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Texas Tech escapes the bottom, and the middle shakes up

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Another week, another ranking with a lot of movement.

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

I didn’t publish any rankings for a week, because honestly putting Tech last that much would physically hurt my soul. Now that I do not have to do that anymore, I am back at it again with the hot takes.

1) Oklahoma

Iowa State went for the win, and probably should have gotten another chance with a pretty clear pass interference. However, the pick is between Baylor and Oklahoma at this point and we all know who is better. Baylor is the worst unbeaten team I have lived to see. There is zero explanation for their winning.

Oklahoma is not great on D, but Hurts and the offense are a step ahead of everyone else. Oklahoma is not as dominant as I thought, but this a really good team and I truly believe they will not be beaten again. But, unlike my early prediction they are not invincible.

2) Baylor

The Bears are a talent suck for other teams. Seriously, these guys are not a good team and no one can figure out how to beat them. TCU absolutely deserved to win this game, but once again the curse of Baylor struck. A footstep out of bounds was potentially the difference between victory and defeat.

I hate Baylor, and I am both upset and baffled by their winning. This team will get beat by Oklahoma, even if no one else can figures out their black magic.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3) Iowa State

That blown pass interference aside, Iowa State had no business being in the game that late after how they started. The fight of this team is next level, and while the talent is still not quite at championship level Matt can freaking coach. I love how this team plays, and they are well positioned for the future.

The problem is this team cannot seem to figure out how to play a true complete game. They struggle during stretches, with turnovers or blown defensive assignments. If they can put it all together, protect the football, and just play their game this team is gonna finish strong.

4) Texas

This team is just impossible to predict. I have no idea what they will do next week. I think a lot of Big 12 teams fall into this boat, but with Texas’ youth and injuries it is especially true. Kansas State looked like they were going to roll the Horns, and then Texas just took over the game. Then they gave it back, then they eked out the win.

People may think Herman can’t coach, but I only see evidence that he can find ways to win. The season was slipping away, and now Texas is right back on track to finish with another 8-10 wins which is huge for building themselves back to a national power. The leap from 8 wins a year to competing for titles is much more manageable then where Texas has been.

5) Kansas State

Here is where the lack of talent shows up and the result of a coaching change. If Kansas State had more talent, they win this game. If this was not year one under the new regime, they finish this game. Kleiman will get his guys, and when he does watch out. To me, he is the best coach in the conference. Or at least, has the potential to be very soon.

They scheme well, and they fight hard punching above their weight every game. Kleiman is a winner, and that usually means he will win some more.

6) Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State has a lot of good pieces, but with Wallace gone and a questionable defense they just aren’t as dangerous to make a run at the end of this year. Hubbard is a boss, but a running back is not enough to win games. If Oklahoma State is going to close strong, they need Sanders to play mistake free football.

I don’t know about Gundy’s seat, but it has to be getting a little warmer from where I am sitting especially if the team fails to close down the stretch. The Mullet needs to rally his boys down this critical stretch.

7) Texas Tech

Here is something no one expected: Jett Duffey is a top three quarterback in the Big 12. Don’t believe me? Look at his numbers, and watch his tape. Even with Yost handcuffing him for most of his starts, he is excelling. Now that Yost seems to be willing to take shots down the field, Duffey looks ready to light up the back half of the conference. TCU is a real tough test, especially with the running back injuries pilling up but I have hope Yost has learned from his mistakes.

Defensively, a few pieces of the secondary are getting close to being full go which will hopefully make them less terrible. Brooks is the best linebacker in the country, but this team will live and die by the secondary. The line can take some of the pressure off generating pressure without needing blitz help, but those guys have got to cover someone. West Virginia having a better quarterback would have led to at least 21 more points on the board on deep routes when Kendall just under threw the ball.

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

8) TCU

TCU should have beaten Baylor, but their offense sucks and they choked away the win. This is a put up or shut up game for both Tech and TCU. Max exploited a bad Texas secondary, and has a chance to do it again against Tech’s awful secondary.

This is a match-up of bad-on-bad, good-on-good. Whichever team’s bad unit steps up will decide this game.

9) Kansas

Kansas sucks, how we lost to them I will literally never know. Kansas is a bad defense with a bad offense, but the bright side for them is right now they are outplaying West Virginia. Of course, the head to head favors WVU but over the course of the season they look a bit better than the Mountaineers.

10) West Virginia

The Mountaineers had to feel good in pre-game, Tech was reeling and had shown no life on the road outside the trip to Waco. But man, Austin Kendall’s noodle arm and a defense that clearly only watched screen film led to a total disaster.

They left every receiver run free, and if Tech doesn’t commit some dumb penalties in the second half this result would have even been worse. Maybe Doege is the answer, but we will not find that out till this weekend.