There's always a better way to examine the shifting power rankings in the Big 12 region. But before we stick a fork in Oklahoma or forget that there's such a division as a Big 12 North, let's take a long look at how the programs in the nation's most prolific conference are faring.
And for kicks, we'll base it—how else?—on the hotness of their cheerleading squads.
Yes, this is what we expected Bill Snyder's Kansas State cheerleading team to look like—conservative, well-covered, and lost in a cornfield somewhere in 1970s Kansas.
Poor Texas A&M. Without a whiff of a conference title in the last 10 years, the once successful football program is in danger of becoming the punching bag in the country's highest-scoring division, the Big 12 South.
Their cheer team certainly isn't doing them any favors—these uniforms could pass as sleepwear. Only George Costanza has the right to drape himself in that much velvet. Yawn.
Isn't it peculiar that on-field performance sometimes correlates to cheerleader hotness? Iowa State is looking to rebuild now that the Gene Chizik experiment has relocated to Auburn. Recruiting better pep on their cheer team couldn't hurt.
Don't get me wrong; this girl is trying. Her fundamentals are passable. There's just a few things missing in the talent department. (Hey, they'll still probably beat Iowa.)
Hey, she's a great-looking girl. She won cheerleader of the week not too long ago. She was well on her way to a breakthrough...until Dan Hawkins benched her in favor of his ugly daughter, who dropped two girls and went 0-of-4 on attempted backflips during an ugly rout against Colorado State.
Hawkins, you unforgivable nepotist. The only thing hot in Boulder is your seat, sir!
A quick glance, and they might be hot. The Airraid offense, the beefed-up offensive line, the defining win at home over the Longhorns in '08; all quite enchanting.
But look closer. Behind all the rah-rah, Texas Tech lost its most prolific passer and a superstar at wide receiver last year. Where will the scoring come from?
Like their girls, things are looking unhealthily thin on the roster in Lubbock.
Baylor's girls aren't going to win any conference titles too soon. But they come in at a respectable seventh place and give off that approachable vibe you'd expect from a middle tier team on the verge of a breakout year. Look, they're even saying "Hi" to you.
Ladies, losing coverage of the midsection will go a long way towards advancing your goals as a team. Until then, you get by on outstanding blondness.
Juice Williams saw this girl when his Illini faced the Tigers and fumbled five times on the next six possessions. Outside of that, we're skeptical of Missouri's prowess as a cheerleading team. They're merely skating by on momentum, youth, and WOW IS SHE LOOKING AT ME TOO SHE MUST RLY UNDERSTND ME. #coughsupthefootball
Do you think these Nebraska cheerleaders are hot or not? It doesn't really matter, because defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is coming to your house to smack you in the mouth either way. (They're just OK, but don't tell that to Ndamukong; it only makes him more upset.)
The Sooners girls are lookin' good for sure. Great body tone, enthusiastic demeanor, pretty face. Hell, just the fact that their arms can move like that in their sockets means one of these girls will get the start against Idaho State this weekend.
We didn't expect Kansas to make it this far either. But Todd Reesing, Kansas's most prolific quarterback ever in nearly every statistical category, and a true-blooded American to boot, just might be able to lock up the Big 12 North in his final campaign.
Lucky for us, he's not worried about winning this complete hottie over. He prefers much older women.
It's rumored that oil tycoon and Okie State patriarch T. Boone Pickens hand-selects his cheerleaders from the world's hottest bevies, soaking them in bourbon sauce and aging them in oak barrels for several months before trotting them out for big showdowns. Their wood-and-jerky infused aroma is irresistible to players hailing from south of the Mason-Dixon.
Hey, it worked on Georgia.
What specimens will emerge to distract Texas in the showdown on Halloween? Colt McCoy, the siren song of Jack Link calls to thee!
Red-blooded, all-American goodness from Austin. Impossible to resist. Made a splash in the offseason just for adding chaps, people. They're actually kind of good at dancing , if you like that sort of nonsense.
No other squad in the Big 12 really stood a chance against this juggernaut.