Today is the next step in a new series on the Big 12 blog that we've never done before. I love predicting the standings from top to bottom, but we're going to do it week by week leading up to the season. The end goal is to offer my official prediction for each Big 12 team's record heading into the bowl games.
Remember, these are preseason predictions. We'll obviously still do week-to-week picks once the season arrives, and they may change between now and then. There are a lot of preseason practices and a whole lot of games between now and the end of the season.
There are always teams who disappoint and teams who surprise. But here's how I see the Big 12 shaking out in Week 6.
TCU 27, Iowa State 24: The Cyclones nearly trip up the Horned Frogs' undefeated season in a physical game in Fort Worth, but Waymon James rumbles in for a three-yard, go-ahead score in the final minute to deny Paul Rhoads another big upset. James White tops 100 yards, but the struggles at quarterback are catching up to the Cyclones a bit.
Kansas State 44, Kansas 17: The Sunflower Showdown is no longer a joke, but the state is still very much owned by Kansas State. Kansas prevents the Wildcats from scoring 59 points this year (a feat it failed to do in 2010 and 2011), but the Wildcats save their best performance of the season so far for the rival Jayhawks, who leave Manhattan limping.
Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 34: Call this one revenge. The Sooners haven't won in Lubbock in three tries since 2003, and the Red Raiders knocked off top-ranked OU at home last season. The Sooners hold off a late Texas Tech rally behind Eric Ward and Seth Doege, but escape West Texas as winners, an unfamiliar feeling for Sooners in some time.
West Virginia 31, Texas 27: Can West Virginia walk into Austin and leave with a win in its first year as a Big 12 member? Yes, yes it can. The Longhorns don't make it easy. It's a fistfight. Geno Smith is sacked five times and throws two interceptions. Malcolm Brown tops 150 yards on the ground against an inexperienced front seven for the Mountaineers, who somehow find a way to get the program's biggest win in awhile.
And looky who's sitting all alone at the top of the Big 12. It's the new guys.
BIG 12 STANDINGS (after Week 4)
1. TCU: 5-0 (2-0)
1. West Virginia: 5-0 (2-0)
3. Oklahoma: 4-0 (2-0)
4. Kansas State: 4-1 (1-1)
4. Texas: 4-1 (1-1)
4. Texas Tech: 4-1 (1-1)
7. Oklahoma State: 3-1 (0-1)
7. Baylor: 3-1 (0-1)
9. Kansas: 3-2 (0-2)
10. Iowa State: 2-3 (0-2)