1. Kansas State: The
most remarkable thing about the Wildcats is not just their consistency but the consistency of how they win games. Sure, KSU can
blow out bad teams, but when locked in a dogfight with a good team (Oklahoma,
Iowa State), they manage to play excellent defense and win close games. The
moral of the story is you don’t want to be in a tight game with Bill Snyder’s
group in the fourth quarter because the Cats win those just about every time.
2. Oklahoma: Since
the loss to Kansas State, the Sooners are playing better than any team in the
country. If—and it’s a huge if—KSU stumbles twice, the Sooners
should be there to grab the brass ring because it doesn’t look like they will
3. Texas Tech: The
demolition of West Virginia was an eye-opener, or should have been an
eye-opener for college football types all across the land. The Red Raider
defense is flat out for real. The stats are not a mirage. And when Seth Doege
is hitting his marks, Tech is capable of beating anybody.
4. TCU: After
listless performances against Kansas, Virginia and SMU, and a loss to Iowa
State, many folks were wondering whether the Horned Frogs would win another
game. Then starting quarterback Casey Pachall was
suspended from the team and the Toads played like gangbusters against Baylor in
the new QB’s second start. But the defense played by next week’s opponent,
Texas Tech, in no ways resembles the shambles Phil Bennett oversees.
5. West Virginia: We
all believed that if the Mountaineers lost, it would be because of their
terrible defense. Nobody imagined that an offensive seizure would do them in, but that’s what happened in Lubbock. Now Kansas
State and Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein come to Morgantown. Will the Heisman
favorite lose his halo two weeks in a row?
6. Iowa State: The
Cyclones lost to Kansas State last weekend, but gained lots of respect in the
process. Monster defensive tackle Jake McDonough spearheads one of the nation’s
toughest defenses. If ISU had a quarterback, they might be in the spot
currently occupied by KSU.
7. Oklahoma State: Coming
off a referee-authored defeat against Texas, the Cowboys were lackluster
against Kansas and could have lost the game. If they don’t regain their
pizzazz, they won’t survive Iowa State this weekend because the Cyclones are
far superior defensively to the Jayhawks.
8. Texas: Karma
rhymes with itch. And it descended upon the burnt orange thieves with crimson
and cream fury after they stole one in Stillwater. Now the Longhorn program is
in a state of extreme disarray. Football Baal seems to be calling in what is
owed him. (And pssst…Manny Diaz is no Art Kaufman.)
9. Baylor: The
Bears’ four-touchdown loss to TCU was almost as shocking as West Virginia’s
five-touchdown loss to Texas Tech. But when spread teams with bad defenses
sputter on offense, as they tend to do occasionally, bad and surprising losses result.
Nick Florence, who takes many risks, finally got burned, when the Frogs
intercepted him four times. Perhaps a porous Texas defense will fix what ails
Florence this weekend.
10. Kansas: The
Jayhawks’ only hope for another victory this season is that somebody overlooks
them as Oklahoma State did last weekend. Kansas’ offense is truly dreadful.
Their highest point total this season was 24 against a Rice stop unit that is
No. 106 in scoring defense.