There's always bowl season
That's when the Big 12 will have to restore its national reputation because the one remaining nonconference game (Central Florida at Texas, Nov. 7) isn't enough to make up for all of the poor showings in season's first month.
The Big 12 finished 4-7 against other BCS conferences. The league is coming off a terrible weekend with Texas A&M's disaster to Arkansas, Oklahoma's loss at Miami and Colorado's defeat at West Virginia.
So much for preseason bluster.
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But in fairness, a few reminders are in order. Oklahoma wouldn't be 2-2 had Sam Bradford not wrecked his shoulder in the opening-game loss to Brigham Young.
Two one-point takedowns on the road — the Sooners at Miami and Nebraska at Virginia Tech — are the difference between a winning and losing record in BCS games.
And two teams that contributed to the Big 12's strong 2008 season — Texas and Texas Tech — didn't schedule a BCS opponent.
Not that BCS foes — teams from the SEC, ACC, Big East, Big Ten and Pacific-10 — should be the only measuring stick. Houston isn't from a major conference and went 2-0 against the Big 12. Colorado got zapped by Colorado State and Toledo, and K-State fell at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Ranking the Big 12
1. Texas (1) ColoradoLooking ahead to OU?
2. Kansas (3) Iowa StateKU nearly lost in '08
3. Nebraska (4) at Missouri (Thur.) Last Columbia win in '01
4. Missouri (5) Nebraska (Thur.) Gabbert's biggest test
5. Oklahoma (2) BaylorTexas tuneup
6. Oklahoma State (5) at Texas A&MUsually close in College Station
7. Texas Tech (7) Kansas StatePotts might not play
8. Baylor (9) at OklahomaBeard down to No. 3 QB
9. Kansas State (11) at Texas TechGregory gave Cats boost
10. Texas A&M (8) Oklahoma StateMust protect QB
11. Iowa State (10) at KansasRB Robinson should be back
12. Colorado (12) at TexasDefense torched by big plays
Nebraska at Missouri, 8 p.m., ESPN
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M, 11:30 a.m., FSN
Iowa State at Kansas, 11:30 a.m., Versus
Baylor at Oklahoma, 2:30 p.m., ABC
Colorado at Texas, 6:15 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, Oct. 17
Oklahoma-Texas, 11 a.m., ABC
Texas Tech at Nebraska, 2:30 p.m., ABC
Kansas at Colorado, 6 p.m., FSN
Missouri at Oklahoma State, 8:15 p.m., ESPN2