As the college football season begins to wind down the intensity of the games is only rising. After an action-packed week of football that showcased several tight games, this week’s rankings feature eight major changes from last week’s ranks. Now, two teams appear to be separating themselves from the rest of the Big 12. On top of this, both of these teams are also in current College Football Playoff discussion. That being said let’s get to this week’s Big 12 Football Power Rankings.
1. Oklahoma (#5): The Sooners are back on top! Last week, Oklahoma got into an all-out shootout with instate rival, No. 11 ranked Oklahoma State. Despite a couple of early mistakes, Oklahoma’s electrifying offense again looked nearly unstoppable, tallying 785 yards total offense in an eventual 62-52 victory. This offensive display should come as no surprise considering OU now averages a jaw-dropping 8.3 yards per play this season—the highest average of any team since Hawaii in 2006. Next week, will take on No. 8 ranked TCU (8-1) in the biggest game of the year thus far for both teams. The loser of this one will likely be eliminated from College Football Playoff contention.
2. TCU (#8): After losing a heartbreaker to Iowa State the week prior, TCU was able to bounce back this past weekend against Texas. From the very start of this game, TCU dominated on both sides of the ball in an 34-7 win. As it has all year, TCU’s defense currently ranks 1st in the Big 12 in total defense. This unit will be put to the ultimate test next week as they face the nation’s top offense, at No. 5 ranked Oklahoma (8-1). TCU will need to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive.
3. Oklahoma State (#12): Tough break. In last week’s matchup with OU, Oklahoma State was out-gunned. Ideally, Oklahoma is just about the last team you want to get into a shootout with—needless to say they want on to lose 62-52 despite a 228 yard and 2 touchdown game from running back Justice Hill. Okie State will be looking to bounce back next week as they will be taking on the No. 24 ranked Iowa State Cyclone (6-3).
4. West Virginia (#23): Back on track. In last week’s game against No. 14 Iowa State, West Virginia was able to pull the upset. Will Grier was again the star of the show, throwing for 316 yards and 2 touchdowns on an efficient 20/25 passing. Defensively, West Virginia also played one of their best games of the season allowing only 350 yards all game. WVU will look to build on this win next week as they head down to Manhattan to take on the Kansas State Wildcats (5-4).
5. Iowa State (#24): Well, it was fun while it lasted. Last week, against West Virginia, Iowa State got brought back down to reality. Early on, WVU was quick to jump out to a 17-0 lead after a pair of Will Grier touchdown passes. In the second half, the Cyclones were able to outscore the Mountaineers 13-0, but this proved to be too little to late as ISU went on to lose 20-16. Next week, Iowa State will look to be looking to bounce back against Mason Rudolph and the high-powered Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-2).
6. Texas: Against prior belief, quarterback Sam Ehlinger was again unable to play this past Saturday against TCU. Without Ehlinger, Texas was unable to generate the offense they are accustomed to, only managing 254 yards through the air and 9 on the ground. Next week, Texas will be looking to avenge last year’s embarrassing loss, against the one-win Kansas Jayhawks. Unfortunately for Texas, Sam Ehlinger’s status for this game is still uncertain and will likely be a game-time decision.
7. Kansas State: Another win for the Wildcats. Last Saturday, K-State was able to win in overtime against Texas Tech. K-State had a fair share of ups and downs this game. On one hand, Alex Delton (13/20, 167 yards, and a touchdown) and Skylar Thompson (5/8, 96 yards and a touchdown) both showed promise at quarterback. On the other hand, Kansas State’s defense (particularly their secondary) still appears to be in a funk. Next week, Kansas State will be put to the test against the No. 23 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers (6-3).
8. Texas Tech: Last week, Texas Tech met their match against Kansas State. On offense, the Red Raiders had their way through the air behind a stellar outing from their receivers Keekee Coutee (12 receptions, 189 yards, and 2 touchdowns) and Dylan Cantrell (8 receptions 99 yards and a touchdown). As good as their offense is their defense still can’t stop anyone. This game ended up going into overtime, where K-State was quick to score the go-ahead touchdown and end the game on a big 4th down stop. Tech will look to shake this one off next week, as they take on Baylor (1-8) in a game they should win.
9. Baylor: Winless no more. In last week’s game against Kansas, Baylor was finally able to find their fist win. They were able to do so by playing solid defense, only allowing KU to score 9 points. Quarterback Charlie Brewer led the way for the Baylor Bears throwing for 315 and 3 touchdowns while only throwing 6 incompletions (23/29). Although Baylor doesn’t have a lot to play for at this point, this solid outing from their Freshman QB does give them something to look forward to in the future. Next Week, Baylor will be taking hosting the Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-5).
10. Kansas: This team has officially hit rock-bottom. Last week KU got blown out at home by a Baylor team who was winless coming in. After being forced to settle for 2 field goals in the first half, Kansas just couldn’t find a way to get in the end-zone all game in their disappointing 38-9 loss to Baylor. Looking ahead, if Kansas doesn’t pull-out a win next week at Texas (4-5), they will set the record for longest road losing streak (45).