It’s hard for there to be a lot of movement when the higher ranked teams all win, but there is always room for the middle of the rankings to churn. Let’s see how well that happened this week.
1 - Oklahoma Sooners (8-2, 7-0 Big 12, Last Week: 1)
Two more games to play, two huge hurdles to the Big 12 title. They still have a shot at the College Football Playoff, given the insanity we are seeing across the nation. But this isn’t an easy road for them.
Up Next: @ #14 West Virginia, 7:00PM on ABC
2 - Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-2, 6-1 Big 12, Last Week: 2)
Win out and win the conference title. It’s as simple as that. With the bye week next week, they shouldn’t be looking ahead to the season ending match against Oklahoma. TCU is no slouch recently, and they certainly could score the huge upset here.
Up Next: @ TCU, 11:00AM on Fox Sports 1
3 - West Virginia Mountaineers (8-1, 5-1 Big 12, Last Week: 3)
Losing in Texas would have been very bad for this team, as they still have the ability to snatch the Big 12 title with a win against Oklahoma this week. If they win out, including a convincing win Saturday, there is still a chance that they can get to a New Year’s Bowl.
Up Next: vs #9 Oklahoma, 7:00PM on ABC
4 - Kansas State Wildcats (5-4, 3-3 Big 12, Last Week: 4)
The bye week doesn’t change anything with this team, and since the teams above them all won and the teams immediately below them all lost, they get to stay here for now. Baylor could potentially be a dangerous opponent, but there is just so much unknown with that team. Winning this game gives them bowl eligibility and could potentially set them up for a mid-level bowl.
Up Next: @ Baylor, 11:00AM on ESPN2
5 - Texas Longhorns (5-5, 3-4 Big 12, Last Week: 5)
They need to be bowl eligible and get to a good bowl to save Charlie Strong, but losing to West Virginia doesn’t help in that regard. They have still mainly beaten up on bad teams this year, and poor showings against the highly rated ones won’t be enough. They have to win at Kansas this week, and win pretty impressively to help mitigate the effects of a potentially tough matchup against TCU to end the season.
Up Next: @ Kansas, 2:30PM on ABC or ESPN2
6 - Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-6, 2-5, Last Week: 6)
They barely lost on the road to Oklahoma State. I considered jumping them above the Longhorns, but the memory of that recent home loss to them wouldn’t let me pull that trigger. This team is still exactly what we thought they would be at the beginning of the year,
Up Next: @ Iowa State, 2:30PM on Fox Sports 1
7 - TCU Horned Frogs (5-4, 3-3 Big 12, Last Week: 7)
The bye week doesn’t really give us anything else to talk about, other than Oklahoma State coming to town this week gives them a huge opportunity to get bowl eligible and set themselves up for a decent bowl.
Up Next: #11 Oklahoma State, 11:00AM on Fox Sports 1
8 - Iowa State Cyclones (2-8, 1-6 Big 12, Last Week: 9)
Is this part Baylor-backlash? Maybe. But Iowa State has been competitive in nearly every game they have played this year, and seems to be just waiting for a chance to pick up a huge upset. They have all the momentum at this point, and if they played Baylor again, I’m pretty sure they would win.
Up Next: Texas Tech, 2:30PM on Fox Sports 1
9 - Baylor Bears (6-3, 3-3 Big 12, Last Week: 8)
This team has been in free-fall since their unexpected close loss at Texas. Off the field distractions aren’t helping them either. They will probably score a huge upset win now that I dropped them below ISU (TCU demolished Baylor after I did that).
Up Next: Kansas State, 11:00AM on ESPN2
10 - Kansas Jayhawks (1-9, 0-7 Big 12, Last Week: 10)
I don’t think there is really anything else to say other than they missed their shot to get out of the bottom of the rankings by losing to Iowa State. Barring a huge upset, this will be their ending spot.
Up Next: Texas, 2:30PM on ABC or ESPN2
(No More) Fun With Stats
Well, it was fun while it lasted. With no other stat even remotely close to having the Jayhawks lead, and a lack of time to dive in for obscure things that might give us something to “boast” about, I’ve decided to end this little segment a couple weeks early. We honestly got a lot further than I thought we would, and I don’t want to cheat by jumping to another sport again.
Just a recap for those that are new to our Power Rankings. This was the segment where we highlighted a new stat each week that showed definitively that the Kansas Jayhawks were the best in the conference at football. I was able to avoid reusing any of the stats until last week, but in past weeks we have looked at Total Kickoff Return Yards (KU is now 2nd in conference, 29th nationally), 4th Down Conversion Percentage Defense (4th in conference, 37th nationally), Team Tackles for Loss Per Game (3rd in conference, 19th nationally), 3rd Down Conversion Percentage Defense (1st in conference, 41st nationally), Red Zone Defense (1st in conference, 40th nationally), Fewest Penalty Yards (3rd in conference, 41st nationally) and Blocked Punts Allowed (1st in conference, 8th nationally after our tiebreakers).