Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 15
Here’s how the Big 12 sits heading into the final week of the season.
1. Oklahoma State 10-1, 7-1, last week: 1. This week: vs. Oklahoma. The Cowboys sat at home and nearly saw BCS chaos break out in front of them. Missouri and Ohio State survived, though. A backdoor invite to the BCS title game is nearly impossible, but the Cowboys just need to beat OU next week to clinch the Big 12’s automatic BCS bid as the tiebreak holder for what would be a shared title.
2. Baylor 10-1, 7-1, last week: 2. This week: vs. Texas. The Bears looked pretty sloppy against TCU and should feel fortunate they escaped Fort Worth with a win. The road hasn’t been friendly to Baylor, who will be happy to get back to the friendly confines of Floyd Casey Stadium in the venue’s finale against Texas.
3. Texas 8-3, 7-1, last week: 4. This week: at Baylor. That was a dominant performance against a reeling Texas Tech team. If you’re not impressed with Texas rallying from a 1-2 and playing their way into a chance to win at least a share of the Big 12 title, you probably support a certain maroon and white squad.
4. Oklahoma 9-2, 6-2, last week: 3. This week: at Oklahoma State. The Sooners were mathematically eliminated from the Big 12 title race after Baylor held on against TCU. OU exceeded my expectations this year (I picked the Sooners to win eight games), but I’m intrigued to see what Trevor Knight does in what will be a crazy atmosphere in Stillwater.
5. Kansas State 7-5, 5-4, last week: 5. I’m almost as impressed with K-State as I am with Texas. The Wildcats showed promise during a 2-4 start, but winning five of six games to close the season is never easy in the Big 12. The Snydercats did it and should be a top 25 squad next season.
6. Texas Tech 7-5, 4-5, last week: 6. I’d drop Texas Tech further if I could, but nobody in the bottom half of the Big 12 is any good either. Like I mentioned in my Big 12 thoughts, the Red Raiders were clearly paper tigers after a 7-0 start. The QB derby this spring will be fun to watch, though, and Tech’s heading in the right direction. Kingsbury will right this ship.
7. TCU 4-8, 2-7, last week: 7. As if there was any doubt, TCU’s finish confirmed that it is no longer in the Mountain West anymore. The Frogs dealt with injuries this year, but even a fully healthy TCU squad wouldn’t have won more than seven games. Gary Patterson is a stabilizing force in the program, but it may be time for a change at OC this offseason.
8. Iowa State 3-9, 2-7, last week: 9. Nice job from the Cyclones, who finish the season with wins over Kansas and West Virginia. Grant Rohach showed some major progress in those wins. If he can develop, ISU may be within reach of the program’s next step before too long. He’ll have to do it with a new OC after Paul Rhoads let Courtney Messingham go on Sunday.
9. West Virginia 4-8, 2-7, last week: 8. All WVU had to do to reach a bowl was beat the two teams with the worst record in the Big 12: Iowa State and KU. The Mountaineers lost both games, and blew a 24-point, first-half lead and a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead at home to Iowa State. It’ll be a long offseason in Morgantown.
10. Kansas 3-9, 1-8, last week: 10. Jayhawks will finish where they started. I like the fight we saw from KU after going down 21-0 to rival K-State, but there just aren’t enough weapons on offense, especially in the passing game. The QB race in the spring will be intriguing.