6) Texas A&M (3-2, 1-1)
The Aggies took a step back to respectability by gaining a key road win at Texas Tech. But plenty of questions still remain, especially the A&M defense, once vaunted as a deadly unit. The Aggies lead the league in rushing defense, and have piled up a conference-high 21 sacks this year, but are arguably the league's worst pass defense when the quarterback gets the ball off. That's not a good trait to take into a matchup against red-hot Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. Expect the Aggies to ride their hot rushing offense to try and slow things down a bit.
Last Time Out: W 45-40 at Texas Tech
Next Time Out: vs. Baylor
7) Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1)
In a way, the Red Raiders' loss to A&M last week showed the team's best and worst sides. On one hand, the Texas Tech offense continued its trend of moving the ball and scoring points. And on the other hand, the Red Raider defense allowed another opponent to do the same. Losing Eric Stephens, who had emerged as one of the Big 12's top running backs, hurts. Tech is still in the process of building up the running game, and a new weapon will have to emerge in that phase of the game.
Last Time Out: L 45-40 vs. Texas A&M
Next Time Out: vs. Kansas State
8) Missouri (2-3, 0-2)
The Tigers entered the season as a darkhorse candidate to win the league after returning pretty much every key piece except for a quarterback and a defensive end. But injuries and inconsistency have nagged Missouri all year, with the Tigers dropping their third road game after struggling to do anything against a good Kansas State defense. Just looking at the pieces, the Tigers should improve, and this week could be their chance to get back on the winning track. Missouri is still the most talented of the former Big 12 North teams, and still has the players to make a little run, though the margin for error has gotten razor thin.
Last Time Out: L 24-17 at Kansas State
Next Time Out: vs. Iowa State
9) Iowa State (3-2, 0-2)
Iowa State appeared to be much improved after a strong non-conference season that saw the Cyclones beat Iowa and Connecticut in going 3-0. But since the start of conference season, it's been business as usual, with the Cyclones dropping a pair of double-digit defeats. The Cyclones have more pieces on offense than normal, but not enough to outscore most of the league. That makes this week's game against Missouri, which is still struggling to find an offense, as close to an early must-win as you'll find.
Last Time Out: L 49-26 at Baylor
Next Time Out: at Missouri
10) Kansas (2-3, 1-1)
Typically in the second year of a coach's tenure, you want to see improvement. And offensively, the Jayhawks have done just that. They're putting up almost 35 points and 460 yards per game, rushing for more than 200 per contest and riding quarterback Jordan Webb — the conference's No. 2 rated passer behind Baylor's Griffin. But then there's the defense, which isn't just bad, it's historically bad. The Jayhawks are dead last in the country in both total defense and scoring defense, and are on pace to allow a record number of points. That makes this week's game against Oklahoma a "hide the women and small children" type contest.
Last Time Out: L 70-28 at Oklahoma State
Next Time Out: vs. Oklahoma