Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 6

Or 'how to throw a college career away, pt. 2'

Deion Sanders, mentor
Deion Sanders, mentor (Photo courtesy of Austin Wranglers)

Deion Sanders likes to call himself a "mentor." He believes he can help young athletes make positive choices in their lives. And perhaps he can.

One look at the last three athletes PrimeTime has "helped," though, suggests otherwise.

Dez Bryant. Michael Crabtree. Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Yes, Crabtree finally signed with the San Francisco 49ers, ending his holdout when he finally realized "you know what … I kind of need some money. And this team says it will pay me. To play football. Wow, is this a helluva country or what?!"

But where is Pacman Jones these days? Jail? A stripper club in Vegas? Canada?

We know where Dez Bryant is not: on a football field on Saturday afternoons. Not now, and not anytime in the foreseeable future. Such is fate when one lies to the NCAA, a vindictive body of unelected officials ready at any moment to drop a precise and crushing hammer blow on the heads of puny athletes and institutions of higher learning. "Arbitrary" is probably the best word to describe the manner in which the NCAA doles out its punishments. The Alabamas, USCs, and Florida States of the college football universe seem immune to the ravages of NCAA investigations. Schools like OU run afoul of the NCAA every two years or so, get a slap on the wrist, and are sent back out with a wink and a handshake. Yes, we know what you're doing. We don't approve. But we won't really Sstop you.

Dez Bryant actually didn't commit any NCAA violations. He lied to investigators, though, and the NCAA doesn't like to be lied to. Ask Kelvin Sampson. He is a liar and cheater and can most likely never coach college basketball again. Bryant, though, seems only to be guilty of poor decision-making – he hung out with Neon Deion.

No one in his right mind would want to hang out with Deion Sanders, would he? It would be like hanging out with the bastard offspring of Jimmy Swaggert and Al Sharpton.

I have precious little to otherwise say about the state of football in the Big 12 this week, other than that the national trend seems to be following my assessment, arrived at a few weeks back, that the Big 12, taken as a whole, isn't very good. This can be seen in the national polls, where an Oklahoma State team went on the road to hostile College Station, home of one of the best home field advantages in the game, won the game and still dropped in the polls. Pollsters are seemingly very eager to see Nebraska return to national glory, and the Huskers win at Mizzou was big, complete with a nice fourth-quarter comeback. But is Nebraska really the second-best team in the league? That's what national writers are saying. I don't buy it.

Not yet.

1) Texas: A sloppy performance against Colorado surely allowed Mack Brown to get his players' full attention heading into the week's preparations for OU. The Longhorns have to be concerned about the running game. Jordan Shipley should start getting some Heisman love, and you can bet on it starting after another big performance against the Sooners.

2) Oklahoma: Sam Bradford is back and while he had a great day against Baylor, but it was Baylor. Still, if it weren't for several drops by his receivers, Bradford's first game back from a shoulder injury would have been monumental. Even with all the injuries OU's been through this season, this is still a deep and loaded team, and with Bradford returning to last year's Heisman form, Texas fans have every right to be worried about Saturday.

3) Kansas: Survived a scare vs. Iowa State thanks to the powerful Jayhawk passing attack. A win's a win, though, and Mark Mangino will take that win. And then eat it.

4) Nebraska: Dominant pass rush unleashed on Missouri. The Tigers withered down the stretch, as Ndamukong Suh and crew wreaked havoc on Blaine Gabbert and the Mizzou spread.

5) Oklahoma State: Maybe the most cursed program in modern football. The Dez Bryant situation is just the latest in a string of bad luck that threatens to turn the most promising season in school history into just one more mediocre one.

6) Missouri: Can spoil homecoming in Stillwater easier than a lot of people realize.

7) Texas Tech: Texas Tech vs. Nebraska is just as interesting, if not more so, than any other game this week. How will that Nebraska D hold up against the Tech offense? Even if the rest of America isn't all that interested, there are a few of us who are. We are football junkies and we are legion.

8) Texas A&M: Jerrod Johnson showed more flashes of promise against OSU. He was sacked four times, though, and the Aggie defense couldn't get the Pokes off the field when they needed to most. With seven freshman starters, though, Mike Sherman has to think there is at least some kind of brighter future in store in Aggieland.

9) Baylor: They've lost 19 straight games to OU. Number 20 comes next year in Waco, Robert Griffin or no Robert Griffin.

10) Iowa State: Agonizing defeat at Kansas. The kicking game failed the Cyclones again, just as it did in last week's loss to K-State. Against the Jayhawks, Iowa State missed two extra points, and one field goal attempt never got off the ground thanks to a bad snap.

11) Kansas State: The 66 points allowed by K-State to Texas Tech were the most ever by a Bill Snyder-coached team, whose first few teams in Manhattan were pretty bad. The Wildcats can take solace in the fact that they aren't in the conference cellar. There is at least one team that is even worse. And that team is …

12) Colorado: although the Buffs may not occupy the cellar for long. The Texas game was Colorado's best performance this season, and now that Dan Hawkins finally made the tough-but-correct decision to bench his son at quarterback, it will be interesting to see if CU can pick up any more momentum.

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More by John Razook
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