Here’s a look at the state of the Big 12 this week:
Baylor got a late bye week to recover and stew over being left out of the College Football Playoff picture again. Bryce Petty played his most masterful game of the season against Oklahoma; it remains to be seen whether it can continue against Oklahoma State.
2. No. 5 TCU Horned Frogs (9-1,6-1). This week: Bye
The Horned Frogs looked less than impressive in a come-from-behind victory against Kansas on Saturday. The defense allowed Kansas QB Michael Cummings to throw for 332 yards and two touchdowns. Only a big day from running back Aaron Green allowed TCU to pull away. TCU will have a week to think over its performance before heading to Austin to play Texas.
3. No. 12 Kansas State Wildcats (7-2, 5-1). This week: at West Virginia
The Wildcats had a week to think about their embarrassing loss to TCU on Nov. 8, where Kansas State was definitively defined as the third-best team in the conference. K-State still has three games left, including road trips to Morgantown, W.Va., and Waco. We will learn plenty about the Snydercats the final three weeks of the season.
4. Texas Longhorns (6-5, 5-3). This week: vs. TCU
The Longhorns have been as surprising as any team in college football to close the season. Since getting blanked by Kansas State on Oct. 25, the Horns have scored 28 or more points in each subsequent performance. Texas has a massive game against TCU left on the schedule.
5. Oklahoma Sooners (7-3, 4-3). This week: vs. Kansas
We saw Oklahoma really struggle against Texas Tech with Trevor Knight out due to injury. Cody Thomas threw three costly interceptions, but Samaje Perine was eventually able to lead the Sooners back. With Knight expected to be out another week, Oklahoma could be due for another poor performance against Kansas.
6. West Virginia Mountaineers (6-4,4-3). This week: vs. Kansas State
West Virginia was sitting pretty at 6-2 only a few short weeks ago, but things have gone south quickly. The Mountaineers lost a heartbreaker against TCU, and followed it up with getting killed by Texas in Austin. There are only two games left, and there is still plenty we do not know about this football team.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-5, 3-4). This week: at Baylor
The Cowboys have been as bad as any team in the Big 12 over the past four weeks. Oklahoma State has been outscored by a margin of 152-40 during its four straight losses. There is no light at the end of the tunnel: OSU finishes with Baylor and Oklahoma.
8. Kansas Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6). This week: at Oklahoma
The Jayhawks have looked surprisingly good the past few weeks, and almost picked up a second-straight victory for the first time in…a while. Unfortunately, TCU managed to come back, but the Jayhawks continue to play with crazy confidence since the firing of Charlie Weis.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-7, 1-6). This week: at Iowa State
Texas Tech played a tough game against Oklahoma this weekend, and freshman quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked about as good as he could look, throwing for 393 yards and four touchdowns without throwing a single pick. Unfortunately, the defense continues to be as lax as ever.
10. Iowa State Cyclones (2-7, 0-6). This week: vs. Texas Tech
The Cyclones are the unquestioned worst team in the Big 12. We will have to see how the football program responds to the adversity heading forward.