1. Baylor (7-0, 4-0, last week: 1)
The Bears’ 59-point performance against Kansas was its second-lowest point total of the season. That’s all about to change, as Baylor’s final five opponents are each tougher than any team it has played this year. While the Bears do appear to be the cream of the crop in the Big 12, we’ll soon find out how good the Bears really are.
2. Texas (5-2, 4-0, last week: 3)
The Longhorns left the Metroplex victorious yet again as Case McCoy led his team to another win, despite a statistically unimpressive performance. If Texas can stay hot, we could have ourselves an unofficial Big 12 championship game when the Longhorns travel to Waco in the last week of the season.
3. Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1, last week: 4)
The Sooners got their biggest win of the season against Texas Tech last weekend and Blake Bell looked as good as he has all year, throwing for two touchdowns without any interceptions. Bob Stoops and Co. have the week off before they take on Baylor in what could be a Top 10 matchup next Thursday.
4. Texas Tech (7-1, 4-1, last week: 2)
The Red Raiders were knocked from the ranks of the undefeated last week, but didn’t go down without a fight. If it weren’t for a few costly turnovers, Texas Tech likely would have won the game. They’ll need to beat Oklahoma State this weekend, as a loss would almost certainly put an end to their Big 12 championship hopes.
5. Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1, last week: 5)
It might not be pretty, but the Cowboys keep finding ways to win. Despite another abysmal performance from quarterback Clint Chelf, the Pokes beat up on Iowa State last weekend, in large part due to junior Desmond Roland’s four rushing touchdowns. Nonetheless, if they can’t produce through the air in Lubbock this weekend, things could get ugly.
6. Kansas State (3-4, 1-3, last week: 8)
While a clear talent gap is developing between the top half of the conference and the teams at the bottom, the Wildcats may be the best of the worst. Bill Snyder’s bunch got its first Big 12 win of the season last week and still have a chance to earn a bowl bid down the stretch.
7. West Virginia (3-5, 1-4, last week: 6)
The Mountaineers’ early season upset of Oklahoma State is looking more and more like an anomaly as the season wears on. Despite its struggles, West Virginia still has a shot at making the postseason, with three of its last four games coming against the teams below them on this list.
8. TCU (3-5, 1-4, last week: 7)
It’s hard to believe that some had the Horned Frogs as the preseason Big 12 favorites. The season can’t end soon enough for Gary Patterson, and he might just get his wish. With their bowl chances having all but disappeared, TCU’s season might end before December for the first time since 2004.
9. Kansas (2-5, 0-4, last week: 9)
The Jayhawks are doing everything they can to drop to the bottom of these rankings, but Iowa State just isn’t having it. They’ve lost their first four Big 12 contests by an average of 27 points. With Texas and Oklahoma State up next on the schedule, we can expect more of the same.
10. Iowa State (1-6, 0-4, last week: 10)
Try as hard as they might, the Cyclones cannot climb out of the cellar. After keeping it close in their first couple Big 12 games, Iowa State has been blown out in each of its last two, allowing an average of 65 points in those blowouts. If the Cyclones can’t get a win before then, their Nov. 23 matchup with Kansas could decide who finishes last in the conference.