Time for the weekly Big 12 rankings, and not much change. OU and Tech flip spots after their classic in Norman. Kansas State moves ahead of West Virginia after the Wildcats’ rout of the Mountaineers. TCU continues to slide.
But here’s the real news for the Big 12. A year after lots of button-busting over nine Big 12 teams making bowls, the Big 12 might quality just five teams for bowl games. It’s real possibility. If so, the Texas Bowl and the Pinstripe Bowl would be out of luck. Heck, even the Holiday Bowl could be scrounging for a team, in the unlikely event that two Big 12 teams make the BCS. Here are the rankings, with some early bowl projections:
1. Baylor (4-0, 7-0): The Bears are playing their way up the bowl ladder. Even if Baylor doesn’t make the Fiesta, it seems only a total collapse would cause the Bears to fall past the Alamo Bowl. The Cotton surely would love to have Baylor go against an SEC school.
2. Texas (4-0, 5-2): The Longhorns are prime fodder for any bowl, unless Mack Brown gets fired. Bowls don’t like those situations. Of course, if Texas keeps winning, Brown might survive. Or at least resign with his head held high.
3. Oklahoma (4-1, 7-1): Seems like Fiesta or Alamo for OU. The Sooners never have played in the Alamo Bowl.
4. Texas Tech (4-1, 7-1): The Red Raiders could be Cotton-bound, with a strong finish, but any of the Cotton, Alamo, Buffalo Wild Wings or Holiday wouldn’t mind Tech. The Red Raiders haven’t played in the Alamo since 2009, the Cotton since 2008 (season), the Wild Wings since 2007 and the Holiday since 2004.
5. Oklahoma State (3-1, 6-1): The Cowboys wouldn’t seem to be a strong candidate for the Alamo, since OSU was there in 2004 and 2010, plus the Cowboys played at Texas-San Antonio in September. The Holiday would seem to be a strong possibility.
6. Kansas State (1-3, 3-4): The Wildcats still host Iowa State and play at Kansas. So KSU’s home game against TCU should be for a bowl berth.
7. West Virginia (1-4, 3-5): The Mountainers need three more wins. They play at TCU and Kansas, and WVU hosts Texas and Iowa State. So the West Virginia-TCU game is huge for bowl hopes.
8. TCU (1-4, 3-5): The Frogs host Baylor to end the season. If TCU wants a bowl bid sewed up by then, it must sweep West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State, the latter two on the road.
9. Iowa State (0-4, 1-6): The Cyclones must win out to make a bowl. They get the four other bottom teams in the conference, but ISU also plays at OU on Nov. 16.
10. Kansas (2-5, 0-4): By the time KU gets to West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State, it probably will be out of the running. The Jayhawks have Texas and OSU the next two Saturdays.