Websider's Big 12 South Report

Now that Big 12 Conference play is upon us, Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp ranks the teams of the Big 12 South so far this year. Where are the Aggies at after week one of conference play? Read the full story.

After four weeks of the 2007 season and one week of conference play, teams are starting to show what they're made of for the most part. There are still some questions, especially with my middle four teams in the Big 12 South, but for the most part, you can generally categorize the division into three part's—Oklahoma, the middle of the pack, and Baylor.

Is this the order that the teams will finish the season in? Probably not. But as of right now, this is where things stand. The picture will become much clearer in another two weeks after OSU, A&M and Tech have all played each other. If the Aggies can survive both of those games, they will pretty much be a lock for the No. 2 team in the division, setting up a showdown in Norman just three weeks later.

1. Oklahoma (4-1, 0-1)
Yeah, the Sooners lost a heart-breaker to Colorado as time expired on Saturday, but that game truly was a case of a team beating itself. The Sooners outgained Colorado by 151 yards (381 – 230), they dominated time of possession (38:54 – 21:06) and held a 24-10 lead at the end of the third quarter. But six turnovers was a deal-killer for Stoops and Co., who dropped to No. 10 in both polls on Sunday. But the Sooners will be back, and unfortunately for the Longhorns, they'll be looking to make a statement next weekend at the Red River Shootout in Dallas.

T-2. Texas A&M (4-1, 1-0) The Miami loss was a bad loss. There's no two ways around it, but with the Sooners and Longhorns both going down this weekend, the South is wide open for the Aggies, who still have a tough schedule filled with games on the road, but with a winnable game against Oklahoma State up next (which all of a sudden is for sole possession of first place in the Big 12 South) the Aggies find themselves back in control of their destiny. The next week against Texas Tech could be a shot at redemption for Franchione and the Aggies. Again, if they're able to somehow slow down the Red Raiders' aerial assault, a showdown with the Sooners will be looming on November 3 with lots of ramifications.

T-2. Texas Tech (4-1, 0-1)
Mike Leach was upset after starting the season 0-1 in Big 12 play in Stillwater last week. So much so, that defensive coordinator Lyle Setincich "resigned" for personal reasons just hours later. But even with a porous defense, the Red Raiders would probably be 1-0 in conference play if wide receiver Michael Crabtree had hauled in a go ahead touchdown with less than a minute to play against the Cowboys. Leach and his offense took out those frustrations this week with a 75-7 win against Northwestern State. In my opinion, the game against A&M will determine the No. 2 spot in the division, unless one or both of those teams is able to knock off Oklahoma.

T-4. Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-0)
Oklahoma State escaped it's Big 12 Conference opener last week against Texas Tech thanks to an early Christmas present from Crabtree, but there are still lots of questions in Stillwater for the "40-year-old man." Mainly, how did you lose to Troy? Yes, Oklahoma State found its offense against Texas Tech's not-so-good defense, but will the Cowboys have the same kind of success as the rest of their season unfolds? They may have the most potential to move up ahead of A&M and Tech, but they are just as likely to finish fifth in my opinion. The match up this weekend at Kyle Field will tell us a lot more about both the Cowboys and the Aggies.

T-4. Texas (4-1, 0-1)
I think the Longhorns will probably finish third or fourth in the Big 12 South at season's end, especially now that quarterback Colt McCoy is injured, which I also thought was a real possibility for the Horns entering the season. Texas has not looked good at all this year, hanging on to beat an overrated TCU squad and needed a bad call by a referee to keep Arkansas State from having a chance to tie the game in the final minute of play. Mac Brown is going to have to pull something out of his sleeve to leave the Cotton Bowl in one piece this weekend. Personally, I think Stoops and Co. will make a statement against the Horns, and it won't be pretty. Think 65-13 in 2005. If that happens, how will the Horns respond?

6. Baylor (3-2, 0-1)
Baylor is bad—real bad. The Bears came into College Station this weekend and were absolutely man handled by an A&M team that was reeling from a 34-17 loss at Miami just nine days earlier. If the Aggies had converted three missed field goals and a couple of third down situations, it could have been a lot worse than 34-10 as well. Blake Zsymanski was not hitting his receivers, and when he did, they couldn't hold onto the ball. They are talking about winning three more games to become bowl eligible, but unless they improve dramatically, that's not very likely.




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