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Big 12 Football Power Rankings: 10.20.2022

I love winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

For the second week in a row, the Jayhawks lost. Unlike in the loss to TCU, KU was largely noncompetitive against Oklahoma. As a result, they dropped to 6 in the rankings. The most disappointing part of KU’s performance was the defense and their inability to keep the offense within striking distance by getting consistent stops or even causing the OU offense to grid out scores. OU scoring drives lasted in order: 2:46 (TD), 2:22(TD), 0:57(TD), 2:12(TD), 0:49(TD), 2:33(TD), 3:20(TD), and 5:15(FG). OU punted one time. From an OU perspective this game was definitely encouraging, but also kind of scary at the same time. If Dillon Gabriel makes this big a difference to the performance of the team, OU fans must live in constant fear of him getting injured again. If that happens, OU’s season would be over.

TCU cemented its spot at the top after looking like my growing confidence in the Cowboys was warranted early in this matchup. In the end, the Cowboys did not look any better than the Jayhawks did against the Horned Frogs. After opening a 24-7 lead OSU was only able to kick two field goals in the final 50 minutes of regulation. Despite this, KU’s loss, and K-State not playing, I still ended up moving the Cowboys to the 2nd slot. I just could not move the Sooners up that far even with their big performance this week, the previous three weeks still weigh heavy on my mind.

If Texas had beat down Iowa State as they should have I might have moved the Longhorns right behind the Horned Frogs, but Iowa State has a knack for bringing opponents down to their level but still losing. Is Matt Campbell still a hot coaching candidate? His track record is better than Scott Frost’s, but this season’s string of close losses has to weigh heavy on the Cornhusker AD as he pursues a new coach. It just feels very similar to what they have seen in recent seasons.

Speaking of hot coaching candidates, is Dave Aranda still on that list? After getting a week and a half to prepare for their trip to Morgantown, the Bears fell on their face in their matchup with West Virginia way back last Thursday night. To his credit, Aranda’s Bears are the one team in the Big 12 to beat Iowa State by more than a field goal, but overall the Bears have been a disappointment this season. As for Iowa State, they are 0-4 in the conference and are probably telling themselves they should be at least 3-1. You know the saying “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”. They are this season’s embodiment of this saying.

As the Big 12 conference season rests somewhere near the midpoint, the contenders for the title game are coming into focus. Here are this week’s Big 12 rankings.

  1. TCU: They win, and they remain
  2. OSU: Despite a loss to #1 TCU they move up.
  3. K-State: Bye week was kind to them.
  4. Texas: Like all the others, they squeak past Iowa State
  5. OU: Dillion Gabriel seems to be the MVP of the league.
  6. KU: Second straight loss and looking really bad on defense.
  7. Texas Tech: Spent the bye week watching others go past them, both up and down.
  8. West Virginia: Did just enough to win, more than they did in earlier conference games.
  9. Baylor: Lost coming off a bye week to West Virginia.
  10. Iowa St: Shown a great ability to lose close games to everyone.