Big 12 can prove maddening for all involved

Hang on tight, because it's about to get dizzy.

Texas Tech beat Oklahoma, 41-38, last week before losing to Iowa State, 41-7, on Saturday.

The Red Raiders play Texas on Saturday, though, who beat Iowa State, 37-14, and lost to Oklahoma, 55-17 in consecutive weeks.

It sounds complex. Texas coach Mack Brown says it's rather simple.

"We’re not playing with video games, we’re playing with human beings," he said.

The easily forgettable fact about sports -- and college sports especially, relying often on teenagers -- is players don't duplicate identical outputs every Saturday.

"You have good days and bad days, and I think it happens to everybody, it happens in daily life," Brown said. "If you go back and look at the companies that have been bankrupt, the great companies of America, usually the bankruptcy comes after their best year. It’s just very, very difficult when people are bragging on you to continue to compete and do your best all the time."

Texas Tech's highest high of the Tommy Tuberville Era was followed by its lowest low, a lopsided home loss to a team that had lost its previous four games by an average of almost 25 points.

"We don’t know how to handle success, obviously. But it’s a good lesson to learn," Tuberville said.

He saw the emotion his team played with, especially in the win over Oklahoma, where his team took the field as four-touchdown underdogs. The emotional win was followed by pats on the back from just about everyone.

"This past game, we were flat. You know you’re going to have 1-2 games a year that you’ll play that way, but hopefully, you’re good enough to win your way out of it," Tuberville said, "and we’re obviously not."

Texas may be at an equilibrium now after tearing into a Kansas team winless in conference play, but the Red Raiders will be looking to regain some of the goodwill gained from the win over Oklahoma.

Texas Tech became the first team since 1989 to have no votes in the AP Top 25 poll one week to being ranked the next to having no votes the next. The Red Raiders, with momentum swinging out of control, have reached anything but equilibrium. Brown told reporters, though, that the Tech loss to Iowa State was "the worst thing that could have happened to us."

"It’s just very, very difficult when people are bragging on you to continue to compete and do your best all the time. The great teams are able to do that, and last year we were not," Brown said.

Brown says solid senior leadership can help make sure a team stays focus, but how can a coaching staff be sure?

"I didn’t fix it last year, so I can’t answer that," Brown said.

Iowa State's win is a third shocker in three years under Paul Rhoads, who knocked off Big 12 North champion Nebraska in 2009 and a ranked Texas team in 2010.

On that, Brown and Tuberville can relate.

"This is the best this league’s been in a long time," Tuberville said.

And, perhaps, the most confusing it's been in a long time.