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West Virginia entered the season as a highly anticipated addition to the Big 12. After losing both Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, the conference needed someone to step in and help assuage the loss of those two programs.
The Mountaineers came in from the Big East and were actually expected to be a contender for the Big 12 title. Oklahoma was the only Big 12 team ranked more highly in the preseason polls than West Virginia.
West Virginia is still more than capable of earning the conference title, but the 'Eers have shown that they have almost zero defense. Yes, it would be worse not to put their defense on the field at all, but not that much worse.
Texas is in the same boat as West Virginia, except people actually thought Texas had defense worth watching. This was even more true before the loss of Jackson Jeffcoat for the season. When everyone found out that the Texas defense was a smidge overrated, they joined the ranks of West Virginia in terms of conference title hopes.
However, both teams face one other major hurdle: there are two teams on both schedules that weren't supposed to be real contenders.
Whoops. These guys didn't get the memo. Kansas State, at No. 4, is 18 spots higher than its preseason 22nd spot. Texas Tech is currently 17th after being unranked in the preseason editions.
Those are two teams that were expected to do well, but not nearly as well as they have done so far. In fact, Texas Tech already destroyed West Virginia 49-14. While these two schedules were already expected to be rough, they get progressively worse from week to week as Texas Tech and Kansas State just keep winning games that they're supposed to lose.