45 win vs. Iowa State
(Last week: 8)
In the high-powered offensive landscape that is the Big 12, the Longhorns’ pass defense keeps them competitive in the conference. While some people may have given up on Texas, head coach Charlie Strong knows what he wants his team to accomplish this season. He’s doing a good job at molding the program into what he wants moving forward.
Strong, who is traditionally known for his defensive prowess, has already put his stamp on the program. The Longhorns defense is ranked fifth in the country in passing yards allowed, which is coming after already playing Baylor and its dangerous passing attack.
8) Texas Tech (3-4, 1-3) 34-21 vs. Kansas
(Last week: 7)
The Red Raiders are a mystery team that has the talent on offense to win, but can’t overcome their poor defense and costly mistakes. Sophomore quarterback Davis Webb is a star and can lead this team through the hard Big 12 schedule. However, averaging 92.57 penalty yards per game, which is the second most in the country, kills almost all momentum that the offense creates.
9) Iowa State (2-5, 0-4) 45-48 at Texas
(Last week: 9)
In a game that came down to the wire, the Cyclones again found themselves at the losing end of a close game. Iowa State has yet to beat a conference opponent since they beat Kansas and West Virginia in back to back weeks last season.
The Cyclones, who have a bye week before they play Oklahoma at home, may have to wait until they play the Jayhawks before they have a truly winnable game.
10) Kansas (2-5, 0-4) 21-34 at Texas Tech
(Last week: 10)
The Jayhawks’ season is going downhill fast. With four-straight losses and three of their toughest games to finish the season, it is unlikely that they gain any momentum and win multiple games.