Week 13 gave us some highly entertaining matchups as three of the four Big 12 games played were decided by six points or less. The only game that didn’t go down to the wire was TCU and Kansas, which the Horned Frogs won 59-23. I’ve got to admit, it was fun watching the Frogs score a touchdown nearly every drive. I miss seeing that efficient of an offense week in and week out.
Baylor completed a sweep of the state of Kansas last weekend for their only Big 12 wins of the season thanks to a last-second field goal against Kansas State. That marks the fourth straight loss for the Wildcats after starting the year 4-0 in conference play. Yikes.
Now that Texas lost to Iowa State, the Longhorns won’t be making the Big 12 championship game unless there’s some kind of miracle. Yet another year of Texas not being back. What a shocker.
As long as Oklahoma wins their final two conference games against Baylor and West Virginia, they should be headed to Jerry World to take on Iowa State for the Big 12 title.
This Saturday is the final full Big 12 slate of the year, it’s been a wild ride, and it feels like I wrote the week 1 power rankings just yesterday.
Heading into the last full week of Big 12 play, let’s get into the 13th installment of the Frogs O’ War Big 12 Power Rankings.
10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-8, 59-23 L vs TCU)
Again, there’s not much to say about Kansas after yet another blowout loss at home. For the majority of the first half, the Jayhawks had negative rushing yards, but to their credit they managed to put up 23 points on a solid TCU defense. Kansas travels to Lubbock this weekend to take on Texas Tech as they hope to salvage at least something from this hectic 2020 season.
9. Baylor Bears (2-5, 32-31 W vs Kansas State)
Baylor overcame a 9-point 4th quarter deficit to defeat Kansas State this past weekend behind a stellar performance from quarterback Charlie Brewer. We all know Brewer has potential to be great, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations this season. Last week he silenced his haters, throwing for 349 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 56 yards and two touchdowns as well. The only negative about the Bears comeback win was that other than Brewer’s 56 rushing yards, Baylor running backs accounted for a whopping 15 yards. It’s hard to tell if this win was a product of Baylor actually improving, or thanks to the downfall of Kansas State who have now lost four in a row. I guess we’ll find out this weekend how much the Bears have improved as they take on Oklahoma in Norman.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-6, 50-44 L vs Oklahoma State)
Even though Texas Tech lost, they put up a hell of a fight in Stillwater. Who knows, maybe if the Red Raiders hadn’t given up a kick return touchdown on a surprise onside kick in the 3rd quarter, they may have won the game. Alan Bowman came back to claim his starting position in emphatic fashion, putting up 384 passing yards and three touchdowns against one of the better defenses in the conference. I was tempted to bump Baylor up to #8 but after seeing Tech compete with Oklahoma State like that, they’ve solidified their ranking. Texas Tech finishes the year on an easy note, taking on Kansas at home.
7. Kansas State Wildcats (4-5, 32-31 L vs Baylor)
Kansas State was in control of the game against Baylor up until the 4th quarter, when their defense failed them. This may be the first of their four consecutive losses that can be pinned on the defense rather than poor offense. The Wildcats ran all over Baylor’s front seven, posting 256 total rushing yards and averaging 7.3 yards per carry. K-State might just finish the year with five straight losses considering they play an angry Texas team coming off a tough loss at home.
6. TCU Horned Frogs (4-4, 59-23 W vs Kansas)
Finally, the Frogs are back to .500, and after a win like that I couldn’t feel better. As I watched TCU whomp on the Jayhawks, I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s what Alabama fans feel like week in and week out. Having an offense that can score nearly every drive must be nice, but it sure felt good seeing the Frogs produce against Kansas. Max Duggan may have completed only three passes, but all three went for touchdowns. The Horned Frogs run game put on a show in Lawrence as they posted 337 total rushing yards and averaged an insane 8.2 yards per carry. TCU plays their last Big 12 game of the year this Saturday taking on Oklahoma State at home.
5. Texas Longhorns (5-3, 23-20 L vs Iowa State)
If Tom Herman wasn’t in the hot seat before last week, he must be in some sort of boiling hot electric chair at this point because the pressure is on. I can feel the heat from his seat all the way in Fort Worth, it’s scorching. After blowing a 10-point lead at home to fall to the Cyclones, Sam Ehlinger summed up what every Texas fan is thinking. When asked if the team’s underachievement falls on the coaching staff, Ehlinger responded “That’s the million-dollar question that everyone’s been trying to figure out for the last 10 years.” Not exactly what you want to hear from the leader of the locker room. Unless some sort of miracle happens, we won’t be seeing Texas in the Big 12 Championship game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Herman is gone come the end of the year regardless of their last two results.
Movement: ↓ 2 (Rank 3 last week)
4. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-3, DNP last week)
It was a tough decision to bump West Virginia up to #4 after a forced bye week, but frankly if they were to play Texas again, I’d side with the Mountaineers seven days a week and twice on Saturdays. West Virginia had their game against Oklahoma last week postponed due to a COVID-19 breakout within the Sooners program. This gives them a great opportunity to potentially play spoiler on Oklahoma’s season in the last week of the year now that the game was rescheduled for Dec. 12. Hopefully the Mountaineers used their time off to their advantage, because they’re traveling to Ames to take on #9 Iowa State this weekend. West Virginia’s defense has played fantastic thus far, but will they be able to contain Breece Hall? I’m not sure containing Breece Hall is humanly possible at this point in the year, so we’ll see if they can at least hold him under 150 yards.
Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 5 last week)
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-2, 50-44 W vs Texas Tech)
I wouldn’t say Oklahoma State necessarily earned a bump in rankings after a close win over Texas Tech at home, but thanks to UT’s tom foolery (get it? “Tom”) the Cowboys find themselves in the top three again. OK. State was without star running back Chuba Hubbard last week, but that didn’t seem to slow down the rushing game one bit. Dezmon Jackson had a busy day with 235 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries. The defense gave up more yards than they have all season (639), which I can’t say I expected to see against an up and down Tech squad. The Cowboys aren’t exactly where they’d like to be in the Big 12 title race, but they aren’t eliminated from contention just yet. They’ll need either Baylor or West Virginia to pull off an upset over Oklahoma if they want a shot at the Big 12 championship game. Oklahoma State doesn’t have the easiest end of the season though. They’ll travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU this weekend followed by a trip to Baylor the week after.
Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 4 last week)
2. Oklahoma Sooners (6-2, DNP last week)
Before their forced bye last week, Oklahoma was riding some serious momentum with five consecutive wins by an average margin of 28.4 points. Ever since their loss to Iowa State in week 3, the Sooners have been on a steady rise back to the top of the conference. Now, they control their own destiny. If Oklahoma wins out and beats both Bayloir and West Virginia, they will almost certainly play Iowa State for the Big 12 championship. If I was a Cyclone fan, I would be rooting to play anybody other than Oklahoma because their momentum is dangerously high. The Sooners will look to continue their winning ways this week in a home game against Baylor.
1. Iowa State Cyclones (7-2, 23-20 W vs Texas)
I’ve got to admit, considering TCU is nowhere near contending for the championship this year, it was fun watching the “little guys” take down Texas at home to remain on top of the Big 12. Last week marked just the second time Iowa State has ever beat the Longhorns in Austin, and the win couldn’t have come at a better time. Down 10 in the 3rd quarter, the Cyclones fought back to go up 23-20 with less than two minutes on the clock. The defense came up huge with a sack on 3rd down, forcing the Longhorns to take a 57 yard field goal to try and force overtime. Who knows, maybe if it weren’t for that sack Cameron Dicker would have knocked a slightly shorter kick straight through the uprights to force OT, but I guess that’s just the way the wind blows. Iowa State ends the year at home this weekend against West Virginia. The Cyclones are pretty much locked in for the Big 12 championship game as it stands, but if they beat the Mountaineers on Saturday it will make things final.