Big 12 Power Rankings: West Virginia retains conference crown

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We're nearly halfway through the college football regular season and some teams are beginning to make the jump into the top tier while others are looking to avoid sliding further. Here's where each Big 12 team sits going into Week Six:

No. 1, West Virginia

Going on the road to Lubbock and beating No. 25 Texas Tech is certainly enough to keep the Mountaineers at the top spot in the Big 12 power rankings. Will Grier continues to put up ridiculous numbers after throwing for 370 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. West Virginia hosts Kansas this week, which puts them in a great spot to stay at the top spot yet again.

No. 2, Oklahoma

A 66-point showing from the Sooners’ offense keeps them planted at No. 2 in the rankings, but for the second straight week, the opponent exploited Oklahoma’s defense. Regardless, the Sooners head into the Red River Rivalry ranked No. 7 at 5–0. Kyler Murray and company are scoring 48.6 points per game, which ranks 8th in the nation.

No. 3 Texas

It was not necessarily the prettiest victory, but Texas kept their winning streak alive and did so in a place they hadn’t won since 2002. The bright side for the Longhorns is that their defense will keep them in games even when the offense is not clicking. A punt return for a touchdown and a safety gave Texas a much needed boost early against Kansas State.

No. 4 Oklahoma State

Coming off a bad loss to Texas Tech at home, Oklahoma State responded well with a 20-point victory over Kansas. Through five games, the Cowboys rank 6th in yards per game in the nation. Mike Gundy’s team rebounded well and the momentum should continue against Iowa State this week.

No. 5 Texas Tech

Starting quarterback Alan Bowman suffered a punctured lung in the loss to West Virginia, but luckily for the Red Raiders, Jett Duffey stepped in and accounted for 258 yards of offense in just over a half of football. Although Texas Tech likely won’t be able to sustain their offensive production that is averaging nearly 600 yards per game without Bowman, Duffey proved he can hold his own.

No. 6 TCU

After two straight losses, TCU gets back on the right track with a 17-14 victory over Iowa State. The Horned Frog offense has scored just 30 points over the last two games, a type of production that will not keep them in a ball game with their matchup next week with Texas Tech.

No. 7 Baylor

Baylor did not pose much of a threat to Oklahoma despite putting up 33 points. The biggest positive is the play of quarterback Charlie Brewer (400 yards and two touchdowns). There is certainly reasons for optimism with Brewer leading the way for the Bears.

No. 8 Kansas

The Jayhawks hung around for most of their 48-28 loss to Oklahoma State this past weekend. The improvement in a brutal outing against Baylor keeps Kansas out of the cellar of this week’s power ranking. Running back Pooka Williams Jr. is averaging 7.9 yards per carry and is one of the conference’s most underrated players. 

No. 9 Kansas State

There’s a quarterback problem in Manhattan. Kansas State is averaging just 10 points per game in conference play so far, which does not bode well for how Big 12 offenses are designed. An offensive turnaround is not out of the picture, especially with head coach Bill Snyder still on the sidelines.

No. 10 Iowa State

The Cyclones fell to 1–3 on the season after their loss to TCU this past weekend. Although their three losses have come against very solid programs, the Cyclones just seem to have too much missing this season. Iowa State is averaging 17.5 points per game, which is dead last in the Big 12.