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Big 12 Power Rankings - 11/17/14

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With nearly half the conference idle, there were plenty of opportunities for teams to move around. Where did the dominoes fall?

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Not many games, and really only one that didn't go how we thought it would. Kansas provided highlight after highlight, but the magic ran out. How do those plays affect their ranking here?

1. Baylor (Previous Ranking: 2)

The bye week is good for one thing: you can't perform badly enough to hurt your perception. Baylor benefitted from the TCU-KU game, and while I still think it is extremely close, the head-to-head win and overall better stats give them the nod at the top of the rankings this week.

2. TCU (Previous Ranking: 1)

Big scare against Kansas. Even when everything was going against them, they fought and found a way to win. The slow start was a big enough knock on them to move them down a peg though, even with Baylor idle.

3. Kansas State (Previous Ranking: 3)

Using the bye week to regroup, there wasn't any significant result to move them out of this spot. Huge game this week if they want to stay in the running for the Big 12 title.

4. Oklahoma (Previous Ranking: 4)

The difficulty they had early against Texas Tech gives me pause when trying to move the Sooners ahead of Kansas State, but ultimately they won comfortably on the road, and that is enough to keep them ahead of Texas. They really need to get started quickly against Kansas though. There don't want KU sticking around thinking they can end the road streak in the Big 12.

5. Texas (Previous Ranking: 5)

A dominating performance against Oklahoma State, but the offense had some trouble finishing off drives. After two touchdown drives in the first quarter, the offense settled for field goals on 5 drives deep into OSU territory (including missing a chip-shot 21-yarder). The kicker is a position that might be trouble, with that missed chip shot and a blocked PAT.

6. West Virginia (Previous Ranking: 6)

The bye week doesn't help them, but it doesn't hurt either. There really isn't much to talk about here, other than their game against Kansas State will be huge on Thursday.

7. Kansas (Previous Ranking: 8)

What a fabulous two weeks we've had. A win against TCU wouldn't have pushed them any higher in the rankings, so this is about as good as it gets. Kansas has shown that Bowen is a competent coach. Whether this is enough to get him the permanent job (more on that later in the week) is still a mystery, but this team no longer looks like the pushover that they've been since Mangino was fired.

8. Texas Tech (Previous Ranking: 9)

They had the early lead against Oklahoma, but the defense wasn't able to stop the Oklahoma offense once it woke up. Texas Tech has been holding fairly steady over the last few weeks, but hasn't done enough to get over the hump. Advanced stats (mainly FEI since S&P hasn't updated yet) has KU and Texas Tech basically the same (KU slightly ahead), but the momentum factor of the last two games pushed the Jayhawks over the Red Raiders.

9. Iowa State (Previous Ranking: 10)

I know, I know, you think I'm overreacting to OSU's bad outing against Texas, and Iowa State's most recent game was getting dominated by the Jayhawks, but that domination was on the heels of losing their defensive "QB" and their actual QB to injury prior to the game. With no time to adjust to the loss of those important players and running up against a fired up KU team, I'm willing to give them a little benefit of the doubt over an OSU team that has completely fallen apart over the course of the whole season without any signficant injury during that timeframe.

10. Oklahoma State (Previous Ranking: 7)

They couldn't get anything at all going against Texas, with the only points coming when the outcome had already been decided. The defense was unable to get off the field at home. This team is awful.