Sports Take: Big 12, Pac-12 : Two storylines from Week Five

Oklahoma State safety Jarrick Bernard, left, wraps up Kansas State running back Joe Ervin during the first half of OSU’s first home conference game on Saturday in Stillwater, Okla. Associated Press

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer

After a Bear win, the rest of college football may take a backseat to the celebrations here in Waco. Still, they all play football just like us, so be smarter and catch up here with the rest of the Bears.

Rotating Door in the Big 12

Eight of the ten Big 12 squads were in action this week, including the victorious Baylor Bears. The third seat in the conference has been a rotating door over the past few weeks. Iowa State was ranked to start the season, TCU was ranked two weeks ago before their loss to Southern Methodist and this week Kansas State was No. 24 before a loss in Stillwater, Okla. at the hands of the Cowboys.

Heading into this week, Oklahoma State gets their turn in the rankings at No. 21, while Baylor and Kansas State both receiving votes lower in the poll. The Bears and the Wildcats will play in Manhattan, Kan. this weekend while the Horned Frogs travel to Ames, Iowa to face off with the Cyclones. This will be a big deciding week in the conference should either Texas or Oklahoma start dropping games.

And, I should say, I purposefully left out the Longhorns and Sooners for most of that recap as they will most likely be the two squads meeting during conference championship weekend later this fall. There would have to multiple big upsets for one of them to fall out of that game.

Sandstorm Out West

Arizona State beat No. 15 and previously undefeated California, UCLA and No. 21 USC each lost on the road and Washington State got beat up in Salt Lake City at the hands of Utah. Adding to that, the best team in the conference, Oregon, had a bye week. To sum all that up, the Pac-12 is as unclear as ever.

Let’s start with the North division. Currently unranked California has a very good defense. That is definite if nothing else.

No. 13 Oregon played well against one of the best teams in the country in Auburn and that remains their only loss. This week the country gets to see which one is truly the real deal as they face off in Eugene, Ore. The outsider is No. 15 Washington, who has already lost to California in the second week of the season. The Huskies will go on the road this week to face reeling Stanford. Hopefully, this week will provide some clarity for this division.

I have less hope for the South division. As of now, former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin leads the Arizona Wildcats over higher regarded USC, UCLA, No. 20 Arizona State and No. 17 Utah. Utah is generally thought of as the best team out of that crop, but former NFL head coach Herm Edwards has quickly turned around his Sun Devils squad to relevance, knocking off two ranked teams to reach a No. 20 ranking already.Arizona will next face off against Colorado, who is currently second in the South.

Meanwhile the Bruins get a home matchup with an exceptionally weak Oregon State squad. There will be no more clarity next week for this division than there is now, but there will be more drama to pay attention to in the coming months as we head into October.