Mike Hlas is an award-winning columnist with the Cedar Rapids Gazette and force behind The Hlog. Each week he will break down the biggest mismatches in college football. Considering the increasing number of Bowl Championship Series teams tanking at this point in the season, Mike's task is more challenging than going on a shopping spree for Sarah Palin.
As a football conference, the Big 12 is loaded.
More accurately, it's bottom-heavy.
Four of the top eight teams in the Associated Press are from the Big 12. All four are from the Big 12 South. Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have a combined record of 27-1, and the only loss was Oklahoma's. That came in a sterling battle with Texas.
Things aren't so fabulous in the Big 12 North. At 2-1, Kansas is the only team with a winning mark in the North. But the Jayhawks are 0-1 against the South.
In fact, the South is 7-1 vs. the North, and some of the beatings have been ferocious. Such as:
Texas 56, Missouri 31
Texas Tech 58, Kansas State 28
Baylor 38, Iowa State 10
Yes, Baylor beat a Big 12 team by four touchdowns. That ended the Bears' 13-game losing streak in the conference.
Which brings us to the Game of the Weak from the Conference of the Weighty. Texas A&M is at Iowa State. Both are 2-5 overall, 0-3 in the Big 12. One holds the bottom of the South, the other is in the basement of the North.
The Aggies have the South's only loss to the North, a 44-30 homefield loss to Kansas State. They have allowed 143 points in three league games.
Iowa State is reeling from back-to-back 28-point losses, and five straight defeats overall. Coach Gene Chizik is in his second year at Ames. He found winning in the Big 12 was a lot easier when he was the defensive coordinator at Texas.
The Longhorns have their defense shored up this season. Chizik's Clones can't say the same, allowing at least 34 points in each of their last four games.
This isn't a good year to be a so-so team in the Big 12. The loser of A&M-ISU will be the worst club in the conference. That's a bad thing.
Oh by the way, this game will be played Saturday night. The Penn State-Ohio State isn't getting bumped off ABC's prime-time schedule.