Orlin Wagner, Associated Press
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — No. 25 Baylor and Iowa State lost for the first time last week and at least one more of the Big 12's undefeated teams will lose its first game this week as No. 3 Oklahoma and 11th-ranked Texas meet in the Red River Rivalry.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops believes a one-loss team from the Big 12 could still compete for the national title because of league's strength with six teams ranked in the Top 25.
He pointed to LSU winning the title in 2007 with a 12-2 record.
"Absolutely it's possible," Stoops said. "Heck, LSU had two when they won it. Anything's possible if a team just two or three years ago can win it with two losses, then a team with one always has a chance."
Stoops went on to point out that the Big 12 being very competitive is nothing new.
"This league has always been tough, good and had a lot of good players and coaches," he said. "I've always said for a number of years that it's been an excellent league."
The Sooners dropped a place in the poll for the second straight week despite a win after occupying the No. 1 spot earlier in the season. Stoops thinks that had to do with playing Ball State last week while Alabama, which leapfrogged Oklahoma, beat No. 17 Florida.
"I think a lot of that is just other people respecting what other teams have done in difficult situations," he said. "That kind of thing happens. I think a lot of it is just based on who you played so I would imagine this game would mean a lot. It's way too early in the season to get anybody to start lobbying about it. I'm not much on that."
Texas coach Mack Brown says the game against Oklahoma is something coaches and players from both teams cherish.
"It's like a bowl game at midseason and there's really nothing like it," he said. "It will be a spectacle."
Now that Texas A&M's departure from the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference has put the annual game against Texas in jeopardy, Brown was asked if it makes keeping the Red River Rivalry going even more important.
"I'm not really into all the realignment stuff," he said. "I'm a little worn out. What I'm going to do is coach ... and this is a special game and it's one that gets national attention. The two teams are usually good so it usually has conference implications as well as national implications."
The Longhorns are in better shape entering this year's matchup with Oklahoma than they were last season when they lost 34-12 to UCLA the week before.
"We're just in a different place," Brown said. "Last year we were coming off a horrible loss to UCLA where we didn't play very well, we didn't force turnovers and we turned the ball over. We have better chemistry this year. The guys are having fun."
No. 20 Kansas State, No. 6 Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are the league's other undefeated teams.
Kansas State faces Missouri, Oklahoma State plays Kansas and the Red Raiders take on a Texas A&M team coming off two straight losses in games where it had double-digit leads at halftime.
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville knows his young team has grown this season, but isn't sure just how much. The Red Raiders are coming off a 45-34 comeback win over Kansas.
"We've gotten better, I don't know if we've gotten good enough to compete with a lot of these top teams that we're getting ready to play," he said. "I think our guys have a lot of confidence."
IN THEIR SHOES: Oklahoma State Mike Gundy spent part of his off week as a guest on ESPN's college football telecast. He spent most of Saturday in the studio with ESPN's college crew providing commentary during halftimes and other breaks.
- Guard Elijah Bryant announces he is...
- With Boston out, another Salt Lake Olympics...
- Morning links: Tom Hackett is the Utes' most...
- Cougars say they have learned lessons in wake...
- Lindon father of five sets world record in...
- Brad Rock: Faith helped infamous former MLB...
- Eight BYU, Utah players make the Polynesian...
- Utah makes top 7 for 4-star offensive line...
- Morning links: Utah is on the rise in... 73
- Phil Steele gives tempered assessment... 70
- BYU looking for another defensive... 33
- Utah Utes backup quarterback Donovan... 26
- Morning links: Tom Hackett is the Utes'... 26
- Cougars say they have learned lessons... 26
- With Boston out, another Salt Lake... 14
- Kincade: Poor shooting, signings have... 11