Big 12 football: Weekly rankings
Ranking the Big 12 football teams after the regular-season finales, with a look at their bowl assignments if my rankings had been followed by the selectors:
1. Kansas State (8-1, 11-1): Wildcats deserve to be in the Fiesta Bowl — and are, against Oregon in an excellent matchup.
2. Oklahoma (8-1, 10-2): Do the Sooners deserve to be in the Sugar Bowl? Well, let’s look at it this way. The same BCS rulebook that made it possible for Northern Illinois to squeeze also squeezes out teams ranked ahead of OU. Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina. If you want to throw out the various rules and just take the champs plus the next four at-large teams, it wouldn’t be OU in the Sugar Bowl. It would be an SEC team.
3. Texas (5-4, 8-4): The Longhorns are a funny team. They’re a whisker away from being 6-6. But they beat OSU straight up and deserve the Alamo Bowl slot.
4. OSU (5-4, 7-5): The Cowboys tied for third in the Big 12 and were a lot closer to 7-2 than 4-5. OSU probably deserves to be in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but the truth is, all three tie-ins with the Big Ten were going to produce a nothingburger matchup.
5. Baylor (4-5, 7-5): Crazy as it sounds, the Bears are the league’s hottest team. They finished with a respectable loss at OU, a rout of Kansas State, a neutral-field win over Texas Tech and a win over OSU. They deserve the Holiday Bowl.
6. Texas Christian (4-5, 7-5): The Horned Frogs are solid. If any team deserves one game back this season, it’s TCU vs. Iowa State, when the Frogs found out on Thursday that quarterback Casey Paschall was gone for substance abuse. Trevone Boykin was moved back to QB from receiver, and two days later the Cyclones thumped TCU. Give TCU that win, and the Frogs might be in the Alamo Bowl. But they landed in the Wild Wings Bowl and probably deserve the Houston bowl.
7. West Virginia (4-5, 7-5): The Mountaineers finished rather strong. A one-point loss to OU, a win at Iowa State, a rout of Kansas. But the Pinstripe Bowl is where they belong this season.
8. Texas Tech (4-5, 7-5): The Red Raiders once were 6-1. They’re not very good right now. They might lose to Minnesota in the Houston bowl, and they belong in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, which you knew formerly as the TicketCity.
9. Iowa State (3-6, 6-6): The Cyclones are decent. Nothing less. Nothing more. They get a Liberty Bowl rematch with Tulsa. I don’t like rematches, but there are worst landing pads than the Liberty.
10. Kansas (0-9, 1-11): Some KU fan engaged me in a discussion Sunday about how much better the Jayhawks are than last year. Maybe he’s right. The results don’t show it.
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