1. Oklahoma State: Much like a couple of past Texas Tech teams, all the Cowboys have to do to win the Big 12 is defeat the Oklahoma Sooners. The Red Raiders never got it done. Never came close, really. We shall see whether or not Oklahoma State still has enough plutonium in the reactor to finish the job. The last time the Cowboys played, they suffered their only loss of the year against Iowa State. That may bode ill for OSU's hopes.
2. Oklahoma: The Sooners also played Iowa State in their last game and ground out a solid if unspectacular 26-6 victory. OU will almost certainly need to score more than 26 points to beat the Cowboys in Stillwater.
3. Kansas State: And this week it's Kansas State's turn to battle Cyclones. In their last outing, one week after a quadruple overtime win over Texas A&M, the Wildcats went into Austin and took one from a fired up Texas team. This well constructed KSU team just shows no sign of folding down the stretch.
4. Baylor: The Bears conclude their regular season with a home tilt against Texas. The Longhorn defense will present a considerably more formidable challenge than that posed by Tech's, but the Texas offense doesn't figure to ring the bell enough to outscore Robert Griffin and company.
5. Missouri: The Tigers slumbered their way past rival Kansas 24-10 to finish 7-5. It speaks well for the talent in Columbia that Mizzou secured bowl eligibility despite playing most of their games as though they were in an 8 a.m. calculus class.
6. Texas: The Longhorns have a real McCoy. That became clear when Case McCoy scrambled for 25-plus yards in the waning moments to set up Ryan Tucker's game-winning field goal against Texas A&M. This Red Raider fan experienced nauseating flashbacks at that moment. And McCoy the Younger will doubtless make many opponents feel ill over the next three years.
7. Texas A&M: The Aggies fired Mike Sherman and rightfully so. There is no logical reason a team as talented as the 2011 A&M squad should have gone 6-6. Now there is intense pressure on the Aggie brass to hire the right replacement for Sherman. Select the wrong coach and Texas A&M will be a pollywog in the SEC pond for many years to come.
8. Iowa State: Well, it's safe to say that the Cyclones are the best eighth best college football team in America. They've only won three conference games, but Iowa State is a tough out for anybody these days. If the Cyclones manage to upset K-State in Manhattan, they will have had one heck of a season.
9. Texas Tech: The 2011 season was a nightmare in Raiderland, and it won't soon be forgotten. All of the air has been sucked from this once proud program. Now begins the arduous and difficult task of pumping wind back into the sails.
10. Kansas: The failed Turner Gill experiment is over. The Jayhawks recognized their mistake after only two years, and did what had to be done in firing Gill. Now perhaps they'll hire a football coach to win games rather than to please the media.