Just when things start to clear up, you get a weekend like last weekend. We learned a little more about some teams, perhaps in a negative way and we learned that if anything, this league is still wide open. For now our number one is the only clear portion of the picture, but that number one has a HUGE test on the road this week against a team that was previously our clear no. 2, but now sits in the mud with a handful of others just below the surface.
1. Kansas State
How They Fared: 27-21 win over Iowa State
Next Up: WVU
Previous Ranking #1
K-State cleared the all important hurdle in Ames. Funny how that road game has become a potential stumbling block for the top teams nearly every year. Bill Snyder is now firmly in the drivers seat but the big tests just keep coming for this team as they now face West Virginia on the road and the Mountaineers are coming off of a loss. If the Wildcats can pull off the win in Morgantown, pencil them in for a BCS appearance because I don't see anyone stopping them. From that point on, it's a matter of whether or not Snyder can get his shot at a BCS title. They'll have to stop Geno Smith first.
How They Fared: 63-21 win over Texas
Who's Next: Kansas
Previous Ranking #4
Oklahoma re-established themselves as a potential Big 12 contender. They'll need some help considering the Wildcats already hold the tiebreaker, but the schedule is tough across the board and the Sooners do seem to be improving as the season goes. Consistency will be key, this week they get Kansas before playing an odd Notre Dame matchup mid season.
3. Texas Tech
How They Fared: 49-14 win over WVU
Next Up: TCU
Previous Ranking #5
Too soon to move Tech up this high? They did dominate a WVU team that was one of the most potent offensive attacks in the nation. They also have every right to claim that they are the best team in Texas at this moment. They'll play TCU who is also in the hunt for that title and oddly enough the Longhorns might be the team near the bottom of that list. Tuberville has the Red Raiders sitting at 5-1, ranked in the top 25 and a coach once on the hot seat seems to be warming up to a fanbase in Lubbock.
4. West Virginia
How They Fared: 49-14 loss to Tech
Who's Next: Kansas State
Previous Ranking #2
Back to back road trips to the state of Texas proved to be too much for the Mountaineers. The jubilation that fell over the program following the win over Texas was probably premature and overemphasized as it appears that may have only marked a win over a Texas team that still isn't the Texas of old. WVU needs to regroup this week or they could find themselves two games back in the Big 12 title hunt when a week ago they felt they were on the way to winning the title in their first year.
How They Fared: 49-21 win over Baylor
Next Up: Texas Tech
Previous Ranking #9
TCU apparently had a strong disagreement with my no. 9 assessment a week ago and they went out and looked significantly better. The loss at quarterback is much less a concern now than it was a short time ago and the defense stepped up to hold a potent Baylor attack to their lowest output of the season. TCU v Tech for the Texas state title this weekend?
6. Iowa State
How They Fared: 27-21 loss to Kansas State
Up Next: Oklahoma State
Previous Ranking #7
Time to pick the most loveable losers! Iowa State put up a good fight against Kansas State and despite the loss they are competing in every game, winning more than they are losing and they are a solid team. Hard to say if Rhoades will ever get over the proverbial hump in Ames, but he's playing in bowl games and putting a competitive product on the field, that's a start.
How They Fared: 49-14 loss to TCU
Who's Next: Texas
Previous Rankin: #6
Baylor struggled against TCU and now they have to regroup against big brother up in Austin. Both teams are licking their wounds and the loser of this one will be in the leader in the barn for the title of 'worst team in Texas'. Baylor has certainly had moments where they have looked pretty good, but the defensive woes just aren't going to be enough when you don't have RGIII to carry the load on offense week in and week out.
8. Oklahoma State
How They Fared: Bye
Up Next: Kansas
Previous Ranking #8
I'm probably still underestimating this team and they'll be out for revenge this week against Iowa State, but either Kansas has improved or Oklahoma State has regressed. I think given recent history you have to look at the game in Lawrence and take a wait and see approach with Kansas which means only one thing, Oklahoma State is in fact not the same Oklahoma State. That's understandable and maybe they prove everyone wrong from here on out, but they have three quality opponents. The one win was against Kansas who shockingly has the best defense of those three "quality" opponents. OSU lost to Arizona and Texas who now both have bottom tier ranked defensive units.
How They Fared: 63-21 loss to Oklahoma
Up Next: Baylor
Previous Ranking #3
Too low? Too kneejerk? Probably, but Texas looked like a team defeated and now all those naysayers and all the David Ash, Mack Brown detractors are going to start coming out of the woodwork. Texas was supposed to be able to hang their hat on defense this year, that clearly isn't the case and things just aren't looking up for a program that was supposed to be in recovery mode. Texas is probably better than no. 9, but what team above them couldn't have beaten that Texas team last week?
How They Fared: 20-14 loss to Oklahoma State
Up Next: Oklahoma
Previous Ranking #10
Gutsy performance by the Jayhawks in Lawrence with a near comeback win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Even the win wouldn't have been enough to jump out of the cellar but it certainly would have been a huge boost to the morale in Lawrence. Even in losing, Charlie Weis and his Jayhawks were able to provide some positives for the fanbase, now they have to do it again. If there's one thing Kansas has dealt with too often in recent years it's the sudden high, followed by the earth shattering low. That could be what's in store for Kansas as they head to Norman.