Big 12 power rankings: Baylor makes leap into top 3

AddThis

Photo Credit: Lillian Michel | Daily Texan Staff

No. 1: Oklahoma

The Sooners settled the debate as to who is the top dog in the conference with a 34-27 win over Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Graduate transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts still looks like a Heisman contender, and junior wideout CeeDee Lamb is looking like one of the best receivers in the country. More importantly, Oklahoma has a defense now. Watch out for Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff.

No. 2: Texas

Junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns were sent away from Dallas empty-handed this year after the offense couldn’t find its footing until the second half. Texas put out its worst offensive showing in the year’s biggest game, but hopes for the Big 12 title are still alive and well. The Longhorns will hope to make up for their loss to Oklahoma against Kansas this week.

No. 3: Baylor

Head coach Matt Rhule’s Bears almost lost their perfect record this weekend, scraping by Texas Tech in double overtime in Week Seven. This is the toughest Baylor team we’ve seen since Art Briles’ departure, so look for the Bears to give the conference’s top teams some problems as they vie for their first conference championship since 2014.

No. 4: Iowa State

It’s still difficult to have an opinion one way or the other on the Cyclones’ season so far. On the one hand, they already have two losses to teams outside the top 15. On the other, their losses have been by a combined three points, and they’ve now blown out both TCU and West Virginia. It looks like head coach Matt Campbell may have this team back on track once again.

No. 5: Texas Tech

I know it’s easy for a losing team to blame the referees. But the Red Raiders probably would’ve beaten Baylor if it weren’t for a blown call by the Big 12 crew that was officiating. That being said, Tech’s only other conference loss is to Oklahoma, and with a matchup against Iowa State this week their season is still very much salvageable.

No. 6: Oklahoma State

Again, this is a team that’s hard to pinpoint. The Cowboys hung around with the Longhorns in Austin, and have an offense with plenty of weapons to be prolific. But a 45-35 loss two weeks ago to Texas Tech shows this Oklahoma State defense has a ways to go before they can make any kind of headway in the Big 12.

No. 7: TCU

The Horned Frogs are in a free fall in the rankings after Iowa State put the hurt on in a 49-24 beatdown two weeks ago. This TCU team is still unproven — it has lost both of its games against ranked opponents. This week’s matchup in Manhattan, Kansas, against the Wildcats will show if TCU can hold its own against a struggling Kansas State team.

No. 8: Kansas State

Chris Klieman started his tenure as head coach with three straight wins. Since then, the Wildcats have suffered double digit losses to both Oklahoma State and Baylor. It’s going to take some time before Klieman can have his team winning consistently in conference play.

No. 9: West Virginia

The Mountaineers have taken an expected step down in the rankings after a decent start to the season. Iowa State cruised to a 38-14 victory in Morgantown, West Virginia, after junior quarterback Austin Kendall left the game early due to an injury. It’ll be difficult for West Virginia to recover without Kendall in the lineup.

No. 10: Kansas

You might be wondering if the Jayhawks will ever move out of last place. It doesn’t look like it’ll be anytime soon, although the Kansas offense did manage 20 points against Oklahoma two weeks ago. There are signs of life from head coach Les Miles’ squad, but this team will be outmatched by any Big 12 opponent this season.