World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht ranks the Big 12 teams from top to bottom, including recent opponent information and team capsule information.
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1. NEBRASKA (7-1, 3-1)
Last week: Beat Missouri 31-17.
This week: at Iowa State, 2:30 p.m., ABC. Nothing like entering November in control of your own destiny. But the Huskers still have plenty to work on, specifically trying to play four good quarters.
2. MISSOURI (7-1, 3-1)
Last week: Lost to Nebraska 31-17.
This week: at Texas Tech, 7 p.m., ABC. The Tigers will be clear favorites in their final four games (Texas Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State, Kansas), which keeps the heat on Nebraska.
3. OKLAHOMA (7-1, 3-1)
Last week: Beat Colorado 43-10.
This week: at Texas A&M, 6 p.m., FSN. It’s up to the Sooners this week to play better on the road and to complete a game without a fourth-quarter slide.
4. OKLAHOMA STATE (7-1, 3-1)
Last week: Beat Kansas State 24-14.
This week: Baylor, 11:30 a.m., FSN. A solid, no-nonsense bounce-back at Kansas State keeps the Cowboys in the middle of the South race and in control of their future.
5. BAYLOR (7-2, 4-1)
Last week: Beat Texas 30-22.
This week: at Oklahoma State, 11:30 a.m., FSN. Art Briles’ aggressive coaching moves at Texas were a big key in that win. The Bears won’t flinch during this rare opportunity to actually be a factor.
6. KANSAS STATE (5-3, 2-3)
Last week: Lost to Oklahoma State 24-14.
This week: Texas, 7 p.m., ESPN2. K-Staters are hoping for an ugly, cold, blustery night when Texas comes to Manhattan, where the Wildcats are 2-1 vs. the Longhorns.
7. IOWA STATE (5-4, 3-2)
Last week: Beat Kansas 28-16.
This week: Nebraska, 2:30 p.m., ABC. No one outside the Cyclone inner circle expected a bowl bid this season with the killer schedule ISU faced. But one more win will do it.
8. TEXAS A&M (5-3, 2-2)
Last week: Beat Texas Tech 45-27.
This week: Oklahoma, 6 p.m., FSN. Look at the newfound spark in the step of the Aggies after a quarterback change. But the November schedule (OU, Baylor, NU, Texas) is a grind.
9. TEXAS (4-4, 2-3)
Last week: Lost to Baylor 30-22.
This week: at Kansas State, 7 p.m., ESPN2. Now that the streak of nine straight seasons with at least 10 wins is history, some UT fans are wondering if two more wins to reach bowl eligibility is a worry.
10. TEXAS TECH (4-4, 2-4)
Last week: Lost to Texas A&M 45-27.
This week: Missouri, 7 p.m., ABC. With Mike Leach gone, the defense was expected to improve. It hasn’t. Tech is 98th in scoring defense, 113th in total defense and 119th in pass defense. Out of 120.
11. COLORADO (3-5, 0-4)
Last week: Lost to Oklahoma 43-10.
This week: at Kansas, 1 p.m., no TV. Early gossip on a Dan Hawkins successor: ex-CU coach Bill McCartney, ex-CU player Dave Logan, OU assistant Brent Venables, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun.
12. KANSAS (2-6, 0-4)
Last week: Lost to ISU 28-16.
This week: Colorado, 1 p.m., no TV. With Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Missouri next, the Jayhawks had better take advantage of what looks like one last chance this week to win a league game.