There's a reason that everyone in the conference is losing to Kansas State. According to the latest BCS standings, this is the best team in the country.
With Alabama's home loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, and Kansas State's win over TCU, the Wildcats jumped up to the top spot and can stop looking over their shoulders. If they can win their last two games, this team will be playing for the National Championship.
TCU (6-4, 3-4) was the latest victim of this Kansas State (10-0, 7-0) team, though the Horned Frogs did a better job in slowing down Collin Klein than just about any other team this season. Part of that may have been due to the injury that Klein suffered last week against Oklahoma State, but either way, he was not as effective as we've become accustomed to seeing him.
That being said, this game was 23-0 at one point, and it never felt as though TCU had a chance to pull the upset. Klein had 50 yards and a touchdown on the ground, but just 145 yards and an interception through the air in the 23-10 win. The Wildcats travel to Baylor next week, then face Texas at home in their last game of the season. That's all that stands between them and a shot at the title at this point.
The Longhorns are playing some pretty good football, though. Since the four-game stretch where Texas (8-2, 5-2) lost two games and had two more close calls, Mack Brown's team has knocked off Texas Tech on the road, and now Iowa State at home.
The Cyclones aren't one of the top dogs of the conference, but this is another game that was never really in doubt, and was a good win for the Longhorns. Texas opened the game with a tribute to the late Darrell Royal. The offense lined up in the wishbone offense that Royal made famous and turned a trick play into a big gain. The offense would continue to roll.
David Ash and the Longhorns would rack up 609 yards on Iowa State (5-5, 2-5) on their way to the 33-7 win. This is two straight weeks that Texas put together complete performances, and with games against TCU and Kansas State left, this team may still have a shot at an at-large BCS bid.
As for Iowa State, the Cyclones are still looking for that sixth win after starting the season at 4-1. They do get Kansas next, and the Jayhawks have yet to win a game in conference.
But that losing streak is coming closer and closer to ending for Kansas (1-9, 0-7). Two weeks ago, the Jayhawks took Texas to the wire before giving up a late touchdown in a loss. They were blown out by Baylor last week, but this week, they took a ranked Texas Tech team to overtime before losing, 41-34.
It's still a nine-game losing streak, and this is still the worst team in the conference, but Kansas is much more competitive than earlier in the year. The offense produced 390 rushing yards, 202 of which came from Tony Pierson, but had just 29 passing yards. Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3) had no trouble passing the ball. Seth Doege went for 476 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
Kansas will get shots at Iowa State and West Virginia to get that first win.
The Mountaineers (5-4, 2-4) were looking to end a losing streak of their own. After blowout losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State, West Virginia lost a heartbreaker to TCU last weekend. This week, the opponent was Oklahoma State (6-3, 4-2), but the result was the same. WVU was sent home with a loss, and the team will have to wait at least one more week to reach bowl eligibility. Actually, at this point, bowl eligibility is becoming a question of "if" rather than "when."
The Cowboys scored first in this game and never gave up the lead, but a pick six in the third quarter pulled the Mountaineers to within four. Clint Chelf got the start for Oklahoma State, and he had a great game, but that one mistake put West Virginia right back within striking distance. The defense would shut out WVU from that point on, though, and Oklahoma State won comfortably, 55-34.
If it's not one thing, it's another for the Mountaineers. The offense played a pretty good game, and the defense came up with some stops and forced that turnover. However, two turnovers on special teams, plus a kickoff return for a touchdown for Oklahoma State, were too much to overcome. Oklahoma's up next now, and a loss there means a .500 record and only two more shots at that sixth win.
The Sooners (7-2, 5-1) didn't play their best game against Baylor (4-5, 1-5), but did enough to earn a 42-34 win. This was another game where the Bears never held a lead, but Oklahoma couldn't pull away enough to feel comfortable.
Nick Florence had a subpar day for the Bears, throwing for just 172 yards, but the running game did help pick up the slack. Landry Jones had 277 yards and two scores, while the team produced four rushing touchdowns.
Oklahoma's only two losses on the season have come against two of the nation's top three teams. The Sooners have won the games that they're supposed to win. With a struggling West Virginia team up next, they'll look to continue to do that. Like Texas, a 10-2 season with an at-large BCS bid is still in play for Oklahoma.
Kansas State is thinking much more than an at-large BCS bid. The Wildcats all but have this conference wrapped up and are looking at a possible undefeated season.
That means just two more wins for Bill Snyder. If this team can get those two victories, Kansas state will be representing the Big 12 in the National Championship Game.