6) Iowa State (3-0, 0-0)
Some teams just don't know when to give up, a trait shown by the Cyclones in their past two wins, beating Iowa and then traveling to Connecticut for a close win. Iowa State trailed in the latter game 10-0, and again in the fourth quarter 20-17, but were able to come back both times, thanks largely to the play of quarterback Steele Jantz. If there's one player who exemplifies that 'never say die' attitude, it's Jantz, who rebounded from a rough start of his own and hit Darius Reynolds for the game-winning 20-yard touchdown pass. He's not without help, as players like Reynolds, Shontrelle Johnson and Aaron Horne have upgraded the skill positions to the highest level they've been at under coach Paul Rhoads. If the Cyclones can beat Texas in Ames on Saturday, they'll be staring a bowl game (and potentially more) right in the face.
Last Time Out: W 24-20 at Connecticut
Next Time Out: vs. Texas (Saturday)
7) Kansas State (3-0, 0-0)
You can't ever count a Bill Snyder team out. after a near escape against an FCS team and a blowout over a mediocre Kent State squad, most people expected the Wildcats to come crashing back to earth against Miami. Instead, they came out and punched Miami in the mouth in taking a 14-3 lead and weathered a Hurricane comeback to claim a big road win. Quarterback Collin Klein was magnificent in the win, displaying outstanding toughness. And John Hubert likely won the running back job outright after rushing for 166 yards on 18 carries. The defense continued its outstanding play by holding tight on the goal line in the final minutes. Now, they'll face their toughest test yet in a Baylor team that is playing out of its mind offensively.
Last Time Out: W 28-24 at Miami (Fla.)
Next Time Out: vs. Baylor (Saturday)
8) Missouri (2-2, 0-1)
Missouri was the first Big 12 team to lose a game (and one of only two to drop a non-conference contest), and now is the first team to two losses. So why aren't the Tigers last? Simply put, they've lost two games on the road, with last week's defeat coming to then-No. 1 ranked Oklahoma. In fact, this spot might be slightly too low in the long run for a Tiger team that has discovered a running back in Henry Josey to pair with quarterback James Franklin. Now, if the Tigers could find a legitimate deep threat to stretch the field and keep opposing defenses from stuffing the box, they would be set.
Last Time Out: L 38-28 at Oklahoma
Next Time Out: at Kansas State (Oct. 8)
9) Texas Tech (3-0, 0-0)
The Red Raiders received a big-time scare from Nevada, after the Wolfpack put up 562 offensive yards and nearly snuck out of Lubbock with a win. But Tech QB Seth Doege hit Eric Ward for a four-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left and the Red Raiders were able to escape. It's hard to figure this Tech team out. They seem like a shoot-out type of squad, but don't appear to be as good at the skill positions as they have been (with the exception of Eric Stephens at running back). They need to get the defense together as well, after allowing 312 yards rushing and 6.8 yards per carry to the Wolfpack. That won't cut it against a Kansas team that has shown the ability to run the ball.
Last Time Out: W 35-34 vs. Nevada
Next Time Out: at Kansas (Saturday)
10) Kansas (2-1, 0-0)
The last time we saw the Jayhawks, they were allowing rushing yardage in record-breaking chunks to Georgia Tech. They've had two weeks to sit on that loss, and a bye week to prepare for the Red Raiders. Getting back key defensive players like Patrick Dorsey and Tunde Bakare should help some (neither played against GT), and Kansas will likely play some freshmen in the back end. How quickly they adjust should detail whether the Jayhawks have a chance to sneak out a homecoming win or not this week … as they should be able to move the ball on a less-than-salty Tech defense.
Last Time Out: L 66-24 at Georgia Tech
Next Time Out: vs. Texas Tech (Saturday)