Week 5 didn’t do much to clarify things, as we saw new problems and new strengths for many of the Big 12 squads. The top and the bottom are fairly certain, but the middle churned just as much as before.
A reminder that these are power rankings, not resume rankings. They are intended to be a current snapshot, and the opinion of the author on how teams would likely fair if they played everyone else in the conference this coming week. They are highly influenced by recent history, and if you don’t like them, feel free to give your own in the comments.
1 – #6 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0) (LW - 1)
Last Week: Won 55-16 vs Texas Tech
This Week: at Kansas (2-3)
The Sooners weren’t honestly challenged during Saturday’s game against the Red Raiders, and the lack of Alan Bowman means that we still don’t really know how good this defense might be. And shutting the Jayhawks down won’t really tell us anything either.
2 – #11 Texas Longhorns (3-1) (LW - 2)
Last Week: BYE
This Week: at West Virginia (3-1)
It’s not that the Longhorns actually needed the bye, but it did give them a chance to reset and make sure that they don’t overlook the Mountaineers before next week’s Red River Rivalry. They are still clearly the number 2 team in the conference.
3 – #21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-1) (LW - 4)
Last Week: Won 26-13 vs #24 Kansas State
This Week: at Texas Tech (2-2)
It was a huge win against the Wildcats, with Chuba Hubbard breaking out as a darkhorse Heisman candidate, and the defense shutting down what had been a very prolific Kansas State running attack.
4 – Baylor Bears (4-0) (LW - 6)
Last Week: Won 23-21 vs Iowa State
This Week: at Kansas State (3-1)
The defense was dominant for the first three quarters of that game, with the Cyclones finally breaking through as the heat and fatigue got to the Bears. The offense played fairly well against a strong Iowa State defense, and this combination sets them up well to compete in the Big 12 the rest of the year.
5 – #24 Kansas State Wildcats (3-1) (LW - 3)
Last Week: Lost 26-13 at Oklahoma State
This Week: vs Baylor (4-0)
It was a big step back, as the dominant offensive line that was supposed to set this team apart struggled all night long. The defense is still stout, despite the record-setting night from Hubbard, but the offense really needs some work.
6 – TCU Horned Frogs (3-1) (LW - 8)
Last Week: Won 51-14 vs Kansas
This Week: at Iowa State (2-2)
Yes they were dominant against Kansas. While I think there are plenty of good things to take away from this game, the offense may not actually be that much improved. Give them credit for bouncing back so convincingly after the loss to SMU, but this game against Iowa State will be a much better way to measure their progress.
7 – Iowa State Cyclones (2-2) (LW - 5)
Last Week: Lost 23-21 at Baylor
This Week: vs TCU (3-1)
That was UGLY. The offense is back to looking atrocious, furious 4th-quarter comeback notwithstanding. Brock Purdy can’t do everything on his own, and the lack of protection and failure of any skill position players to emerge to help him means that this might be a difficult stretch for Cyclone fans.
8 – West Virginia Mountaineers (3-1) (LW - 7)
Last Week: BYE
This Week: vs #11 Texas (3-1)
There isn’t much to say after the bye week. We’ll see if they can build off the momentum of the game against Kansas two weeks ago. Don’t count on a win, but if they can remain competitive then we will know a lot more about this team.
9 – Kansas Jayhawks (2-3) (LW - 9)
Last Week: Lost 51-14 at TCU
This Week: vs #6 Oklahoma (4-0)
Yuck. The only thing saving the Jayhawks from the bottom spot is the fact that Texas Tech is missing both their quarterback and any semblance of a defense. If the KU offense can’t find their footing after the loss of Khalil Herbert (and apparently Dom Williams as well), they could easily drop to the bottom of the rankings. Also, the longer Dru Prox takes to come back from his injury, the worse this defense will look.
10 – Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-2) (LW - 10)
Last Week: Lost 55-16 at #6 Oklahoma
This Week: vs #21 Oklahoma State (4-1)
There isn’t much going right for this team right now, as we entered garbage time of the Oklahoma game before we could honestly assess how the offense could perform under any of the QBs that the Red Raiders could throw out there. The defense didn’t look good, and Oklahoma State won’t be much of a relief for them.