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The Biggest Questions Heading Into Week 5

Looking at some of the biggest questions around the Big 12 heading into week 5.



Getty Images - Tim Warner

All in all, it was a pretty good non-conference slate for the Big 12. There were a couple of disappointing losses, and even a couple of embarrassing losses, but there were some big wins which put the conference back into the Playoff conversation.

We have a pretty good idea of how the season is shaping up, but there are plenty of questions that still need to be answered.

Was Oklahoma State Exposed?

Through three weeks everybody thought that the Big 12 would come down to Bedlam, and then a rematch in the title game. However, TCU had other plans and shocked the Cowboys in Stillwater. In doing so the average fan saw a lot of red flags. But, how many of those red flags are real, and how many were due to the circumstances of one game?

There were a lot of factors that went into the loss, but the biggest one is the offensive line. Both the starting right tackle and right guard were out for the game, and Larry Williams is likely out for the season. The right side of the line was a liability, and Justice Hill struggled to find any running room on that side against the Horned Frogs.

Will OSU be able to correct or will a season anointed to be one of the greatest before it began or will it forever be a season of bitter disappointment? A suddenly big showdown against Texas Tech might give us the answer.

What Is The Floor For Baylor and Kansas?

After two disastrous weeks, it looked like Kansas had been evicted from the Big 12 basement as Baylor moved in. Everybody knew there would be growing pains, but nobody expected Baylor to lose to FCS Liberty.

However, against Oklahoma, Baylor looked like a completely different team. Was it a one game mirage? Or is this the Baylor team of the future?

As far as the Jawhawks are concerned, after week one I thought Kansas might actually flirt with bowl eligibility. I know, after a 2-10 season that is a lot to expect. As it turns out, Kansas still needs a lot more work. A bright spot emerged though, against West Virginia this weekend. Khalil Herbert put everybody on notice not to write the Jayhawks off.

The final score does not reflect it, but Kansas was within eight points halfway through the fourth quarter. Can Kansas find enough offense in the passing game to surprise a conference foe?

Is Texas Tech For Real?

The Red Raiders are undefeated and are heading into their fourth game of the season. Those in Lubbock are laughing at the doubters, but can Texas Tech keep winning in conference play?

Two weeks ago they had an impressive first half against Arizona State, but the second half left some things to be desired. Last week it was almost the same script against Houston. The Tech defense picked up an amazing five turnovers against the Coogs, but the Red Raiders only won by three points.

If Texas Tech is going to step up in the conference ranks, then now is the time. To make bowl eligibility and beyond, Texas Tech needs the defense to perform at a high level for whole games, not just halves. We will learn a lot more about this team this weekend as they welcome Oklahoma State to Lubbock.

What To Make Of Texas?

Which Texas team should we expect for the rest of the season? The one that self-destructed at home against Maryland? Or, the one that almost pulled of the upset of the season at Southern Cal?

Both have serious offensive flaws, but the defense cratered against Maryland. Against USC, the defense stole the spotlight and kept the Longhorns in it until the final whistle. If Texas plays the rest of the season like it did against USC then it has a real chance to make a bowl and pull off an upset against a conference favorite. But, if the team shows up that played Maryland, then it will be another long losing season on the 40 acres. A Thursday night in Ames against a decent Iowa State squad will go a long way in answering this question.