The season is over, and here’s how the Big 12 Power Rankings look at the end of 2013. Keep an eye out this week for our early 2014 rankings, too.
1. Oklahoma 11-2, 7-2: When was the last time Oklahoma could say it truly shocked the world? The Sooners did exactly that by beating Alabama and getting Big Game Bob’s biggest win since the one over Florida State that won him his only national title.
2. Oklahoma State 10-3, 7-2: Oklahoma State gets this spot thanks to its dominant win over Baylor, combined with the Bears’ lackluster performance against UCF. OSU hung with a top five Missouri team in the Cotton Bowl and "overachieved" this season, coach Mike Gundy told me after the game.
3. Baylor 11-2, 8-1: The Bears BCS debut was disappointing, but even after Lache Seastrunk announced his plans to leave early for the NFL, Baylor’s well-suited to be a Big 12 contender next season. Bryce Petty showed a bit of weakness against an underrated UCF defense, and should work this offseason on delivering the ball when windows get tight.
4. Kansas State 8-5, 5-4: K-State was impressive in a dominant Buffalo Wild Wings bowl victory over Michigan. It finished the year with six wins in seven games after a 2-4 start and slides above Texas in the final rankings. The Wildcats will also be among the league’s contenders next season. Jake Waters and Daniel Sams clicked down the home stretch this year.
5. Texas 8-5, 7-2: The Longhorns were outplayed by Oregon, but still put up a nice fight outside of Case McCoy’s pick sixes. Jackson Jeffcoat will be missed from this team. Johnathan Gray won’t be on the field this spring. Could that hurt his touches under a new coaching staff next fall?
6. Texas Tech 8-5, 4-5: The Red Raiders’ collapse in the second half of the season won’t be forgotten in one game. Texas gets the nod between these two, and it’s easy to forget that Texas played for a Big 12 title on the final weekend of the season. Baker Mayfield is gone, but Davis Webb and Michael Brewer offer plenty of promise at the quarterback position under Kliff Kingsbury.
7. TCU 4-8, 2-7: The Horned Frogs made a pair of fantastic hires in Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, bringing a bit more spread offense influence to Fort Worth from Houston and Texas Tech, respectively. TCU will have a quarterback battle in spring without a favorite or a lot of potential. That’s worrisome for the program’s future. The Frogs can’t win without developing the position.
8. West Virginia 4-8, 2-7: Speaking of quarterback issues, Dana Holgorsen has to develop one of his own if he’s going to get off the hot seat. AD Oliver Luck didn’t go to Texas and gave him a vote of confidence, but it’s clear that another year without a postseason in Morgantown will likely be the end of Holgorsen’s once-promising tenure at WVU.
9. Iowa State 3-9, 2-7: Iowa State closed the season with a pair of nice wins against Kansas and West Virginia and turned heads by hiring former Kansas coach Mark Mangino as offensive coordinator. There’s real talent in Ames in guys like Aaron Wimberly and Quenton Bundrage. If Grant Rohach continues to develop, ISU will be in a bowl game next year.
10. Kansas 3-9, 1-8: We’re still waiting on Kansas to take a serious step in the right direction. Hiring John Reagan as the new offensive coordinator from Rice is a nice move, and he may help utilize dual-threat quarterback Montell Cozart well next season. The Jayhawks still have to find consistency in the passing game to get back to respectability in the Big 12.