Well, just about everything we thought we knew about the Big 12 last week has been scrapped by week seven's action.
Here's what we knew coming into the weekend: West Virginia had a signature win over Texas and was the favorite to win the league. Kansas State had a nice win for itself, beating an Oklahoma team earlier in the season that seemed to be overrated. TCU's offense had become pretty bad with the loss of Casey Pachall, and Baylor wasn't missing Robert Griffin quite as much as we had expected.
Forget about all of that.
Texas Tech (5-1, 2-1) was coming off an embarrassing home loss to Oklahoma, but the Red Raiders had a chance at redemption when West Virginia (5-1, 2-1) strolled into Lubbock. Getting the upset over a top five team would be huge. Well, the offense got off to a quick start, and it never really slowed down. The difference this week was that the West Virginia offense wasn't able to bail out the defense.
The Red Raiders, who had a terrible defense last season, did a better job of slowing down the Mountaineers than anyone else this season. That, combined with Seth Doege's 499 yards and six touchdowns, turned the game into a 49-14 rout. Now, Texas Tech looks like more of a player in the conference, and there are many more questions surrounding West Virginia. Geno Smith was held to just a 52 percent completion rate and a touchdown.
But what about that big win in Austin on Saturday? Well, it appears that Texas (4-2, 1-2) isn't the team we originally thought, either. The Longhorns were looking to bounce back from that loss in a big way with a win over Oklahoma (4-1, 2-1) in the Red River Rivalry. Instead, the Sooners destroyed Texas and proved that they were still among the favorites to win this conference.
By halftime, Oklahoma had a 36-2 lead and had all but put the game away. Landry Jones threw for 321 yards on the day, while Blake Bell had four rushing touchdowns on just eleven carries. When the game finally ended, the Sooners held a 677-289 advantage in total yards and had earned a 63-21 win. If someone can knock off Kansas State, Oklahoma is clearly back in the conference title hunt. This looked like the national championship contender everyone thought it would be coming into the season. The Sooners should be able to avoid the letdown, too, because they welcome lowly Kansas next weekend.
As for Texas, the Longhorns need to get a win against Baylor next week to get back on track. Less than two weeks ago, this was a team creeping toward the top ten. Now, it's given up 111 points in the last two games.
Yet, Baylor (3-2, 0-2) didn't look very good this past week, either. After putting up 63 points but coming away with a loss against West Virginia, the Bears got an extra week of rest before hosting TCU (5-1, 2-1). The Horned Frogs, of course, were without Pachall and were coming off a loss to Iowa State. This looked like a good situation for Baylor. Instead, TCU came away with a convincing win.
Trevone Boykin looked much better in his second game as the starter, throwing four touchdowns without an interception. The six turnovers forced by the Horned Frog defense was the difference, though. The margin in yards gained was not that great, but when a team loses the turnover battle by six, it is very rarely going to win. That's the big reason Baylor lost, 49-21.
No matter why they lost, the Bears have to play Texas next, and one of these two teams is going to have three conference losses after week eight. That didn't seem likely at all a few weeks ago, but this is a must-win for both teams.
Even Lawrence, Kansas provided more drama than it was supposed to on Saturday. Kansas (1-5, 0-3) has been awful so far this season, and with Oklahoma State (3-2, 1-1) coming to town, another ugly loss appeared imminent. A late Jayhawk rally almost changed those plans.
The Cowboys took a 20-0 lead early in the fourth quarter, but two Kansas touchdowns within two minutes of each other closed the margin quickly and gave the Jayhawks an opportunity to get the win. But that wouldn't happen. Oklahoma State held on for the 20-14 win and got their record back above .500. It's going to take a better effort to keep it there, because Iowa State comes to Stillwater next week.
Really, the only game that went almost exactly as planned was between Iowa State (4-2, 1-2) and Kansas State (6-0, 3-0). The Wildcats were supposed to win the game, but many had placed them on "upset alert." The Cyclones certainly gave Kansas State a scare, but Collin Klein ran for three more touchdowns and led his team to the 27-21 win.
That leaves Kansas State as the only undefeated team left in the conference. We know the Wildcats are good. On Saturday, we may find out just how good. West Virginia was embarrassed on Saturday and that offense will be looking to bounce back with a win over the conference's top dog. That game will teach us just as much about the Mountaineers as it will the Wildcats.
Of course, the conference was supposed to have already taken shape by now. Saturday completely rearranged the Big 12's layout in terms of who the true favorites are.
Will week eight clear some of this up? Maybe, maybe not. There will be some important games, though, and there will be opportunities for some of these teams to get right back into the picture.