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Updated Big 12 projections through 8 weeks

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Five teams are still in the race for the Big 12 title, but TCU is the favorite at the moment.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I said this:

The Big 12 takes center stage this week with two huge games and a third pretty big one. Granted, KSU-OU and OSU-TCU would be bigger if the home fields were swapped, but throwing in Baylor's potentially crazy trip to Morgantown, there's still about a 51 percent chance that somebody gets upset this week. [...]

The job of Week 8 in the Big 12 seems to be determining whether we really do have a three-team race on our hands, whether it's going to end up Baylor vs. Oklahoma as we surmised a couple of months ago, or whether KSU or OSU still has a chance at a darkhorse run. That makes it an elimination week of sorts.

The odds were good that one of three favorites would fall. The odds of two falling: less good. Then again, there's no need to talk about odds when Kansas State wins a game thanks to a blocked PAT and a missed 19-yarder from a good kicker.

On Monday, then, I said this:

Until or unless KSU loses a couple of times, we've now got ourselves a four-way conference title race. Hell, until WVU loses again, it might be a five-way race. (Since I still think OU finishes 7-2, I'm counting the Sooners as contenders despite the 2-2 start. And despite only one conference loss, OSU is not a contender.) This probably does not bode well for the Big 12's Playoff chances -- if KSU loses again, Baylor loses at Oklahoma, and TCU loses at either WVU or Texas, everybody in the conference will have at least two losses -- but it makes for some serious entertainment. [...]

Meanwhile, West Virginia has suffered competitive losses to Alabama and Oklahoma and beaten Baylor. I don't think the Mountaineers will still be in contention for the conference title in a few weeks or anything, but this has been one hell of an unexpected bounceback campaign for the Mountaineers.

I may have been a little too hasty to dismiss West Virginia, as I didn't quite foresee a rise to 22nd in the F/+ rankings. Granted, the Mountaineers aren't a contender unless TCU allows them (or anyone else) to be, but if TCU slips down to the 6-3 or 7-2 level, a WVU conference title is in play.

Win projections

Odds of Big 12 conference records
Big 12 F/+ Ranking Proj. Conf. Wins Last Week (Change) With Week 9 win With Week 9 loss
TCU (2-1, 5-1) 4 7.49 7.00 (+0.49) 7.50 6.50
Oklahoma (2-2, 5-2) 2 6.70 7.23 (-0.53)

Baylor (3-1, 6-1) 14 6.70 7.51 (-0.81)

Kansas State (3-0, 5-1) 23 6.56 5.34 (+1.22) 6.63 5.63
West Virginia (3-1, 5-2) 22 6.40 5.00 (+1.40) 6.65 5.65
Oklahoma State (3-1, 5-2) 44 4.36 5.19 (-0.83) 5.10 4.10
Texas (2-2, 3-4) 63 2.88 3.21 (-0.33) 3.81 2.81
Texas Tech (1-3, 3-4) 71 1.99 1.74 (+0.25) 2.98 1.98
Iowa State (0-4, 2-5) 66 1.68 2.11 (-0.43)

Kansas (0-4, 2-5) 102 0.24 0.66 (-0.42)

Major contenders: TCU
Minor contenders: Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas State, West Virginia

Oklahoma's overall ratings have continued to thrive despite two losses; that's what happens when you lose due to unlikely events, such as missed chip shots and not one, but two pick sixes. Still, the Sooners do have two losses and will need help from teams with fewer. The numbers still don't love Kansas State (the Wildcats are right there with WVU), and they don't know quite what to think about Baylor, so if TCU does slip -- and right now, TCU is most certainly the favorite -- the Sooners might have the best shot at taking advantage. With KSU likely to drop a couple of games and TCU having no margin for error, the possibility of a Big 12 champion reaching the College Football Playoff isn't great. But the Frogs are the best hope.

This has been a funny season.

Sure bets

Here are the remaining in-conference win probabilities, broken into ranges.

Team / Range 10-19%
Baylor (3-1) 1

1 3
Iowa State (0-4) 3

Kansas (0-4) 5

Kansas State (3-0) 1

Oklahoma (2-2)

Oklahoma State (3-1) 3 1

TCU (2-1)

1 5
Texas (2-2) 3 1

Texas Tech (1-3) 3

West Virginia (3-1)

1 1 2

70+% games: TCU 6, Oklahoma 5, Baylor 4, Kansas State 3, West Virginia 3, Iowa State 1, Oklahoma State 1.

Not only is TCU 2-1 and in the F/+ top 5, but the Frogs have also already played Oklahoma, Baylor, and Oklahoma State. A trip to Morgantown looms large, but right now F/+ gives TCU about a 72 percent chance of winning that one, an 84 percent chance of taking down KSU at home, and a 95%+ chance of beating Texas (!), Iowa State, and Kansas.

Yeah, TCU's definitely the favorite here.

All Projections

Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
9 25-Oct-14 Texas Kansas State 7.1%
9 25-Oct-14 Texas Tech TCU 1.4%
9 25-Oct-14 West Virginia Oklahoma State 74.1%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
10 01-Nov-14 Kansas Baylor 1.4%
10 01-Nov-14 Oklahoma Iowa State 97.1%
10 01-Nov-14 Oklahoma State Kansas State 16.2%
10 01-Nov-14 TCU West Virginia 72.0%
10 01-Nov-14 Texas Texas Tech 43.3%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
11 08-Nov-14 Baylor Oklahoma 19.6%
11 08-Nov-14 Iowa State Kansas 81.3%
11 08-Nov-14 Kansas State TCU 16.1%
11 08-Nov-14 West Virginia Texas 86.5%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
12 15-Nov-14 Oklahoma Texas Tech 98.0%
12 15-Nov-14 TCU Kansas 98.6%
12 15-Nov-14 Texas Oklahoma State 21.5%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
13 20-Nov-14 Kansas State West Virginia 35.4%
13 22-Nov-14 Kansas Oklahoma 1.4%
13 22-Nov-14 Oklahoma State Baylor 11.9%
13 22-Nov-14 Texas Tech Iowa State 31.6%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
14 27-Nov-14 TCU Texas 96.4%
14 29-Nov-14 Baylor Texas Tech 92.6%
14 29-Nov-14 Kansas Kansas State 1.4%
14 29-Nov-14 West Virginia Iowa State 87.0%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
15 06-Dec-14 Iowa State TCU 1.4%
15 06-Dec-14 Kansas State Baylor 29.8%
15 06-Dec-14 Oklahoma State Oklahoma 3.8%