1. Oklahoma State-
The Cowboys sure made things interesting last week against Kansas State but were able to squeak past the Wildcats to remain undefeated. Quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 500 more yards as the Cowboys’ offense put up 52 points. Defense continues to be an area of concern with this team, but in their favor the Wildcats have shown they can put up points against nearly anyone.
A win is a win at this point in the season, but the Sooners’ most recent victory against the Texas A&M came at a serious price. Wide receiver Ryan Broyles was lost for the year when he tore his ACL against the Aggies. The Sooners were even outgained on offense by the Aggies last week but controlled time of possession and limited turnovers to win the game.
The Longhorns continue to improve with every game, and last week was no different. The tandem of running backs Joe Bergeron and Fozzy Whittaker scorched Texas Tech for nearly 300 yards on the ground and the Longhorns didn’t turn the ball over. Sounds kind of like an SEC team (paging the Aggies). Texas didn’t necessarily stop the pass, giving up almost 400 yards through the air to the Red Raiders. However, the bend-don’t-break philosophy of the Longhorns’ defense only gave up 20 points.
4. Kansas State-
Wildcats’ quarterback Collin Klein is on absolute fire this year. He totaled four more touchdowns in defeat last week, pushing his total to 28 this season. The Wildcats were one goal line play away from pulling off a shocking upset over Oklahoma State. There’s no doubt this team has an identity, and that is power football.
5. Texas A&M-
It’s no coincidence that in the last two games the Aggies have lost, quarterback Ryan Tannehill has thrown four combined interceptions. When Tannehill is efficient with the ball the Aggies tend to follow suit and play much better, but when he’s not, the whole team suffers. The Aggies’ defense has shown a propensity for giving up big numbers through the air, but if they don’t key on the run this week against Kansas State, they’ll be .500 on the season and near the bottom of the barrel in the Big 12.
Another close game for the Bears against Missouri last week. They were able to top the Tigers 42-39 and quarterback Robert Griffin once again put on an offensive clinic to help the Bears to victory. He leads the conference in total scoring with 30 total touchdowns compared to only four interceptions. Mind-boggling numbers for a super-talented athlete.
Four of the Tigers’ five losses this year have been decided by 10 points or less. The Tigers could be in a much different spot if they can figure out how to close out games. Running back Henry Josey has kept up his torrid pace on the ground as he gained another 132 yards rushing and two scores last week. The Tigers have a young core of players that may not do much in the way of wins the rest of this season but will gain valuable experience to take into next season.
8. Texas Tech-
Not many people expected the Red Raiders to suffer a blow out on the road last week, but then again no one expected Iowa State to win in Lubbock two weeks ago. It’s been an odd year all around for the Red Raiders. Quarterback Seth Doege has played extremely well but the rest of the team has not stepped up and injuries have plagued many skill positions.
9. Iowa State-
After sneaking past Kansas last week 13-10, the Cyclones will have two weeks to prepare for the Cowboys. They won’t be out of the woods after that game, either. In the final two weeks the Cyclones will battle Oklahoma and Kansas State to finish out the regular season. That can’t be easy to prepare for, but if there’s one positive to take away from this team, it has been the play of quarterback Jared Barnett. The freshman has carried his team to two big wins the last couple of weeks and is only getting better.
Not much left to say about the Jayhawks, but let’s give it a shot anyway. Seven consecutive losses, dead last in points allowed — starting to get the picture? They’re terrible. Three games remain on the Jayhawks’ schedule, but even winning all three wouldn’t make them bowl eligible.