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Big 12 Power Rankings - 11/3/14

Big wins by TCU and K-State set up what could potentially be the conference championship game this week.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

TCU won a squeaker in Morgantown.  Kansas State won a laugher against Oklahoma State.  With Baylor lurking in the shadows, these two teams play for the lead in the conference.  Who has the inside track on a potential spot in the College Football Playoffs?

1. TCU (Previous Ranking: 1)

The winner between the top two teams from last week definitely gets to claim the top spot.  TCU got out extremely slow, but were somehow able to turn on the offense in the second half.  They will need that second half offense much earlier against K-State this weekend.

2. Kansas State (Previous Ranking: 3)

Even though it was Oklahoma State, KSU impresses as they continue to roll.  You may be able to argue that KSU should have the top spot with their undefeated conference record, but TCU has played more of the top teams already, and only has a loss in that shootout with Baylor.

3. West Virginia (Previous Ranking: 2)

The Mountaineers played phenomenal defense in the first half, but were unable to build a large lead due to the TCU defense.  Unfortunately, the dominant defenses went AWOL in the 2nd half, as both teams traded opportunities.  West Virginia won't be able to catch anyone off guard anymore.  They still have some slim hope for the conference championship, but will absolutely need to beat K-State and get a lot of help.

4. Baylor (Previous Ranking: 4)

They did what they needed to against Kansas, and they benefitted from a TCU win over West Virginia as well.  In what was the marquee game of the conference this preseason, Baylor looks to keep their championship hopes alive, but will likely need to win out. 

5. Oklahoma (Previous Ranking: 5)

They got the big blowout they needed to restore confidence, but are all but eliminated from contention for the championship.  If they win this week, they have an excellent shot to win out and finish with only 2 losses on the season.

6. Texas (Previous Ranking: 7)

With the exception of being shut out against K-State, they have managed to right the ship and move back to respectability. They still have a tough road to qualify for a bowl, but both West Virginia and TCU come at home.  They look to play spoiler in the conference race with those games.

7. Iowa State (Previous Ranking: 6)

While I in no way expected a win against Oklahoma, the margins in their losses just keep increasing from week to week.  This team is backsliding severely, and they need to find a way to put the brakes on it before the Jayhawks come to town this week.

8. Oklahoma State (Previous Ranking: 8)

This team is an utter disaster, and was only saved by the fact that they played their three worst opponents in conference during the first three weeks of their conference schedule.  I'm fully expecting them to lose out, finishing the year on a 6 game losing streak.

9. Kansas (Previous Ranking: 10)

What kind of sorcery is this?  How can they move up after losing in blowout fashion?  Hear me out.  KU's defense looked pretty good, despite the score, as they were continually put into dire situations by the offense.  Holding 4 drives that started deep in their own territory to nothing but field goals was pretty impressive, and at the end of the game, they just didn't have anything left.  Plus, if you had TTU and KU play on a neutral field 5 times tomorrow, I'd predict that KU would win at least 3 of those games.

10. Texas Tech (Previous Ranking: 9)

This defense is atrocious, and the offense isn't really that much better.  They were really unable to get anything substantial going against Texas, and at this point, I don't think they could beat anyone else in the conference, except maybe if they got to play KU again at home.