This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big 12 fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.
4/3. Kansas State. West Virginia's loss at Texas Tech was K-State's gain, as was South Carolina's loss at LSU, both of which helped free up room for the Wildcats to rise into the top four of both polls for the first time since 2000. Oklahoma's 63-21 romp over Texas helps, too: With the Sooners' ascent back into the top 10 (see below), Kansas State's upset win in Norman in September is starting to look like one of the best wins to date by any team in any conference. Next: A trip to West Virginia that could very well send the Wildcats tumbling after.
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Last week: 6th AP, 5th Coaches.
10/7 Oklahoma. The Sooners buried all remaining doubts about their uninspiring September with a thorough, start-to-finish obliteration of the Longhorns that was even more lopsided than the ghastly final score suggests. That came on the heels of a solid 41-20 win at Texas Tech, which is also looking better this week in light of the Red Raiders' 49-14 ambush of West Virginia. If the Sooners that we saw on Saturday show up for the rest of the season, the path to Big 12 and BCS championships is still open.
Last week: 13th AP, 10th Coaches.
17/15 West Virginia. After weeks of feting the Mountaineers' point-a-minute offense, voters came to the sudden realization on Saturday that the Mountaineers still have no defense and punished them accordingly by dropping them a dozen spots into the mid-teens. From here, it's a slog back to their previous altitude, beginning with Saturday's visit from Kansas State. Another loss there, and WVU fans want to look into trading those Fiesta Bowl tickets for a couple seats at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
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Last week: 5th AP, 4th Coaches.
18/20 Texas Tech. The Red Raiders slammed West Virginia by 35 points, shutting down the most prolific offense in the country in the process. But they somehow can't pass the Mountaineers in either poll despite an identical 5-1 record. (The AP is almost mocking on this point, leaving Tech one spot behind WVU as if to emphasize, Not quite good enough.) At any rate, the Raiders have plenty of remaining opportunities to win over the skeptics, beginning this weekend at TCU.
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Last week: Unranked in either poll.
UNR/21 TCU. The writers were apparently unimpressed with the Horned Frogs' blowout win at Baylor -- a game the Frogs were projected to lose by at least a touchdown, according to Vegas -- despite a reassuringly turnover-free performance from TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, only a week removed from being picked off three times by Iowa State in his first start in place of exiled captain Casey Pachall. The win in Waco was enough for the coaches to move TCU up two spots, from 23rd, thereby creating the widest perception gap of any team from one poll to the next.
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Last week: Unranked AP, 23rd Coaches.
Everyone else: Texas is relegated to "Also Receiving Votes" purgatory for the first time this year, though the Longhorns are still receiving votes after being crushed by six touchdowns on a neutral field might be a glass-half-full situation. …