If you didn’t already know, the Horned Frogs put up 82 points against Tech. 82. That’s a lot. And, after struggling to hold onto his job last year, junior Trevone Boykin is now a Heisman hopeful. He threw for 433 yards and seven touchdowns against Tech to give him 24 total touchdowns compared to just three picks. TCU is for real, and you can’t help but wonder where they’d be if former defensive end Devonte Fields had kept his head on straight.
2. Kansas State
Can a team be more fundamentally sound than the Wildcats? They don’t wow you, but they impress you. Against Texas, they only had three penalties, were efficient on third down and didn’t turn the ball over. Their 3.57 penalties per game average ranks third in the nation, and their six turnovers rank fifth. They just don’t beat themselves, and that’s why Bill Snyder is coaching in a stadium named after him.
Even with two losses, the Sooners are still a solid team. They are well rounded with a good defense and a decent offense. However, they aren’t great anywhere. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight has had a rather disappointing year, while freshman running back Samaje Perine has proven to be the team’s best offensive weapon. He’s averaging nearly five yards a carry to complement his 10 rushing touchdowns.
4. West Virginia
Who saw this coming? The Mountaineers are playing some of the best football in the Big 12 right now. They blew past Baylor and crushed Oklahoma State. In their final four games, they will face TCU and Kansas State, but, if redshirt senior quarterback Clint Trickett keeps playing the way he’s been playing, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Mountaineers finish the season atop the conference.
It’s hard to believe how far the Bears have fallen, but they have been largely unimpressive recently. They should have lost to TCU, giving up 58 points. They were exposed by West Virginia, allowing the Mountaineers to put up 41. And frankly, senior quarterback Bryce Petty hasn’t been as good as people expected. He’s completed less than 50 percent of his passes in his last three games.
6. Oklahoma State
There’s a big gap between the Cowboys and the top-five teams in the Big 12. They’ve lost two in a row, both in ugly fashion, and in the final third of the season the Pokes will play Kansas State, Oklahoma and Baylor on the road. There’s a good chance they lose all three.
After sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes finally showed promise, he took a big step back when his Longhorns were shut out for the first time since 2004. The Longhorns aren’t good, but they aren’t roadkill either. They have the talent to keep up with most teams, but they shouldn’t be considered a threat to win.
8. Iowa State
The best of the worst. The Cyclones can hang around with the top teams, but they simply can’t get the wins. Redshirt junior quarterback Sam Richardson is playing well, and senior E.J. Bibbs is the best tight end in the Big 12. However, their defense is really bad, as it allows over 35 points per game.
9. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders just gave up 82 points to TCU. They are allowing over 42 points per game — the third-worst mark in the nation. As always, their offense has been solid, as sophomore quarterback Davis Webb is one of the best in the league, but the defense is simply too bad to overcome.
The Jayhawks have kept things close in a few Big 12 games this year and have won two non-conference contests — small victories.