It was a fairly dramatic week in the Big 12, as three of the conference’s five games were tight affairs. The Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers were able to coast at home, but Texas fell victim to Stillwater/Corndog/its own flaws and is really going to have to rally to keep their train from flying off the rails. Hell, their game even included a fracas as time expired.
Meanwhile, Iowa State continued to roll, and TCU lost to Kansas in hilarious fashion.
Here’s how I think these teams stack up through nine weeks. As it turns out, it’s pretty much how they stack up in the actual standings (excluding some head-to-head tiebreakers). What a useful post this is!
1. Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) – Getting a stop against this offense might be the toughest task in the sport, especially when considering that the offensive line is becoming the run-blocking force we all envisioned entering into the season. I’m still not completely sold on the defense, but I think it’s abundantly clear that the simplified scheme has been beneficial thus far. The game in Lubbock will obviously tell us a bit more than performances against the TCU and K-State offenses. I’d expect this group to at least get some crucial stops and keep this one from becoming another 2016 game.
2. West Virginia (6-1, 4-1) – Moving the ball at will against Baylor isn’t particularly noteworthy, but the defensive showing was solid. This was a nice bounce-back performance on all fronts, so the Mountaineers should be feeling somewhat confident heading into its crucial showdown with the ‘Horns.
3. Texas (6-2, 4-1) – While it seemed somewhat clear that Texas ran into a bit of a buzzsaw up in Stillwater during OSU’s Homecoming weekend, that game did highlight some deficiencies on both sides of the ball. UT’s next three games are West Virginia in Austin, Texas Tech in Lubbock and back at home against Iowa State, so there’s no rest for the weary.
4. Iowa State (4-3, 3-2) – As well as the Cyclones are playing right now, I legitimately considered putting them at No. 3 on this list. This team could very well end up in Arlington if it wins out, and that’s a possibility with OU and WVU both out of the way. They’ll be favored in four of the five remaining regular-season games (or three of the four if they don’t play Incarnate Word). That leaves the Nov. 17 game in Austin, which could be one of the best in the conference this season. Unfortunately, that one is being carried by the Longhorn Network.
5. Texas Tech (5-3, 3-2) – Alan Bowman has now been back for two weeks, but he wasn’t very efficient against ISU this past Saturday, as the offense itself only scored 17 points up in Ames. Having said that, this isn’t the Texas Tech defense we saw in that 2016, and they might actually be able to provide some resistance against the OU offense this week (and by “some resistance” I mean actually forcing a punt or two).
6. Oklahoma State (5-3, 2-3) – In our last edition of these power rankings (two weeks ago), I had the Cowboys at No. 9. Admittedly, their jump to No. 6 has less to do with their win over Texas than it does with the performances of the teams currently listed below them.
7. Baylor (4-4, 2-3) – The worst defense in the Big 12 looked like, well… the worst defense in the Big 12 up in Morgantown this past Thursday. The Bears now have the Cowboys in Waco, and they’ll probably need a W if they hope to get to six wins. They close with Iowa State (Ames), TCU (Waco) and Texas Tech (Arlington), and although the TCU game is looking more and more winnable, the other two look like Ls.
8. TCU (3-5, 1-4) – The Frogs just lost to Kansas, and it wasn’t even a QB’s fault!
9. Kansas State (3-5, 1-4) – When’s the last time a Kansas State team has been this undisciplined? You might have to go past the brief Ron Prince era, past Snyder’s initial tenure and back into the days in which the future of the program’s existence was in doubt.
10. Kansas (3-5, 1-4) – I’m not sure what it’s going to take to convince me that this isn’t the worst team in the conference, but narrowly beating TCU in Lawrence doesn’t quite do it. Having said that, Kansas State might have something to say about it in the next few weeks. The Snyder Magic appears destined to be cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came.
Big 12 Schedule – Week 10
Oklahoma State at Baylor: FS1, 11 a.m.
Iowa State at Kansas: FSN, 11 a.m.
Kansas State at TCU: FS1, 2:30 p.m.
West Virginia at Texas: FOX, 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma at Texas Tech: ABC, 7:30 p.m.