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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 8

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The kings of the Big 12 have officially claimed their throne.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Oklahoma State Sarah Phipps-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, we had a full slate of Big 12 games last weekend — and if you are reading this, odds are things didn’t go too well for your team…

Yes, I dare say it, TCU is 1-3 and generally seems like they have no interest in winning football games. The Horned Frogs season thus far is compatible with the entire year of 2020, somehow it has managed to get worse over time as now the Frogs have lost multiple wide receivers to the transfer portal.

I hate to be the negative nancy, but I’m just calling it how I see it. I do believe TCU will get back on track this weekend against Baylor in what seems to be a must win game for the Frogs.

I wonder if there is any stat that determines the percentage of punts while in 4th down territory, while also losing the game — I bet we take the cake on that one.

Anyways, enough about the Frogs for now. Week 8 gave us a surprisingly low scoring game between Texas and Baylor, a slight upset in Texas Tech beating West Virginia, and a top-25 matchup that went down to the wire between Oklahoma State and Iowa State.

One thing is clear, the Cowboys are still king through 8 weeks. Let’s see where the rest of the Big 12 lines up in the 8th installment of the Frogs O’ War Big 12 Power Rankings:

10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-5, 55-14 L vs Kansas State)

No Pooka, no surprise. Even though Kansas got blown out on the scoreboard, the box score tells a different story. The Jayhawks were able to gain 320 yards against the Wildcat defense, only 61 yards less than K-State had on offense. Then again, when you give up two punt return touchdowns and throw a pick six it’s hard to keep the score close. The Wildcats defense and special teams put up 21 points alone against Kansas. After a brutal loss to an in-state rival, the Jayhawks have another tough one next week against 23rd ranked Iowa State.

Movement: ↔

9. BayLor Bears (1-2, 27-16 L vs Texas)

Ah yes, another week of BayLor losing means another week of capitalizing the L. BayLor had a weird game against the Longhorns last week, and by weird I mean they didn’t put up at least 100 combined points like you’d expect from teams that are typically all offense and no defense. Yes, the Bears have a veteran QB in Charlie Brewer, but he really hasn’t done anything to impress me yet this season. The Bears have got to get their run game going, they are currently averaging only 3.03 yards per carry and their leading rusher only had 21 yards against the Longhorns. BayLor’s got a big rivalry game this Saturday as they take on TCU at home.

Movement: ↓ 1 (Rank 8 last week)

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-3, 34-27 W vs West Virginia)

Well, it looks like changing quarterbacks from Alan Bowman to Henry Colombi was the right move for the Red Raiders as they got their first Big 12 win of the season last week. It wasn’t a huge upset, but this is a great win for Tech, especially after that brutal loss to Texas at home a few weeks back… I’ve got to give credit to Tech’s defense, even though they gave up a decent chunk of yardage through the air, they held the Mountaineers to only 91 rushing yards. This was West Virginia running back Leddie Brown’s lowest total of the season so far. We’ll really get a taste of what the Red Raiders are made of when they play Oklahoma this weekend. Weird things happen in Lubbock, look out for this one.

Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 9 last week)

7. West Virginia Mountaineers (3-2, 34-27 L vs Texas Tech)

West Virginia has been a tough team to pin this year, they have managed to put up a decent amount of points, but against some of the lesser defenses in the Big 12 like Kansas and Baylor. It seemed like the offense did all they could last week, but the defense wasn’t able to hold the Red Raiders consistently throughout the game. Even though the Mountaineers lost to Tech, I still think WVU is the more complete team. Though if Henry Colombi continues to perform, that could change.

Movement: ↔

6. TCU Horned Frogs (1-3, 33-14 L vs Oklahoma)

After two short decades of being alive, I can confidently say that game last week vs Oklahoma may have been one of the most excruciatingly painful performances I’ve watched as a Horned Frog fan. Not too long ago I was writing about how TCU is a real contender for the Big 12 championship; at least it was fun while it lasted. I’m not really sure what’s going on in the backfield, against Oklahoma the Frogs had 6 different players tally carries yet only had 75 total rushing yards — averaging 3.0 yards per carry. Giving up random 20+ yard plays has been the story of the year for the Frogs, and that didn’t change against the Sooners. Oklahoma had two passing touchdowns of more than 50 yards, something that has got to improve for the Horned Frog defense going forward. The defense did as much as they could other than that, holding the Sooners to four field goals, but the offense did them no favors. To all my Horned Frogs out there, we’ve still got plenty of football left, and any season where we beat both Texas and BayLor is a win in my book. TCU takes on BayLor next week in Waco.

Movement: ↓ 1 (Rank 5 last week)

5. Texas Longhorns (3-2, 27-16 W vs BayLor)

Even though Texas beat Baylor by 11, this still isn’t an impressive enough win for me to rank the Longhorns any higher. Plus it’s just fun to say that Texas is STILL not back, and probably won’t be for quite some time. Sam Ehlinger has played well all year, as you’d expect him too, and surprisingly the Texas defense made some stops last weekend; probably the first time I can say that since they played UTEP in week 1. The Longhorn’s biggest test of the season comes this Saturday as they take on the 6th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater.

Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 6 last week)

4. Kansas State Wildcats (4-1, 55-14 W vs Kansas)

Congrats K-State, you embarrassed Kansas — big whoop. I know the Wildcats are 4-0 in the Big 12 and now ranked 16th in the country, but I’m still not fully buying into what coach Klieman has going on. Sure they upset Oklahoma, but their games against lower-ranked Texas Tech and TCU teams ended relatively close. There might even be a fluke or two in their record, I mean who wins a game while only completing 8 passes? Unless we are talking about a military academy running the triple option, the answer should be no one. The Wildcats are a solid team don’t get me wrong, but we still haven’t seen what quarterback Will Howard can do against a good defense. We should find out this week as the Wildcats take on West Virginia, a team that has found some defensive success early on in the year.

Movement: ↔

3. Oklahoma Sooners (3-2, 33-14 W vs TCU)

Oklahoma is back to looking like Oklahoma again. The Sooners took care of business last weekend holding TCU to only 14 points, which is a feat against any Big 12 team (sorry Kansas, not you). Even when they did lose, it was only by one possession on both occasions. Spencer Rattler looked fantastic against the Frogs, throwing for 332 yards and 3 TDs on just 13 completions. Normally that low number of 13 completions would concern me, but the Sooners didn’t really need to throw the ball as much thanks to running back T.J. Pledger’s 122 yards and one touchdown on the ground. The Sooners can hang with anyone in the conference and if they can win their next few games, we’ll have a BIG Bedlam game come November 21. Like I said before, weird things happen in Lubbock, so the Sooners will have to survive a spooky Halloween matchup against the Red Raiders this Saturday.

Movement:

2. Iowa State Cyclones (3-2, 24-21 L vs Oklahoma State)

Believe me, I tossed and turned all night debating whether to keep Iowa State at #2 or move them down below Oklahoma following a close loss. As you can see, I decided to stick with the Cyclones in the second slot. Breece Hall continues to be the man, running for 185 yards and a touchdown, including a 66 yard breakaway run. He even out-rushed Chuba Hubbard by 46 yards which is never an easy feat. This might be a bit of a bold statement, but Iowa State has had the best running back in the Big 12 so far this season in Breece Hall. After a tough game against a top-10 opponent last week, the Cyclones get a bit of a break as they take on Kansas this Saturday.

Movement: ↔

1. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-0, 24-21 W vs Iowa State)

Last week we saw #1 and #2 face each other, and #1 came out on top in a close battle that went down to the wire. Spencer Sanders was back in his first game since his injury and looked good other than a pair of interceptions. Even though Illingworth did his duty stepping in at quarterback, it looks like the Cowboys are rolling with Sanders for the rest of the year as long as he stays healthy. Oklahoma State’s got a great offense, but the pressure is on the defense to continue playing well as the Cowboys are about halfway through their shortened season. We’ll see how their defense does next week against a solid Texas offense.

Movement: ↔