Big 12 Power Poll: October 15-20
Big 12 Power Poll: Oct. 15-Oct. 20
There was a lot of movement in this week’s Big 12 Power Poll this weekend. With some surprising losses, many of the league’s top teams dropped several spots while some teams shot up in the rankings.
Heading into Saturday, the biggest story of the weekend was the Red River Rivalry that pitted hated rivals the Texas Longhorns against the Oklahoma Sooners. However, that game failed to live up to the hype as the Longhorns failed to show up to the game, and Oklahoma stomped them into oblivion. Though it wasn’t unexpected that the Sooners would get the win--many thought it was a toss-up--the final score was a surprise as it appeared that the Longhorns simply gave up.
Another surprise occurred on the West Texas plains as the Texas Tech Red Raiders took the previously top-ranked team in the conference, the West Virginia Mountaineers, to the wood shed. I guess no one told the new kids in town that strange things happen in Lubbock, Texas.
Though there is still a lot of football to be played, things are slowly starting to take shape, but the race for the Big 12 title is still very much in the air.
The Texas Longhorns likely eliminated themselves from the race with their loss over the weekend, while the Sooners stayed on course. The Mountaineers, even though they took a hit, are still very much in contention.
Texas Tech may have also emerged as a dark horse candidate over the weekend.
Here’s a look at the conference rankings for the week of October 15-20.
No. 9 Baylor Bears
Last week: No. 6
It's hard to know where to rank the Baylor Bearsas they are a very streaky team. One week, they look unbeatable, and the next week, they can't stop a soul on defense. It all depends on the offense. If a team can win the turnover battle against the Bears, they will likely win the game, much like TCU did behind 5 Baylor turnovers.
Regardless, Baylor will still win some big games this year. They have too much talent on the offensive side of the ball not to rack up some more big wins.
No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones
Last week: No. 8
The Iowa State Cyclones put up a great effort against the KSU Wildcats over the weekend, but it wouldn't be enough as they fell the the top team in the Big 12 by a respectable score of 21-27. This Cyclones team is much better than the ISU teams over the last few seasons and could find themselves upsetting some teams, much like they did the Horned Frogs last weekend.
No. 7 TCU Horned Frogs
Last week: No. 9
This is another team that I struggle with in regards to rankings. After losing Casey Pachall and falling to the Iowa State Cyclones last weekend, back-up QB Trevone Boykin looked incredible in leading the Horned Frogs to victory over the Baylor Bears in just his first ever road start. If he continues to play the way he did on Saturday, this Horned Frog team could make some more noise in their first season in the conference.
No. 6 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last week: No. 5
The OKlahoma State Cowboys did what they needed to do this weekend by defeating the Kansas Jayhawks 20-14. Though the score is a lot closer than it should have been considering that KU has won one game all season, I will give the Cowboys the benefit of the doubt considering the game was played in Lawrence, and it has to be hard to play up for a one-win team.
No. 5 Texas Longhorns
Last week: No. 4
In all honestly, I have no idea where to rank this team because the one that showed up (or didn't) in Dallas is not the one that beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys and played the Mountaineers so well last weekend (though even that is looking less impressive now with the WVU loss). For now, I am going to keep them ahead of the Cowboys since they beat them on the road, but who knows how long they will stay in the top 6. They could be in a free fall.
Let me make one thing clear. The Texas Longhorns are better than they played on Saturday when they were humiliated by the Sooners, though maybe not for long after suffering major injuries during the match-up, including losing DE Jackson Jeffcoat for the year and a possibly losing starting QB David Ash for an undisclosed amount of time with a wrist injury.
What made Saturday so perplexing is that Texas quite simply quit. They just gave up and let the Sooners walk all over them. It's a disturbing problem, and one that has Coach Mack Brown on the hot-seat, at least in the opinion of Texas fans.
With so many questions, no one knows how this season will turn out for the Longhorns. They could lose out or they could win out; it all depends on their ability to respond, but they have to respond much, much, much better than they did on Saturday.
No. 4 West Virginia Mountaineers
Last week: No. 1
It's one thing to lose a trap game; it's another all together to play the way the Mountaineers played against the Red Raiders, getting thumped 49-14.
With just one loss, the Mountaineers are certainly not out of the title hunt yet, especially considering they play the Sooners and Wildcats at home. Next week's match-up with KSU could determine which team is the driver's seat for the Big 12 crown this season.
No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last week: No. 7
The Red Raiders didn't just beat the then-top 6 team in the nation; they completely dismantled them to the tune of 49-14, making them the conference team that made the biggest jump this weekend. Despite their recent loss to the Sooners, Tommy Tubberville and the Red Raiders look like they could make some noise in the conference this year. For the first time in years, we are actually seeing some defense played up in Lubbock, and it could be just the thing that the Red Raiders needed to get over the proverbial hump.
No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners
Last week: No. 3
The Oklahoma Sooners always circle their game against the Texas Longhorns as their biggest of the season, and they never fail to show up. On Saturday, they issued a Red River beat-down on their arch-rivals. With just one conference loss, which came at the hands of the undefeated Wildcats, the Sooners are still among the favorites to win the conference title this season, but assuming they win out, the would still need the Wildcats to lose twice.
No. 1 Kansas State Wildcats
Last week: No. 2
After defeating the Iowa State Cyclones over the weekend, the Kansas State Wildcats are the Big 12's only undefeated team.
Right now, they are playing like one of the best teams in the nation, and Bill Snyder very well could be the most underrated coach in college football.
However, they will face their biggest challenge of the season next weekend as they travel to Morgantown to take on an angry West Virginia squad that's looking to prove their loss on Saturday was simply a fluke.
This game has huge implications on the Big 12 title race.