In the midst of an unusual football season, the Big 12 had a slow week 7 with only one conference matchup being played.
Kansas traveled to Morgantown to take on West Virginia in what started out to be an unusual game, and by unusual I mean the Jayhawks were actually winning for a significant portion of the first half. After losing the 1st quarter 10-7, the Mountaineers pulled away late in the game for a 38-17 win.
Unfortunately, the other Big 12 matchup scheduled for week 7 between Baylor and Oklahoma State was postponed due to COVID-19 complications, marking the third postponement of the season for the Bears.
With that being said, this week’s power rankings will be a tad shorter than usual considering not much has happened in the conference since week 6. Thankfully, there is a full slate of five Big 12 matchups scheduled to be played in week 8; as long as COVID holds off everything should be good to go.
Let’s get into the 7th installment of the Frogs O’ War Big 12 Power Rankings:
10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-4, 38-17 L vs West Virginia)
Even though Kansas won the 1st quarter, their game against the Mountaineers last week was nowhere near close on paper. The Jayhawks were out gained on offense by 387 yards (544 compared to 157) and lost the first down battle 29 to 7. After another brutal loss, things got even tougher for the Jayhawks as star running back Pooka Williams Jr chose to opt out of the remainder of the season for personal reasons. Williams Jr has always been the spark in a truly dim offense ever since he arrived in Lawrence. In fact, he has led the Jayhawks in all-purpose yards for each of the three seasons he has been on the team. This is going to be difficult to recover from, Williams Jr is a tough guy to replace. I don’t want to sound harsh, but without Pooka I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Kansas finish 0-10 on the year. In the meantime, they will prepare for their inner-state rival, a hot K-State team coming up this weekend.
Family over everything .. I’m going to miss all my guys & coaches, it’s forever Rock Chalk pic.twitter.com/5vV2dFUVuF— PTM✨ (@PookaWilliamsJr) October 19, 2020
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-3, DNP last week)
After a 1-3 start to the year, Texas Tech has made the decision to change quarterbacks. Henry Colombi will now take over for Alan Bowman, who has been the team’s starter since 2018. In the two occasions Colombi has come in the game so far this year, he has thrown for 359 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 51 yards, and completed 74% of his passes (40/54). The Red Raiders host West Virginia this week as they hope to get their season back on track.
8. Baylor Bears (1-1, Postponed vs Oklahoma State)
Baylor was able to return to practice on Sunday after having their third postponement of the season thanks to a COVID-19 breakout on the team likely linked to a false-negative test result. The Bears are planning to take on Texas in Austin this weekend. I say “planning to” because at this point who knows what could happen with the Bears.
7. West Virginia Mountaineers (3-1, 38-17 W vs Kansas)
Even though it was a bit of a rocky start, West Virginia added a 21 point win to their resume in week 6. I’ve talked about Big 12 running backs a lot this year, but man Leddie Brown put on a show for the home crowd! Brown ran for 195 yards and a touchdown on only 18 carries, averaging an impressive 10.8 yards per carry. Not to mention his 5 receptions that went for 36 yards and another touchdown. The Mountaineers had a great day through the air as well as quarterback Jarret Doege threw for 318 yards and three TDs. Even though it was against a subpar defense, this game really showcased West Virginia’s balanced offensive scheme. The Mountaineers hit the road this week to take on Texas Tech in Lubbock.
6. Texas Longhorns (2-2, DNP last week)
After beginning the year with a 59-3 rout against UTEP, Texas has yet to impress. Depending on how you view things, the Longhorns were just a few plays away from being 1-3 overall and 0-3 to open Big 12 play if it weren’t for their miraculous 4th quarter comeback against Texas Tech. If Texas struggles again this weekend against Baylor, then we’ll know there are truly some underlying issues within this football team.
5. TCU Horned Frogs (1-2, DNP last week)
2020 seems to be a repeat of 2019 for the Horned Frogs so far considering both of their losses have come by 7 points or less. This now marks 8 of the last 9 losses for the Horned Frogs coming by only one possession or less. Brutal stuff. TCU has had arguably the toughest schedule in the conference to open the year, playing two out of the three remaining unbeaten teams in conference play — Iowa State and Kansas State. Don’t let this 1-2 record fool you, TCU has been competitive in each game thus far. Things don’t get much easier for the Frogs this weekend as they host the Oklahoma Sooners, a game that could serve as a massive turning point for both schools.
4. Kansas State Wildcats (3-1, DNP last week)
Starting quarterback Skylar Thompson will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery for an upper-body injury. Unfortunate news for K-State, but even with true-freshmen backup QB Will Howard under center in their most recent game, the Wildcats came away with an unusual 21-14 victory. Howard only completed 8 passes in his first start for the Wildcats but hey, a win is a win. K-State takes on Kansas in what should be a blowout win this weekend.
3. Oklahoma Sooners (2-2, DNP last week)
I’m still baffled by the fact that we are less than halfway through the college football season and Oklahoma already has two losses. Frankly, I’d love to see them reach three conference losses this weekend… #GoFrogs. In their last outing, they snuck away with a 4OT win against Texas. Again a win is a win, but there were still some question marks surrounding the Sooners such as Spencer Rattler being pulled for Tanner Mordecai in the 2nd quarter. At this point for the Sooners, every game is a must win situation if they want to make it to the Big 12 championship come December. Oklahoma travels to Fort Worth this weekend to take on the TCU Horned Frogs.
2. Iowa State Cyclones (3-1, DNP last week)
So far so good for Iowa State in Big 12 play, the Cyclones remain one of only three Big 12 teams that are undefeated in conference play. Running back Breece Hall has had an exceptional year, and the Cyclones appear to be able to compete with the best of the best in the Big 12. Their biggest test of the season comes this Saturday when they take on 6th ranked Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
1. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0, Postponed vs Baylor)
Oklahoma State has only had two conference games so far, both of which were relatively easy wins over teams in the bottom half of this list. We will get to see how the Cowboys fare in a top-25 matchup for the first time all year; should be a good one in Stillwater this Saturday.
No changes from last week’s power rankings, but I am expecting another whirlwind of classic Big 12 shenanigans this weekend to shake things up for the next Power Rankings.