Big 12 Football Power Rankings – Week 12

The biggest game of the week in the Big 12 lived up to the hype, with Oklahoma barely surviving Baylor on the road and just barely hanging on to the top spot in the power rankings.

Down the list, however, several teams are on the move. That includes K-State and West Virginia after a surprising upset, Texas after another disappointment and more.

1.     Oklahoma (LW: 1) On one hand, Oklahoma looked like a middle-of-the-pack team at best in the first half Saturday against Baylor. It felt like a guarantee after several Jalen Hurts turnovers that the Sooners were going to drop. Then OU turned it on in the second half and proved why it’s earned its spot atop the Big 12. Hurts bounced back from an awful first half, the defense held tough after a brutal start and the Sooners earned the win without having arguably the best receiver in the game right now, CeeDee Lamb. It wasn’t pretty but it was still a unique kind of impressive win for Oklahoma.


2.     Baylor (LW: 2) Even though the Bears melted down at the end, it’s hard to knock Baylor too much for going down to the wire with the best team in the Big 12. The offensive numbers didn’t look great, but thanks to a great defensive performance for most of the game it was still enough to keep game competitive at least and in Baylor’s control at worst. The better talent won out in the end, but the Bears played better than the 13th-ranked team in the country this week.


3.     Oklahoma State (LW: 4) The Cowboys have finally hit their stride and now have rattled off three impressive wins in a row, in one regard or another. This weekend’s victory was of the blowout variety, dominating Kansas and keeping the Jayhawks off the scoreboard until the game was completely out of reach. Chuba Hubbard is still doing his thing, Dillon Stoner has stepped in effectively as a No. 1 receiver and Spencer Sanders has been limiting mistakes lately. Oklahoma State has been as impressive as anyone in the league over the past few weeks.


4.     Iowa State (LW: 6) In the last three weeks Iowa State lost by one score to arguably the hottest team in the league, came up one point short against the best team in the league and then gritted out a tough win over a definitely “not back” Texas. The Cyclones benefit from a two-spot jump this week, although given their inconsistencies throughout the season it’s hard to know what next week’s version of ISU will look like. Fortunately for the ‘Clones, they host Kansas next Saturday.


5.     Kansas State (LW: 3) K-State has suffered a disappointing loss two weeks in a row, but an upset loss to West Virginia at home is one of the worst losses in the Big 12 this year. The Wildcats have struggled on the ground in back to back games, which puts even more impetus on Skylar Thompson being safe with the ball through the air; he failed at that this weekend. The Texas loss was unfortunate but understandable, while this upset loss was both baffling and concerning.


6.     TCU (LW: 7) Bowl eligibility is within reach for the Horned Frogs after narrowly picking up a win over the Red Raiders on Saturday. Granted, they had to fight back to win after squandering a big lead, but a win is a win. Max Duggan continues to improve as a passer and the running game is still among the best in the Big 12 for TCU. Next week will be a tough one for the Frogs, though, because they’ll be heading to Norman for face the Sooners.


7.     Texas (LW: 5) It’s time to accept (if you haven’t already) that this Texas team is nothing more than mediocre. It was widely assumed before the year and through the first few weeks of the season that the Big 12 Championship Game would pit UT against OU, but it’s become more and more evident that this Longhorns group isn’t cut out for that stage, and Tom Herman may not be cut out for the Power 5 stage. Losing despite Sam Ehlinger’s best effort on Saturday night only pushed that narrative further.


8.     West Virginia (LW: 9) It wasn’t quite as big as K-State’s upset over Oklahoma, but West Virginia pulled off a shocking upset nonetheless when it down the Wildcats in Manhattan on Saturday. Neal Brown may have found an answer at quarterback the rest of this season in transfer Jarret Doege, who played a clean and effective game in the upset. This was a good boost in morale for the Mountaineers as they look ahead to the future.


9.     Texas Tech (LW: 8) Texas Tech lost as home again this weekend, where it’s now just 1-2 in Big 12 games this season, and when paired with a West Virginia win it’s easy to understand a fall for the Red Raiders. Credit Tech for a great second-half effort, which included three touchdowns in the third quarter and leading in the fourth, but this is a tough league to win in and the Raiders just can’t hold serve at home.


10.  Kansas (LW: 10) This week’s game was a particularly disappointing one for the Jayhawks, which speaks volumes given the state of Kansas football this decade. It’s not the loss itself that’s disappointing as much as it is the fact KU just looked as flat as can be after a bye week. The Jayhawks had a chance to regroup and adjust after a brutal Sunflower Showdown loss, but came out and looked terrible against Oklahoma State in Stillwater. There are still, one could say, Miles to go before this program is actually contending for a bowl game.

For past editions of the power rankings, click here.