The No. 15 Red Raiders can scramble the top of the standings with a win Saturday in Manhattan, Kan., but it won’t be the last time an underdog has a chance to reshape the Big 12 race.
“We play in a good league. I think everybody understands that,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “We got off to a hot start, but a pretty good Texas Tech team and a real good Kansas State team exposed us a little bit.”
Baylor is back near the bottom of the league without Robert Griffin III because the Bears have one of the worst defenses in the country. But these aren’t the same Bears who were doormats for most of the first decade of the Big 12 because they still have a quarterback.
Griffin’s replacement, Nick Florence, threw for 933 yards and seven touchdowns combined in losses of 70-63 to West Virginia and 56-50 to Texas, both on the road. Florence leads the nation in total offense.
The puzzling game for Baylor was the one in between — a 49-21 home loss to TCU a week after the Horned Frogs lost 37-23 to Iowa State in their first Big 12 home game.
That’s the only league win for the Cyclones, who will try to keep the Bears winless in the Big 12 on Saturday.
“I think it’s been deep the last two or three years,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “I think you could just go back through and look at the so-called upsets over the last couple of years late in the season. It’s a tough battle, and that’s why it’s such a great league.”
Along with Kansas State-Texas Tech, most of the Big 12 attention this week will focus on No. 8 Oklahoma’s effort to re-enter the national title picture in a home game against fifth-ranked Notre Dame. But the other game in Oklahoma — TCU’s visit to Oklahoma State — is big for the Cowboys, who are trying to avoid a second league losses.