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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 14

Upheaval at the bottom, and a 1 vs 2 clash with a very clear winner, this week's power rankings are ready to roll.

Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

1. Oklahoma St. Cowboys
Told you so.  Things were tight for the Cowboys as their offense stalled a bit early in the second quarter thanks to over reliance on very slow developing running plays, and OSU also got a bit lucky that Baylor's (former) Heisman hopeful quarterback stumbled down inside the five yard line without being touched instead of taking it in for a touchdown.  Still, if the two teams were fairly evenly matched in the first half (with OSU just getting a couple of breaks) the second half was all about separation as mediocre Cowboys QB Clint Chelf eviscerated the Baylor defense through the air and the Cowboy defense continued to shut down the vaunted Baylor offense.  The Cowboys are certainly top dogs in the conference after that performance, and only a home game against Oklahoma stands between them and the conference's automatic BCS bid.
Previous ranking: #1, Season high ranking: #1

2. Baylor Bears
Baylor falls in my estimation, but not in the power rankings simply because the gap between them and Texas is still probably a great one with the Longhorns missing Johnathan Gray.  Still, the Cowboys set up the blueprint for TCU and Texas as they take their shots at the Bears in the next two weeks- drop a mess of guys into coverage and hope that your line can stop the Bears from running inside.  Can anyone else bottle up the Bears while scoring enough to get ahead and keep the pressure on?  The Power Rankings thinks not until their bowl game.
Previous ranking: #2, Season high ranking: #1

3. Texas Longhorns
Kansas State's momentum has disappeared a bit over the past two weeks, and as Oklahoma State looked even better against Baylor than they did against the Longhorns.  That's enough for UT to be bumped back up in an inactive week, but things will get interesting as the tailspinning Texas Tech Red Raiders head to Austin on Thanksgiving night.
Previous ranking: #4, Season high ranking: #2

4. Oklahoma Sooners
In KSU/OU one team came out absolutely unstoppable on the ground and complimented it with an efficient passing effort from a quarterback who is a strong runner.  This was to be expected.  What was not expected was that the winning team would be Oklahoma, but Oklahoma came out with a huge performance to keep alive hopes of a shared conference title- beat Oklahoma State on December 7th and hope that Baylor loses to TCU and beats Texas or that Tech beats Texas and Texas beats Baylor and the Sooners get a piece of it.  It seems unlikely to me at this point, really, but then, winning in Manhattan seemed unlikely as well.
Previous Ranking: #5, Season high ranking: #1

5. Kansas State Wildcats
It was a tight contest throughout, but the Wildcats just couldn't stop the Sooners on the ground, leading to questions of "why the hell didn't TCU do that?" but that's besides the point.  Kansas State is a secure 5 at the moment after bludgeoning Tech, but after their rush defense laid an egg like that against the Sooners it's going to raise a few concerns before the game against KU, as no matter how bad the Jayhawks are the one thing they can do is run the ball.
Previous ranking: #3, Season high ranking: #3

6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Tech will get one more chance to try and finish in the top half of the conference power rankings, but it's going to be a tough ask considering that the Raiders simply don't win in Austin.  As a Big 12 member, TCU has made one visit to Austin... and has as many victories there as Tech has had in its entire Big 12 tenure.  If Baker Mayfield can lead the Raiders to an upset on the road in Austin then the time has officially come to regret that we didn't offer him.
Previous ranking: #6, Season high ranking: #1

7. TCU Horned Frogs
A bye week means no change for the Frogs, but they may drop down if the Revivalry game against Baylor goes poorly.  On paper, the Frogs should be able to do the same things Oklahoma State did to stymie the Bears offense, and may even be better at it.  Then again, on paper, TCU has running backs.
Previous ranking: #7, Season high ranking: #1

8. Iowa State Cyclones
And then there's the one I didn't see coming.  Iowa State thrashed Kansas and actually shut the Jayhawks out to the point where Kansas didn't even get to attempt a field goal.  With a crushing victory over the team that pounded West Virginia last week the Cyclones overtake both teams in the rankings.  The tricky part will be staying at #8 after a visit to Morgantown, where WVU is a very different team.
Previous ranking: #10, Season high ranking: #7

9. West Virginia Mountaineers
Another case of a team getting lucky they didn't play last week.  The Mountaineers get moved back up for their win over OSU which looks even more impressive now, but it'll be up to the results of Riot Bowl II to see if the Mountaineers can stay out of the basement of the rankings.
Previous ranking: #9, Season high ranking: #5

10. Kansas Jayhawks
Welcome back to the basement guys we hope you enjoyed your fresh air and the win.  Hopefully you'll get another one next year!
Previous ranking: #8, Season high ranking: #6