Outside of the Texas Longhorns' continued slide into oblivion, no huge surprises or stories emerged from week three in the Big 12. But the Longhorn collapse is not only the biggest story in the Big 12 thus far, if it continues, it will be one of the chief developments in all of college football.
1. Baylor (same): The Bears were idle, but their "best" opponent thus far, the University of Buffalo, took five overtimes to get past mighty Slippery Rock. We might not know if the Bears are for real until they begin a four-game stretch in November that reads Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU.
2. Oklahoma State (same): The Cowboys amassed only 426 yards against a Lamar team that had no business being on the field with them, but thanks to sterling defense and special teams, collected a 59-3 victory. Had an errant J. W. Walsh been his usual accurate self, the result would have been even more lopsided.
3. Oklahoma (+1): Blake Bell went from being the Belldozer to the bell-cow of Oklahoma's offense. Subbing for an injured Trevor Knight, Bell threw for over 400 yards and looked nothing like the mechanical stiff who occasionally threw the ball last season. If Bell's performance wasn't a fluke, Oklahoma has suddenly became a much more dangerous team. That said, Tulsa did manage to crease the previously invulnerable Sooner defense a time or two.
4. Texas Tech (+1): The most impressive performance by any Big 12 team was Texas Tech's. The Red Raiders, led by two true freshman quarterbacks, gutted out a victory over a very tough TCU squad. The win should be a confidence-builder. And if the Red Raiders gain enough confidence, they will be a match for any team in the Big 12.
5. TCU (-2): Despite losing to Texas Tech, the Horned Frogs remain a formidable football team. The TCU defense played better against the Red Raiders than they had at any point in the season. This team will bounce back.
6. Kansas State (same): The Wildcats eased past a now 0-3 UMass team 37-7. A vintage Bill Snyder team would have beaten the Minutemen 67-7. Kansas State, despite replacing a plethora of starters on the defensive side of the ball, is playing pretty good defense, but the offense is just not ringing the bell. Next week's matchup against the dramatically underachieving Texas Longhorns will be interesting for all sorts of reasons.
7. West Virginia (+1): Yes, the Mountaineers won their game 41-7. But their opponent, winless Georgia State, may be the worst FBS team in America. The Panthers had lost to Stamford and were pounded by Tennessee-Chattanooga before drawing West Virginia. Of note is Dana Holgorsen's decision to start redshirt freshman Ford Childress at quarterback over Paul Millard and Clint Trickett. It looks like WVU will have quarterback issues all season long.
8. Texas (-1): Give credit where credit is due—the Texas rushing defense was 50 percent better against Mississippi than it was against BYU. After giving up 550 rushing yards to the Cougars, the Longhorns held the Rebels to a mere 272. And Texas lost another game, this time by a score of 44-23. Look for Bill Snyder to throw lots of Daniel Sams at the porous Longhorn run defense.
9. Iowa State (+1): After losing to Iowa, the Iowa State Cyclones are now 0-2 pending a Thursday night tilt at Tulsa. If Iowa State doesn't win that one—and there's no guarantee they will—this team could be winless going into the Kansas game on November 23. It's looking pretty grim in Ames these days.
10. Kansas (-1): The Jayhawks tallied 11 first downs in this weekend's game…against Rice! Kansas has an offense that even the Texas Longhorns might be able to handle.