With two weeks of regular season play and a couple of reschedules remaining, the Big 12 championship picture is now in focus. The leaders of the pack are playing the best ball by far. It’s hard to say anyone else is playing particularly good ball. At least one trip to Dallas can be clinched by the next time we rank.
1. Iowa State (Last: 1, Beat Kansas State 45-0)
No fanbase in the country had a better weekend than Iowa State fans. After nearly two decades of futility against Kansas State, the Cyclones systematically destroyed them. Brock Purdy played his best game of the season. Breece Hall’s Heisman campaign is taking off. Mike Rose is playing like an All-American. Times are great. The biggest game in program history awaits, and with a win, the Cyclones are off to Dallas.
2. Oklahoma (Last: 2, Beat Oklahoma State 41-13)
Bedlam was over after about 9 minutes. Oklahoma has kicked it into overdrive, and looks as good a bet as anyone to make it to Dallas. The offense has been predictably great. And all of a sudden, Oklahoma’s playing some defense as well.
3. Texas (Last: 3, Bye)
COVID issues forced a postponement against Kansas, but the power ranking committee feels confident that the Longhorns wouldn’t have dropped as a result of that game. They are in the weird spot of playing spoiler to Iowa State in November. Sam Ehlinger can’t continue to lead this team in rushing if they want to win the Big 12. Friday in Austin is a must watch.
4. West Virginia (Last: 6, Beat TCU 24-6)
Fresh off a dominant defensive effort and a bye week, West Virginia will say a lot about who finished 1st & 2nd in the league. Don’t write in a sure win against them yet. Playing spoiler and finishing over .500 would be a big step up for Neal Brown in year 2.
5. Oklahoma State (Last: 4, Lost to Oklahoma 41-13)
What happened to these guys? Injuries are one thing, but even a fully healthy Cowboys squad had no chance running into the Oklahoma buzzsaw. This team has been walking a fine line just barely pulling out games, so in a way this felt inevitable. They can still reach the championship game, but as crazy as it sounds, Mike Gundy has to find a way to score some points, quick.
6. Kansas State (Last: 5, Lost to Iowa State 45-0)
Wow. Talk about an unholy ass kicking. K-State was an underdog coming into the game, but nobody saw 45-0 coming. They’ll have to lick their wounds, and come together quick. Baylor is beatable, but this iteration of the Cats won’t do it.
7. TCU (Last: 7, Lost to West Virginia 24-6)
TCU is really struggling to move the ball on offense, as is most of the conference these days. There’s no cure for offensive struggles like a date with Kansas. At this point, the Frogs have to be looking for building blocks for 2021.
8. Texas Tech (Last: 9, Beat Baylor 24-23)
Tech is the most confounding bad team in the conference. They’ll get a lot of credit for coming back to beat Baylor when they looked completely out of it. With 3 games left, they could lose all by 50 or beat Oklahoma State. The fun part is letting it play out to see.
9. Baylor (Last: 8, Lost to Texas Tech 24-23)
When last we saw the Bears, they were blowing an 11 point 4th quarter lead to Texas Tech. How that happened is still a mystery 2 weeks later. Luckily enough, they’re catching Kansas State at the perfect time to try and build some momentum for the end of the season.
10. Kansas (Last: 10, Bye)
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the Jayhawks for making the bottom of the power rankings easy this season.