Big 12 Power Rankings: Week Nine

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1. No. 10 TCU

The Horned Frogs are rising quickly. They started off this season near the bottom of most Big 12 standing projections, but, aside from a complete fourth quarter meltdown against Baylor, they have been the most dominant team. They beat Oklahoma, they should have beaten Baylor and they crushed Oklahoma State. They are scoring at a ridiculous pace — 45.2 points per game — behind the arm of junior receiver-turned-quarterback Trevone Boykin. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns against just three picks, while adding over 57 yards per game on the ground.

2. No. 11 Kansas State

The Wildcats currently sit atop the Big 12 standings with a 3-0 conference record. Head coach Bill Snyder is making a case to be coach of the year, as he has his team outplaying more talented teams yet again. They were lucky to escape Oklahoma with a win Saturday, but with senior quarterback Jake Waters’ rapid improvement and a solid defense, Kansas State will be able to compete with anyone. When will we stop underrating Kansas State?

3. No. 17 Oklahoma

The Sooners should have beaten Kansas State at home Saturday. Michael Hunnicutt, their typically outstanding kicker, missed two “easy” field goals and had an extra point blocked, as they went on to lose by one. The real worry isn’t Hunnicutt, however — it’s redshirt sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight. He’s completing just 59 percent of his passes while throwing six picks. He had his best game of the season against the Wildcats, but can he keep it up?

4. No. 12 Baylor

For the third straight week, the Bears looked less than stellar. They are still the highest scoring team in the country, but their defense is a major liability. After allowing less than 13 points per game in the first five contests, many thought this defense had figured things out. But then TCU put up 58 points, and West Virginia tallied 41 in the upset. Their remaining schedule isn’t easy, either, as they still face Kansas State and Oklahoma.

5. No. 22 West Virginia

The Mountaineers proved they should be taken seriously, as they are now in the top 25. They are 6-1 on the season and have a great offense. Redshirt senior quarterback Clint Trickett is a serious candidate for the Big 12 Player of the Year award, averaging over 360 yards per game to complement his 15 touchdowns. Oh, and he is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes.

6. Oklahoma State

TCU put the Cowboys in their place in a blowout win last weekend. The Cowboys have the toughest remaining schedule in the Big 12, as they will face No. 22 West Virginia, No. 12 Baylor and No. 17 Oklahoma on the road in their final four games. It may be a rough end to the season for head coach Mike Gundy and his Pokes.

7. Texas

For the second week in a row, the Longhorn offense, led by the emergence of sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, has looked like the real deal. Texas outplayed Oklahoma and hung on to beat Iowa State. Texas isn’t going to scare anyone, but they aren’t road kill either. But, sitting at just 3-4, they will need to win three of their final five contests to be bowl eligible. With TCU and Kansas State still on the schedule, that won’t be an easy task.

8. Iowa State

Once again, the Cyclones hung around with a better team, but once again, they lost. Redshirt junior quarterback Sam Richardson is playing well at quarterback, but their defense isn’t good enough to compete in a Big 12 loaded with offensive juggernauts.

9. Texas Tech

The Red Raider defense gets worse and worse each week. They allowed 21 points and 363 yards to Kansas, which might have been their worst performance of the year. After a hot start, their offense has begun to falter, and David Webb’s stock continues to plummet.

10. Kansas

The Jayhawks aren’t going to get a Big 12 win this year. At this point, all they can do is count down the days until basketball season.