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Big 12 Power Rankings: The "Defense is Dead" edition

Does the recognition that defense is yet again not something important to teams in this league change the way we rank the teams? Should it?

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

There were lots of big scores, and lots of big surprises in this week of Big 12 action. A total of 367 points were scored in the Big 12 this week, showing that defense is not a point of emphasis in this league. That means that teams averaged 38 points apiece (40 if you don't count Kansas and their anemic 7 point output). If this is the norm, and defense doesn't really matter too much in this league, then how does that affect our power rankings? Let's take a look below.

1. Baylor (Last Week: 3) – Sometimes, just winning the games you have in front of you pays off. Oklahoma lost and TCU barely held on against an overmatched opponent yet again, so the Bears get to benefit from blowing out the Jayhawks as you would expect them to. The overall resume for TCU isn’t really any more impressive than for Baylor, and TCU has been struggling in games that they should be winning. The Bears haven’t missed a beat at all and continue to cruise.

2. TCU (Last Week: 2) – They didn’t move at all, thanks to actually pulling out the win. Being undefeated in this conference isn’t anything to scoff at, but they’ve had two extremely close calls on the road against teams that are supposed to be clearly a step below them. The wins are great, but they need some more style while doing it.

3. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 6) – I finally have to admit that Oklahoma State is a better team than I gave them credit for. West Virginia is no slouch, and to go in there and survive through overtime before pulling out the win is rather impressive. Oklahoma lost a trainwreck of a game, and the Cowboys greatly benefitted.

4. Oklahoma (Last Week: 1) – It’s a big drop, and might seem like an overreaction. But this Texas team is bad this year, and they just completely demolished the Sooners. You could try chalking it up to the game being a huge rivalry, but Oklahoma is still far and away the better team this year. That loss will only look worse if Texas doesn’t start turning their season around.

5. Texas Tech (Last Week: 5) – I have a hard time dropping the Red Raiders after such a dominant performance, even if it was against one of the bottom teams in the rankings. Iowa State looked completely overmatched, and Texas Tech was finally able to get over the hump and get their first Big 12 win of the year.

6. West Virginia (Last Week: 4) – That one hurt. They had every chance to finish the comeback in a game they never led and get a big win against a quality opponent at home, but they let it slip through their fingers at the end, and then couldn’t get it back in OT. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as they sandwich a by between trips to #2 Baylor and #3 TCU.

7. Kansas State (Last Week: 7) – I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt over the Longhorns right now, as they put on a pretty impressive performance against the Horned Frogs, and you can likely chalk up the Texas victory in large part to it being a rivalry game. Kansas State seemed to score at will in the early part of the game, but the defense is too thin to keep up with the high-powered offenses they are going to see throughout Big 12 play this year.

8. Texas (Last Week: 9) – Getting a big win against your rival is a good way to move up out of the bottom of the rankings. Unfortunately for them, they went cold in the second half of their game, and Oklahoma almost stopped shooting themselves in the foot long enough to steal the win back. The Longhorns’ prospects for the rest of the season are starting to look up, but they still have a long way to go.

9. Iowa State (Last Week: 8) – What a disaster that was. They got behind early, and were outscored in every single quarter the rest of the way. The Tech defense hasn’t really been good at all this year, but they forced big turnover after big turnover all day long. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that now that the football team has won and assured themselves a better finish than the Jayhawks, the fans may be all in on the basketball season.

10. Kansas (Last Week: 10) – No surprise here. Willis was at least mildly impressive, but there really was nothing to write home about in this game. The Kansas OL is still atrocious, the defense still can’t stop anybody, and it’s getting harder and harder to force myself to watch the games online afterwards.

So who’s out of place? Did Baylor jump up too far on the misfortune of others? Should Texas have moved up even higher? Tell us how badly I screwed up below.