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RCT Big 12 Football Power Rankings - Week 8: West Virginia takes over top spot.

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A big win by the Mountaineers jumps them over the Bears.

TCU v West Virginia Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

1 - West Virginia Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0 Big 12, Last Week: 2)

I’m sure many of you are surprised that I jumped them over Baylor even though Baylor was off this week. But when you put everything together, West Virginia has the same record as the Bears, a much better strength of schedule (28 vs 114) and has been playing much better on defense. Give me that team every time.

Up Next: @ Oklahoma State

2 - Baylor Bears (6-0, 3-0 Big 12, Last Week: 1)

The Bears get to face the Sooners first, but Oklahoma is probably the only team that has a realistic shot of beating either of these top two teams. They are on a collision course for a potential Big 12 deciding finale.

Up Next: @ Texas

3 - Oklahoma Sooners (5-2, 4-0 Big 12, Last Week: 3)

This week is probably going to be fairly simple, but this defense is having lots of problems. Luckily for them, the offense has been able to keep pace in shootouts against Texas and Texas Tech. But this defense has given up 40+ points in more than half of their games, which has to improve if this team expects to contend for the conference title. If Kansas somehow puts up 30, then something is seriously wrong in Norman.

Up Next: Kansas

4 - Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-2, 3-1 Big 12, Last Week: 4)

Escaping the Jayhawks in Lawrence doesn’t really do anything to build their profile. Instead, it just keeps them treading water. I don’t know if it’s fair to call that one a trap game either, but with West Virginia coming to town this week, they have an opportunity for a signature win that might help erase some of the sting of the questionable loss to Central Michigan.

Up Next: #10 West Virginia

5 - Kansas State Wildcats (4-3, 2-2 Big 12, Last Week: 5)

A close win against Texas is exactly what they needed. The defense showed up again after failing against the machine that is the Sooner offense. But the offense struggled greatly against an embattled defense that hasn’t been anything special. Multiple turnovers in the second half kept them from extending an already comfortable lead and putting the game away. They are officially on upset alert for this weekend.

Up Next: @ Iowa State

6 - Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-4, 1-3 Big 12, Last Week: 8)

As usual, the offense is phenomenal. The defense is just atrocious though. They had multiple chances to stop Oklahoma and couldn’t do it. Oklahoma scored 5 touchdowns on 6 drives in the second half, and the only one they didn’t score was when they ran down the clock at the end of the game.

Up Next: @ TCU

7 - TCU Horned Frogs (4-3, 2-2 Big 12, Last Week: 7)

They got absolutely manhandled by the Mountaineers. The offense was anemic, the defense couldn’t seem to stop much, and there aren’t any real simple answers. This looks like a bad team, and I expect them to get torched again by the Red Raiders.

Up Next: Texas Tech

8 - Texas Longhorns (3-4, 1-3 Big 12, Last Week: 6)

This is probably the end for Charlie Strong, which is somewhat ironic since the defense got multiple turnovers this week to show some improvement. But when one unit is on, the other is always off, and despite how much his players love playing for him, there just isn’t enough in the results department for him to stick around, barring a huge upset win against Baylor this week.

Up Next: #8 Baylor

9 - Iowa State Cyclones (1-6, 0-4 Big 12, Last Week: 9)

They have a good shot with the Wildcats coming to town this week, as they have shown some surprising ability to score points in the last month or so. The real question is going to be if the Cyclones defense can continue holding down the Wildcats offense. If so, expect a big party in Ames.

Up Next: Kansas State

10 - Kansas Jayhawks (1-6, 0-4 Big 12, Last Week: 10)

Once again, they showed fight and the defense kept them in the game, but eventually they ran out of gas and the offense started giving away free points again. This team still has enough to get a surprise win, but this week is not going to be pretty.

Up Next: @ #16 Oklahoma

Fun With Stats

Once again, we use this segment to drown the pain of another Big 12 loss by finding an area that our Kansas Jayhawks are the best team in the conference. In previous weeks, we highlighted Total Kickoff Return Yards (KU is now 3rd), 4th Down Conversion Percentage Defense (2nd in conference, 15th nationally), Team Tackles for Loss Per Game (2nd in conference, 8th nationally), 3rd Down Conversion Defense Percentage (1st in conference, 33rd nationally) and Red Zone Defense (4th in conference, 48 nationally). Up this week: Fewest Penalty Yards.

Rank School Natl Rank Penalty Yards Total Penalties
1 Kansas 19 325 37
2 Oklahoma 21 328 32
3 West Virginia 27 332 36
4 Kansas State 38 358 49
5 Oklahoma State 42 360 38
6 Iowa State 73 416 51
7 Baylor 94 466 56
8 Texas 103 490 54
9 TCU 118 545 60
10 Texas Tech 126 596 69