TCU got more credit for a one point loss on the road in Norman than they did for a home win by six against Kansas, as they fell just a single spot this week after plummeting to 18 a week ago. The Frogs, at #19, are one of four ranked teams from the Big XII, who saw Oklahoma crack the top four for the first time this season. The Sooners, who held on to beat TCU when the Frogs' two point conversion pass was deflected with less than a minute to go, will control their own destiny heading in to Bedlam, unless of course the committee once again has a last minute change of heart.
Baylor comes in at #7 this week, fresh off of beating Oklahoma State in Stillwater with their third string QB. The Bears still have an outside shot of creeping in to the top 4 with a win over TCU on Black Friday, but will need some help, while the Cowboys, now at 11, are likely out of the race. Should OSU beat the Sooners Saturday, and TCU defeat the Bears, the Big XII would almost assuredly see itself shut out of the playoff picture for the second consecutive year.
While the Frogs are now out of the conference championship hunt as well as the playoff picture, they will have an opportunity to not only play spoiler, but position themselves for what was an almost unthinkable New Year's Six Bowl just a couple weeks ago. A win over a top ten Baylor team, and a playoff booth for the Sooners, brings in to question a lot of tiebreaker scenarios that you can see for yourself, here. It's not guaranteed, but the Sugar Bowl could be at stake at Amon G Carter Friday night.
Clemson held on to the top spot once again, trailed by one loss Alabama and the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes will need to finish blemish free, and beat one loss Michigan State, ranked 5th, to make the final four - but the promotion of the Spartans, who beat the previously lossless Ohio State Buckeyes, gives the Big Ten an excellent opportunity to remain in the final four. Currently on the outside looking in is #6 Notre Dame, who have the best loss of the group (to the Tigers), but suffer without a conference affiliation and a somewhat weak schedule. The Irish have a shot to make their case for a top spot when they face off against #9 Stanford this week.
Ohio State drops to #8 in this edition of the polls, followed by Michigan at #10; the two will square off in Ann Arbor in a rivalry game that has slightly less at stake, but could still shake up the bowl picture significantly. Also on the rise is #15 Navy, who could position themselves for an at-large NY6 bid with a win over one loss Houston, and #16 Northwestern, who is recovering nicely after a couple of early stumbles. TCU was jumped by Oregon and Ole Miss this week - if you want to be mad about something, well, there you go - and holds just a single spot edge over the red hot Washington State Cougars.
With just one game remaining in the regular season, the Big XII is in good shape for a post-season berth - but as we are well aware, anything can happen when you gather random people to make decisions on arbitrary criteria, so, don't get your hopes up just yet, Sooners.