This past weekend marked the halfway point of the college football regular season—that being said the Big 12 is still a tight race. With only one unbeaten team remaining, one game could truly change everything. From here on out the games only get bigger. Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s Big 12 Power Rankings.
1. TCU (#4): After another dominating performance as well as some help from a couple upset victories, TCU jumped up the to the 4 spot in the AP Top 25. In last Saturday’s game versus Kansas State, the Horned Frogs again proved their worth holding the Wildcats to only 216 total yards while also controlling the pace of the game on the offensive end. TCU will look to extend their win streak next week, as they will be taking on the Kansas Jayhawks (1-5).
2. Oklahoma State (#10): Coming off of their bye last week, Oklahoma State looked as explosive as ever in a crushing 59-16 victory over Baylor. In this game, Mason Rudolph and the high-powered Cowboys offense torched Baylor for a season high 747 yards total offense. Defensively, Okie State held their own, shutting down Baylor’s passing attack while forcing 3 turnovers. Next week, Oklahoma State will take on the Texas Longhorns (3-3).
3. Oklahoma (#9): As good as this team is, the Sooners seem to always let their opponents hang around in large part due to their poor defensive play. This is now back to back weeks where OU has failed to force a turnover. Luckily for Oklahoma, their elite offense typically wins shootouts. Looking ahead, this team will more than likely have to win all of their remaining games if they want a chance at a playoff spot. Next week OU will head down to Manhattan to take on Kansas State (3-3) fresh off of a disappointing performance last week.
4. West Virginia (#23): After falling out of the AP Top 25 last week, West Virginia was quick to bounce back with a comeback victory against the No. 24 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. Early in the 3rd quarter the Mountaineers found themselves staring at a 35-17 deficit—this was when WVU exploded, finishing the game scoring 29 unanswered in a stunning 46-35 victory. The story of this game was the lights out play from Will Grier and the West Virginia passing attack. Receivers David Sills V and Ka’raun White torched Tech’s secondary all game long, combining for 203 yards and 5 touchdowns. West Virginia will look to keep this momentum going next week as they will be taking on the winless Baylor Bears.
5. Texas: Since electing to start Sam Ehlinger, Texas’s only two losses have come from the hands of No. 11 USC and No. 9 Oklahoma—both of which came down to the last possession. If you can’t find stops against this team, you are in for a long game as they currently rank 1st in the Big 12 in time of possession. This roster is loaded with talent and we have yet to see them play a complete game. If this team can stay consistent they have the potential to upset some high level competition. Texas will look to prove themselves next week as they will be taking on the No. 10 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1).
6. Texas Tech: Not a good week for Texas Tech. After going up big early the Red Raiders allowed West Virginia to finish the game on a 29-point run. This is a bad loss. In the second half Tech totally fell apart: the offense struggled to stay on the field and the defense couldn’t buy a stop. The Red Raiders went on to lose this one 46-35. Next week, Texas Tech will look to get back on track as they host a red-hot Iowa State (4-2) team.
7. Iowa State: Fresh off of a huge win last week, Iowa State obliterated the Kansas Jayhawks 45-0. The only reason I am not ranking this team higher is because KU looked completely incompetent—evident by the botched snap on 4th down deep in their own territory. I will, however, give some credit to the Cyclones for playing mistake free football and ultimately taking down a team they are far better than. Next week, Iowa State will be put to the test against the 4-2 Texas Tech Red Raiders.
8. Kansas State: What we expected to happen happened. With Alex Delton starting at quarterback, Kansas State struggled to generate offense. Because of KSU’s poor passing game, TCU was able to load the box, daring Delton to throw downfield. Apart from a couple nice completions to Byron Pringle and Isaiah Zuber, Alex Delton’s passes were off target. Needless to say, the Wildcats went on to lose this one 26-6. With a lot of football still left to play KSU is in desperate need of a bounce back week. Next Saturday they will be hosting the No. 9 ranked Oklahoma Sooners (5-1).
9. Baylor: Another week, another loss for the Baylor Bears. In last week’s matchup versus Oklahoma State Baylor’s defense played horrendous, allowing 471 yards through the air and 276 yards on the ground. On top of that, quarterback Zack Smith also played one of his worst games of the season (127 yards and a touchdown on 11/28 passes). If Baylor plays like this next week, West Virginia (#23) will run right through them just like OSU did.
10. Kansas: Kansas could very well be the worst team in FBS. Last week, KU once again got destroyed—this time by Iowa State. The only player on this team that played good at all was Linebacker Joe Dineen Jr.—who recorded 16 total tackles. Somehow, Peyton Bender managed to play even worse than last week this time recording only 18 yards on 11/19 passing. The way it is looking right now, David Baty will likely be fired before the end of the year. Next week, the Jayhawks will face their toughest opponent yet, the undefeated TCU Horned Frogs (#4).