Big 12 Football Power Rankings – Week 13

It was a competitive week across the Big 12 in Week 13, save for one game, but it still resulted exclusively in wins for the top half of the league and in losses for the bottom half.

All rankings 1-10 remain the same this week, and there isn’t much to time for positions to change this season with just one more game on the schedule for everyone. The division between top and bottom half, however, has never been as clear as it is right now.

1.       Oklahoma (LW: 1) It’s not fair to say the Sooners are No. 1 by default, but it does sort of feel that way by now. Oklahoma hasn’t dominated anyone offensively like we’re used to seeing for several weeks, in fact in three straight wins OU’s combined margin of victory is eight points. What matters the most is winning, although the Sooners don’t look pretty while doing it. Their College Football Playoff hopes are still alive, albeit hanging on by a thread, with a crucial statement game coming up next week against Oklahoma State.


2.       Baylor (LW: 2) Interestingly, Baylor and Texas finished with the same total yardage in their game on Saturday. Even so, Baylor utterly dominated throughout, and should have won by even more if not for a meaningless touchdown late. The Big 12 has been a two-team league for over a month at this point and it’s clearer every week that those two are miles above everyone else in the league. The big concern now for the Bears after their impressive win on Saturday is the health of quarterback Charlie Brewer.


3.       Oklahoma State (LW: 3) Despite a surprisingly small deficit on the scoreboard Oklahoma State deserves some praise for its win over West Virginia this weekend. While facing admittedly one of the worst teams in the Big 12, the Cowboys started a backup quarterback on the road, didn’t get a score from Chuba Hubbard and faced a Mountaineers squad with a little momentum behind their own replacement quarterback. That’s a tough situation, even against a bad team. OSU will need to get Hubbard going on the ground more next week against Oklahoma, though.


4.       Iowa State (LW: 4) If he didn’t already have this title, Matt Campbell is becoming the darling of new-age, extra-aggressive football fans for his late-game decisions. Two weeks ago it was a two-point conversion attempt against OU, this week it was a fourth down and goal that led to a score, putting away KU for good. ISU struggled with the Jayhawks on Saturday, but quarterback Brock Purdy continued to cement his place among the Big 12’s best quarterbacks with 372 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air, plus another on the ground.


5.       Kansas State (LW: 5) K-State needed this win badly. It doesn’t matter how they got it, but the Wildcats had to have it. There are still some glaring issues with K-State, the most concerning of which is that it’s hard a lackluster running attack for three games in a row. Still, the ‘Cats went on the road, never trailed and won in a tough environment (weird things happen after dark in Lubbock). Seeing a return to special teams excellence, for the most part, was also a nice sign for K-State.


6.       TCU (LW: 6) TCU had just 204 yards of offense, including a measly 65 through the air, and still played within one score of Oklahoma. Granted, you’re not going to win any games in the Big 12 with an anemic offense like that. But the fact that Gary Patterson’s group was able to hang tough despite playing so poorly on one side of the ball was impressive to see. Allowing 511 yards of offense and 366 on the ground, however, was less visually pleasing.


7.       Texas (LW: 7) This is a bad football team. Not just bad for their preseason expectations or for a Big 12 team. The Longhorns don’t do anything particularly well on a consistent basis and that has shown through week after week lately. Sam Ehlinger didn’t throw a single touchdown, turned the ball over and averaged 5.4 yards per attempt this week. That came in a week in which the running game actually came alive. That’s before even getting to UT’s poor defense. Tom Herman’s job is safe for now, but he needs to figure some things out before Texas is back … to missing bowl eligibility next year.


8.       West Virginia (LW: 8) Not to be a prisoner of the moment, but it’s not hard to imagine this season could look far different for West Virginia had Jarret Doege taken over as the starting quarterback much earlier than this week. The Mountaineers lost and still had plenty of offensive issues (only scoring 13 points being the most obvious problem) but Doege was efficient and didn’t turn the ball over against Oklahoma State. The WVU defense deserves some credit for holding OSU to just 20 points as well, considering it was allowing 33 points per game entering this week.


9.       Texas Tech (LW: 9) The growing pains continue for Texas Tech in Matt Wells’ first year at the helm, as his Red Raiders were close all night but came up short against K-State. Ball security continues to be an issue for Tech, specifically for quarterback Jett Duffey. One interception, a bad one in the first half, turned into three points for the Wildcats, while another one late came deep in plus territory. The bright spot for Texas Tech is that it has a chance for a major morale-boosting win when it visits Texas this Friday.


10.   Kansas (LW: 10) Credit to the Jayhawks, they played much better against Iowa State than they had in their last two games. Carter Stanley wasn’t particularly efficient but threw for plenty of yards and didn’t turn the ball over, Pooka Williams finally got back on track and the defense actually forced a turnover. All that said, Kansas still lost by 10 and will end the decade without a road win in Big 12 play. Expectations are low for next week but KU showed that it can at least hang around with good teams if it’s on it’s A-game.

For past editions of the power rankings, click here.