Big 12 Football Power Rankings – Week 10

There were only three games in the Big 12 in Week 10, but we learned something in each of them.

Kansas State is the hottest team in the league. Baylor’s perfect record is deserved but the Bears are also certainly beatable. Oklahoma State is probably, finally, solidly in the upper half of teams in the conference.

There aren’t any huge shakeups this week, although we do have the return of one cellar-dweller to its all-too-familiar home.

1.       Oklahoma (LW: 1) The Sooners were one of four Big 12 teams with a bye in Week 10 so they remain untouched atop the power rankings. What’s going to be fascinating to watch for Oklahoma is how it responds to a shocking loss to K-State last week against Iowa State this coming weekend. With a week to stew on the upset, OU may be out for blood.


2.       Baylor (LW: 2) Baylor remains undefeated, which is all that matters in the long run. However, the Bears did not play a particularly good game against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Thursday, winning merely by three despite being, on paper, a far better team in every regard. Baylor lost three fumbles in the win and rushed 56 times for just 3.1 yards a pop. That still netted 176 yards total, but if you’re committing to the running game that much, you need to move the ball with more efficiency. Now the undefeated Bears have an extremely tough stretch coming up in the next two weeks, with the Revivalry against TCU on the road and then the showdown of the year in the Big 12 against Oklahoma on Nov. 16.


3.       Kansas State (LW: 3) Another week, another win, another dominant rushing effort from Kansas State. The Wildcats battered Kansas on the ground this Saturday, including another three rushing touchdowns for Skylar Thompson, giving him seven such scores in the last two weeks. Chris Klieman said after the game that this may have been the best showing for K-State yet, which sounds crazy given the program just beat Oklahoma last week, but it also makes sense given the ‘Cats dominance throughout the day in Lawrence. That means defensive dominance, too, because K-State flustered the previously red-hot KU offense for 60 minutes, save for one garbage-time drive.


4.       Oklahoma State (LW: 4) Despite a handful of vexing performances this year, we can probably start to settle OSU in the “Good” category of Big 12 teams. The Cowboys came out on top in a competitive showdown against TCU this weekend, moving the Pokes up to 6-3 on the year. The most impressive part of the win is that Oklahoma State earned it without Tylan Wallace, the stud receiver who is done for the year with an ACL injury. Despite not having him for the first time all year, Chuba Hubbard and the offense, supported a still-capable group of receivers, were able to do enough this week to pick up an impressive victory. When the pressure on Spencer Sanders to perform is limited, OSU can hang with nearly anyone. The Horned Frogs still have at least two winnable games left (Texas Tech, West Virginia) with which to achieve bowl eligibility, but they need to sort out some kind of positive continuity quickly.


5.       Texas (LW: 5) Texas was on a bye this weekend, so the world wasn’t subjected to its grotesque team tackling being in primetime again. The Longhorns are following up a bad loss to TCU and an off week with a game against the hottest team in the Big 12, K-State, this coming weekend. Todd Orlando’s defense better have figured out a way to tackle ball carriers during the bye.


6.       Iowa State (LW: 7) “A team that at times looks fantastic but also has moments in which it looks like a low-level MAC program” describes at least four teams around the conference this year, including Iowa State. The Cyclones got a break this week ahead of their matchup with an also-rested Oklahoma Sooners team. It’s not a particularly favorable matchup for Iowa State.


7.       TCU (LW: 6) It’s understandable why TCU has been so inconsistent this year, given a plethora of injuries and a freshman quarterback leading the offense. Still, by this point most of the Big 12 viewing populace expected the Frogs to be definitively better than they are. Saturday’s contest was a statement game for both TCU and OSU, and the former came away looking worse for wear.


8.       West Virginia (LW: 8) To West Virginia’s credit, the Mountaineers hung tough with the only remaining undefeated team in the Big 12 last Thursday despite ultimately coming up short. To its demerit, West Virginia’s offense is horrendous. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances were or how good the opposing defense is, racking up merely 219 total yards of offense is embarrassing. There isn’t much to like about what’s going on with the Mountaineers right now.


9.       Texas Tech (LW: 10) The Red Raiders were off this week but jump back up one spot in the rankings thanks to KU’s disastrous Saturday. For its sake, Texas Tech hopefully fixed some of its glaring issues ahead of next Saturday’s matchup with West Virginia.


10.   Kansas (LW: 9) The stint outside of the Big 12 basement didn’t last long for the Jayhawks. Losing to Kansas State in and of itself isn’t embarrassing for Kansas, but KU was outclassed in every regard in the Sunflower Showdown. The run defense was putrid, the offense hit a wall and no individual performances stood out. More than anything, though, the loss simply illustrated that there is still a long way to go in the Kansas rebuilding project.

For past editions of the power rankings, click here.