Week 11 was a slow one in the Big 12 as only four of the ten teams competed with six on a bye week. Baylor and Texas Tech went down to the wire in Lubbock with the Red Raiders coming out on top 24-23 thanks to a last second field goal. Meanwhile in Morgantown, TCU may have played the game, but they never really showed up. West Virginia’s defense held strong against the Horned Frogs struggling offense, which ended up scoring only two field goals all game, ending 24-6 in the Mountaineer’s favor.
This week will be another slow one considering only three games were scheduled to play and four teams are on bye, but now Kansas has announced their game vs Texas this Saturday will be postponed due to injuries as well as concerns surrounding COVID-19. As of right now, the game has been rescheduled for December 12th, like the majority of college football’s make-up games have been.
The Battle of Bedlam is finally here, and it’s lining up to potentially be one of the best Big 12 matchups all year. #14 Oklahoma State @ #18 Oklahoma. Whoever wins between the Sooners and the Cowboys has a much, much easier path to the Big 12 championship game and I’d expect both squads to come out swinging.
The rankings aren’t going to change much this week considering only a couple games were played. Normally I would bump TCU down after that horrid performance, but there is a huge talent gap between rankings 10-8 and where the Frogs stand at #7.
With that being said, let’s get into the 11th installment of the Frogs O’ War Big 12 Power Rankings:
10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-7, DNP last week)
Kansas was on a bye last Saturday, and maybe that was the best case scenario for them. Not playing always beats losing by 20+ points week in and week out am I right? The Jayhawks were originally scheduled to host Texas this week, but the game was postponed until Dec. 12 due to COVID-19 complications. That will make it two whole weeks without losing (or playing) a football game — hooray!
9. BayLor Bears (1-5, 24-23 L vs Texas Tech)
Even though the Bears have five conference losses through six games, they have yet to be blown out. For the most part, BayLor has been able to keep things competitive but just hasn’t been able to finish the job, which was evident again last week in Lubbock. BayLor was up 20-6 in the 3rd quarter and ended up losing thanks to a 12-0 4th quarter effort from Tech. This is now the second consecutive week the Bears have failed to win a game after leading by 14 points in the 3rd quarter, frustrating stuff if you’re a BayLor fan, but truly entertaining as a Frog fan.
Movement: ↓ 1 (Rank 8 last week)
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-5, 24-23 W vs BayLor)
Texas Tech pulled off a big come from behind win against BayLor last week, winning on a last second field goal to overcome a 14 point deficit. It looks like we might have some more quarterback controversy from the Red Raiders as Henry Colombi was replaced by Alan Bowman, Tech’s starter at the beginning of the year, in the 2nd half. The decision seemed to work out for coach Matt Wells considering Bowman went on to win the game. Who would have thought Texas Tech of all teams would clutch a win with multiple late-game field goals? Not me, that’s for sure. After last weekend, the Red Raiders field goal percentage on the year rose to a whopping 55.6%. Texas Tech won’t be playing this Saturday as they are on bye week along with the majority of the conference.
Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 9 last week)
7. TCU Horned Frogs (3-4, 24-6 L vs West Virginia)
I can think of so many words to describe TCU’s performance on Saturday, but I’ll stick with one: Yikes. After that terrible performance against Oklahoma a few weeks back and getting two consecutive wins, I didn’t think it was possible for the Frogs to play this bad again, but boy was I wrong. The defense had a decent outing, but man that offense is something else. I hate to be the debbie downer, but I call it as I see it. This offense needs some sort of major change, because there hasn’t been much going for this unit all year other than quarterback Max Duggan. We’ve learned that when Duggan struggles to run the ball, the entire team struggles to move the ball. Duggan finished the day with 19 rushing yards on 10 carries, averaging just 1.9 YPC. One of the determining factors in the game vs the Mountaineers was the turnover battle, which WVU won 2-0. There won’t be any TCU football this weekend as the Frogs are on a bye week. Their next matchup is at Kansas in week 13.
6. Kansas State Wildcats (4-3, DNP last week)
Kansas State surprised me in their last outing losing to Oklahoma State by only two points. After that 27 point loss to West Virginia, I thought the Wildcats would be down and out, but they put up some fight. This is now two straight losses for K-State, so they’ll need to come prepared for a road game against 17th ranked Iowa State this week if they want to avoid three in a row. Kansas State recently had a COVID-19 breakout within their younger players and were left without a scout team during practices, which makes you wonder how the Wildcat defense will fare against the wrecking ball that is Breece Hall.
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-3, 24-6 W vs TCU)
West Virginia took care of business last week against TCU, holding the Horned Frogs offense to just 295 total yards and two field goals on the day. West Virginia has dominated defensively all season, supported by their No. 5 rank in the country for overall defense — not too bad for a “Big 12 defense” eh? The Mountaineers had a decent day on offense as well, especially running back Leddie Brown. Brown led the offense with 156 rushing yards on 24 carries, and quarterback Jarret Doege threw for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s a solid outing when facing a Gary Patterson defense. Along with the majority of the Big 12, the Mountaineers will be on a bye this week.
4. Texas Longhorns (5-2, DNP last week)
Unfortunately for the Longhorns, they won’t be playing this Saturday thanks to yet another postponement caused by COVID-19 complications. After opening Big 12 play with a 1-2 record, Texas really bounced back with three consecutive wins, including a win on the road against then-ranked #6 Oklahoma State. The Longhorns next game will have huge implications as to who could reach the Big 12 championship game come December as they take on #17 Iowa State in week 13.
3. Oklahoma State (5-1, DNP last week)
Even though neither the Cowboys or the Sooners played last weekend, I chose to swap the #3 and #2 teams as I generally feel that despite their two one-possession losses, Oklahoma is the better all-around team. The Cowboys didn’t look like themselves in their last game against Kansas State, it’s not often you see Chuba Hubbard finish with 31 yards on the day. I’m curious to see how Oklahoma State will do in their toughest road test of the season, Norman is never an easy place to play, with or without COVID guidelines.
Movement: ↓ 1 (Rank 2 last week)
2. Oklahoma Sooners (5-2, DNP last week)
Oklahoma will take on Oklahoma State for the 115th time this Saturday in what I am expecting to be the game of the week. The Sooners have been dominant recently, winning their last three games by an average margin of 35.3. Ever since being benched for a portion of the Texas game, quarterback Spencer Rattler has been playing at a high level consistently. The Sooners offense thrives off quarterback productivity, so we will see if the true freshmen can show up for his first Battle of Bedlam.
Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 3 last week)
1. Iowa State Cyclones (5-2, DNP last week)
Iowa State is currently 5-1 in conference play and sitting on top of the Big 12 standings for the first time in school history. The Cyclones have never held first place heading into the month of November. We might be seeing a bit of a golden era from Iowa State considering they have only had a winning conference record in five seasons since 1996, and four of those five have been since 2017. With the way this program is headed, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a trend that continues for years to come. Iowa State will look to continue their winning ways this weekend as they take on Kansas State at home.