The Big 12 wasn’t immune to Shakeup Saturday and this week’s Power Rankings reflect that infection. The top six gets a major makeover after a crazy Week 7.
1. TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12). Last week: 6. This week: at Baylor. The Frogs earned the most impressive win of the season for any Big 12 team and leapfrog Baylor because of their total resume to this point in the season. If Baylor wants the top spot, they’ll have to earn it next week. If you ignore preseason expectations, TCU has outplayed everybody in the Big 12 so far this season. Also, at this point, is there a compelling reason why Trevone Boykin shouldn’t be listed among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy right now? Bryce Petty has sat for more fourth quarters than he’s played this year, but both players have similar numbers and Boykin actually has a higher completion percentage.
2. Baylor (5-0, 2-0). Last week: 2. This week: vs. TCU. Baylor doesn’t have a quality win yet, but has a chance to earn a gigantic one on Saturday with No. 9 TCU in town. The Bears are probably a better team than TCU and grade higher than the Frogs on the ever-infamous "eye test," but you’ve got to earn it. The Frogs did that last week. Baylor gets its shot this Saturday.
3. Oklahoma (4-1, 1-1). Last week: 1. This week: vs. Texas at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Sooners are good enough to manufacture some good, old-fashioned chaos and make the Big 12 party like it’s 2008. If the Sooners win their final seven games, they could conceivably find themselves in a three-way tie for the Big 12 title. If that happens, I guarantee OU will earn a playoff bid. Last week, Trevor Knight was off and the pass-heavy playcalling was suspect, but the Sooners simply got outplayed by TCU’s defense in the fourth quarter.
4. Kansas State (4-1, 2-0). Last week: 4. This week: Idle. K-State has been solid this year, but still looks a slight cut below the league’s top three teams. Like the two teams below them in these power rankings, it’s never good when your resume’s highlight is a loss. The Wildcats have yet to beat an FBS team with a winning record and were far from convincing against 1-4 Iowa State.
5. Oklahoma State (4-1, 2-0). Last week: 3. This week: at Kansas. Starting slow is becoming an issue for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys stumbled through a scoreless first quarter against ISU on Saturday and fell behind Florida State 17-0 in their opener. They only led 10-6 after the first quarter against Missouri State and trailed Texas Tech 14-7 midway through the second quarter. OSU can’t keep getting away with this every week. The offensive line’s inability to win up front is the biggest issue, but the slow starts are significant.
6. West Virginia (3-2, 1-1). Last week: 5. This week: at Texas Tech. The Mountaineers took care of business against Kansas. That’s all you can ask for. This week’s trip to Lubbock could serve as an interesting bookend to WVU’s time as a Big 12 member. The 2012 trip began a long, slow decline from the top five of the polls to last year’s 4-8 disaster. WVU looks like it’s headed back in the right direction and a win over the Red Raiders would equal last year’s win total. I’m surprised the ‘Eers are only a two-point favorite.
7. Texas (2-3, 1-1). Last week: 7. This week: vs. Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Longhorns’ defense is salty and will probably keep them close in this week’s Red River … is it Showdown now? Showcase? Rivalry? Obviously not the Shootout. Whatever.
Anyway, we haven’t seen much progression from Tyrone Swoopes in the past month. The offensive line is probably the bigger issue, but Swoopes has to be able to make more plays. Texas is averaging 13.5 points in its last four outings. I am unsurprised that UT is 1-3 in that stretch or that the lone win came over KU.
8. Iowa State: Iowa State is finding out how hard it is to win when you can’t run the ball. Mark Mangino is a good OC, but you can’t scheme your way around losing the battle on the line of scrimmage every weekend. QB Sam Richardson still has 94 more rushing yards than any player on Iowa State’s roster and most of those are coming on broken plays he extends for big gains. Aaron Wimberly is averaging 3.04 yards a carry.
9. Texas Tech: Davis Webb was on the field and Tech still got manhandled by Kansas State, losing by 32. It’s becoming uncomfortable to watch this team. There’s too much talent on this roster to be this poor.
10. Kansas: KU did not get shutout, but it did make a surprising switch from Montell Cozart to Michael Cummings, who was not much better, going 8-of-17 for 65 yards. Even UCLA transfer T.J. Millweard got a shot, completing his only pass of the day for four yards to Tony Pierson. The Jayhawks defense is respectable, but KU will never climb out of the basement without vastly improved quarterback play.