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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 9

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A couple of upsets have shaken things up in the Big 12 and now the path to the conference championship is anyones for the taking.

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

Remember what I said last week about Oklahoma State “claiming the throne as king”?... Well that didn’t last long. Of course it was Texas, of all teams, to open up the conference yet again. The Longhorns got out of Stillwater with a 41-34 overtime win defeating one of the only two undefeated teams in conference play heading into the week.

How did the other undefeated team in conference play do you might be wondering? Not good, not good at all. Kansas State got dominated by West Virginia on the road losing 37-10 for their first Big 12 loss on the year.

Even though teams like Oklahoma State and Iowa State still have the best chances (as of now) to reach the Big 12 championship, last week’s games really opened things up for the 2-loss teams like Oklahoma and Texas.

Hell, after TCU’s first half performance last week against BayLor I was ready to name them the new kings of the conference. Then the second half, also known as reality, hit and it hit hard. Maybe there is a reason the Frogs are 2-3 after all, though it’s still a solid win on the road nonetheless.

I can’t believe we are already on week 10. 2020 has felt like a decade’s worth of events all packed into just a few short months, but now that Football has been back the weeks are flying by.

This Saturday could be another big one in regards to the Big 12 standings. All eyes will be on Oklahoma State and Kansas State when they face off this Saturday.

Before we get too excited for this weekend, let’s see where the teams line up after a couple upsets in the 9th installment of the Frogs O’ War Big 12 Power Rankings:

10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-6, 52-22 L vs Iowa State)

Ah Kansas, what am I going to do with you? I can’t say I’m surprised by this result, especially considering Iowa State was fresh off a crushing loss to Oklahoma State the week before. What I can say is that ironically Kansas deserves a bit of credit. Once Pooka Williams Jr opted out, I was expecting a solid 7 points per game from this offense, yet they surprised me this week by scoring 22. Part of me just really wants to see these guys win at least one this year, as long as it’s not against the Frogs, anyone else would suffice.

Movement: ↔

9. BayLor Bears (1-3, 33-23 L vs TCU)

I’ll admit, one of my favorite parts about doing these rankings is writing “BayLor,” something so small yet it brings me so much joy — especially when that L comes from our beloved Horned Frogs. Even though they lost by 10, it wasn’t all bad for the Bears, at least in the second half. If you take away the 1st quarter, the Bears win this game 23-13, but sadly for BayLor that’s not how things work. Rivalry games are never easy, and things get even tougher for the Bears next week as they travel to Ames to take on Iowa State.

Movement: ↔

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-4, 62-28 L vs Oklahoma)

Last week I went back and forth on the idea of moving Tech up in the rankings after they beat West Virginia, but after last week’s game against Oklahoma the Red Raiders have solidified themselves at #8 — for now. As always, the Big 12 makes no sense: Tech lost to Kansas State, Tech beat West Virginia, and now West Virginia blows out Kansas State. I guess that’s just part of the beauty of football. The only thing spooky about Tech’s night time game on Halloween was their first half performance. The score was 48-14 Sooners after 30 minutes had been played. Ouch. Overall, the Red Raiders need to play much better defense to be able to compete in this league, or at least score more points. This Saturday Tech takes on TCU in their first road game since October 10.

Movement: ↔

7. TCU Horned Frogs (2-3, 33-23 W vs Baylor)

I can already see myself getting ragged on for having the Frogs drop in rankings after beating their intra state rival, but the fact of the matter is that West Virginia simply looks to be the more complete team. I like to tell myself that Gary Patterson must have read my article last week, because the rushing attack was a complete flip from what we’ve seen in previous games. Instead of having 6 different players split the carries relatively evenly, the Frogs stuck with Darwin Barlow as their RB1, and it paid off. Barlow ran for 117 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Barlow’s 17 carries were the most by a single running back in a game for TCU this season, though it ties Max Duggan’s 17 carries against Texas a few weeks back. That first half against BayLor had me thinking all of the Frogs problems were solved, Gary is the messiah, and everything was peaches and cream. Then of course the second half just had to come rain on our parade exposing some underlying issues within this team. This game gave me hope though, the Frogs did a lot of things right, but need to be able to play like they did in the first half consistently. TCU is back home this week as they take on Texas Tech in what should be a fun game to watch.

Movement: ↓ 1 (Rank 6 last week)

6. Kansas State Wildcats (4-2, 37-10 L vs West Virginia)

The Skylar Thompsonless Wildcats got exposed last weekend in rather brutal fashion. Kansas State only accumulated 44 yards on the ground and had a whopping three interceptions, one of which went for six. The Mountaineer offense appeared to be too much to handle for the Wildcats defense considering they gave up 485 yards and 23 first downs on the day. Sure they looked good last week against Kansas, but who doesn’t. I generally don’t see much upside with this group after that performance, something major needs to change if they want to compete with Oklahoma State next week.

Movement: ↓ 2 (Rank 4 last week)

5. West Virginia Mountaineers (4-2, 37-10 W vs Kansas State)

The Mountaineers came to play last week, beating the previously undefeated in conference play Kansas State Wildcats. Not only did they beat the Wildcats, they pummeled ‘em 37-10. I am a big fan of what the Mountaineers have going on offensively, it seems to be a really balanced attack. Last week against K-State, the Mountaineers had 301 yards through the air and 184 yards rushing; not a bad day at the office if you ask me. The Mountaineers defense made the offense’s job easy for them thanks to their three interceptions, including a pick six, and holding Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn to only 22 rushing yards. West Virginia will look to carry this momentum into next week as they head down to Austin to take on Texas.

Movement: ↑ 2 (Rank 7 last week)

4. Texas Longhorns (4-2, 41-34 W vs Oklahoma State)

I get it, Texas beat a top 10 team on the road, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. A lot of people thought the Longhorns were lucky to get out of there with an OT win, it was neck and neck the entire game and there were some questionable officiating decisions made late in the game. Texas was out gained on offense by nearly 250 yards (530 compared to 287) but managed to win the turnover battle with a +4 margin. This might be the first time all year I can say the Texas defense won them a game, even though they gave up over 500 yards... The Longhorns are back home this week to host West Virginia in what should be another entertaining matchup.

Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 5 last week)

3. Oklahoma Sooners (4-2, 62-28 W vs Texas Tech)

Oklahoma made a big statement last weekend dominating Tech on the road 62-28 after a big time 48-14 first half performance. The offense was in sync early, Spencer Sanders threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns while the Sooners run game accumulated 213 total yards on the ground. Tech hasn’t looked the best this season, but winning in Lubbock is never an easy thing to do, especially on Halloween night — a truly spooky setting for most visiting teams, but not the Sooners. I’d expect the dominance to continue for Oklahoma as they take on Kansas at home this Saturday.

Movement:

1. Iowa State Cyclones (4-2, 52-22 W vs Kansas) AND Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-1, 41-34 L vs Texas)

We’ve got the first ever tie this week at #1. Why you ask? Because I can. The top of the Big 12 is a bit of a doozy right now so this makes logical sense to me. Based on last week’s rankings: #1 lost to #5 but beat #2, #2 beat #3 and #3 beat #5, who I remind you beat #1. See how this can be somewhat of a toss up? Either way you want to rank ‘em, these are currently the best teams in the conference on paper, but Oklahoma is creeping up on the top spot. Sure Oklahoma State lost a close one to Texas, but they out gained the Longhorn offense by over 200 yards which is not an easy task. As sad as it might be, Spencer Sanders’ four turnovers likely cost the Cowboys that game especially in the 2nd half. Iowa State on the other hand made light work of Kansas as generally everyone would have expected them to. Looking ahead to next week, the Cyclones are in a slightly more favorable position as they play BayLor at home while Oklahoma State has to travel to Morgantown in what they hope to be a bounce-back game.