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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 11

With the top two inactive, still somehow chaos reigns beneath them. Where is TCU after the loss to West Virginia?

Tom Pennington

1. Oklahoma Sooners
A bit of luster came off of OU's win over Tech due to the Raiders struggles, but I'm not finangling the top two until post OU-Baylor with both teams being inactive. It'll all be settled Thursday night.
Previous ranking: #1, Season high: #1

2. Baylor Bears
A similar look for Baylor as the Bears too got a bye in anticipation of a Thursday night visit from Oklahoma with the #1 spot in the power rankings at stake. Oh, also the conference championship, but really it's all about the power rankings.
Previous ranking: #2, Season high: #2

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys move up after a stellar performance against Texas Tech, which was made all the more impressive coming in the twilight zone that is Lubbock, Texas. The Cowboys are firmly in control of their own destiny, and would win any tiebreakers by winning out- the schedule is fair enough, with only a date with the Longhorns on the road, but the turnaround from Texas to Baylor may be a rough one. Still, the Cowboys look like a team that's still improving- bad news for this week's opponent- Kansas.
Previous ranking: #5, Season high: #1

4. Texas Longhorns
Yes, I'm still on the Longhorns bandwagon, but a relatively pedestrian win over Kansas doesn't give the Horns enough juice to keep ahead of a Cowboy team that manhandled a good Tech team. Still, Texas may have the most talented offensive and defensive lines in the conference, and that will likely give them a huge edge as they start their stretch run. The only lingering issue for the Horns is can Case McCoy stop himself from giving games away? If he turns in efficient performances like he did in the Red River Shootout then Texas may be the conference favorite.
Previous ranking: #3, Season high: #2

5. Kansas State Wildcats
Apart from a week 1 loss to NDSU, Kansas State's losses don't look too bad- ten points @ Texas, four points @ Oklahoma State and would have beaten Baylor if not for a late interception. Kansas State's offense has been gaining balance and the defense has been gaining experience, both looking better with each passing week. They turned an Iowa State team that was still fighting for any hope of bowl eligibility into a smear on the windshield this week, and I think that they're good enough to beat Tech on the road as well. If there were still a conference championship game I think the South champion would be very, very afraid of the Wildcats.
Previous ranking: #6, Season high: #5

6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
What a difference two weeks can make, huh? The Red Raiders got blasted at home by Oklahoma State, removing Tech from Big 12 title consideration and putting them instead in the bowl team category. But which bowl? Buffalo Wild? Alamo? Bridgeport Education Holiday (Bridgeport education? Seriously?)? There are no end to the possibilities. Oh. I guess there actually is, and that's it.
Previous ranking: #4, Season high: #1

7. West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers didn't just beat TCU, they ran on TCU successfully without grinding the Frogs down with TOP. Great news for the Mountaineers, not so good news for Frog fans. That's all I can write without being very sad.
Previous ranking: #7, Season high: #5

8. TCU Horned Frogs
Only Iowa State being shellacked last week keeps TCU from moving down.
Previous ranking: #8, Season high: #1 (It seems like so long ago)

9. Iowa State Cyclones
Got shellacked. I'm a believer in K-State, but it's hard to be too optimistic about the Cyclones now that any fringe bowl hopes have been truly extinguished. Paul Rhoads is too good a coach for his team to quit on him, but an early score may prompt a "here we go again" mindset that's impossible to pull out of.
Previous ranking: #9, Season high: #7

10. Kansas Jayhawks
#10 is Kansas because Kansas. If TCU loses to Iowa State and Kansas beats the Cyclones they'll have a chance to get as high as #8, but that's their ceiling now.
Previous ranking: #10, Season high: #6