Big 12 Power Rankings: Can anyone challenge Oklahoma this season? Baylor passes Texas
It’s becoming clearer each weekend that no one’s knocking Oklahoma from ownership of the Big 12 Conference’s weekly power rankings. No one.
While Texas barely escaped against last-place Kansas, while Iowa State was overwhelming Texas Tech with a steady dose of Brock Purdy and Breece Hall and while Baylor remained unbeaten with a big win at Oklahoma State …
Jalen Hurts and the Sooners continued to show they are clearly the class of the Big 12, again, blitzing West Virginia by 38 points Saturday.
This is also clear: If you don’t yet believe in Baylor, then you haven’t been paying attention.
Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks scores a touchdown during the second quarter against the West Virginia. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports)
The Bears beat Iowa State on a last-second field goal. They beat Texas Tech in two overtimes during a game in which the Big 12 admitted an officiating mistake had been made. They hung 45 on Oklahoma State in beating Mike Gundy’s team by three touchdowns.
And furthermore, they play Texas and Oklahoma on consecutive November Saturdays — both games in Waco.
So with that said, here's this week's Big 12 power rankings:
No. 1 Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0 Big 12)
Last week’s ranking: 1
Last game: Defeated West Virginia 52-14.
In a nutshell: The first most significant rankings come out Nov. 5. Then, everyone will have an idea what the College Football Playoff committee is thinking about the all-important top four. Right now, the Sooners might be just outside of that, residing at No. 5 in the Amway Coaches Poll. Oklahoma already has beaten Texas. It hosts Iowa State on Nov. 9, and then plays at Baylor a week later. So, there’s still time to move up.
On deck: Saturday at Kansas State, noon, ABC.
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No. 2 Baylor (7-0, 4-0)
Last week’s ranking: 3
Last game: Defeated Oklahoma State 45-27.
In a nutshell: Two seasons after going 1-11, the Bears aren’t that far from becoming a Top 10 team. They’re already 7-0 after sneaking past Iowa State and Texas Tech. They’ll be favored in their next two games — against West Virginia and TCU. Then, it’s Game On – Nov. 16 at home against Oklahoma.
Next game: Oct. 31 at West Virginia.
No. 3 Texas (5-2)
Last week’s ranking: 2
Last game: Defeated Kansas 50-48.
In a nutshell: How good is Texas, if it took 50 points to beat a Kansas team with the Big 12’s worst defense by a measly two points? The problem isn’t on offense. The problem is a defense that’s statistically better in the conference that just Kansas. There have been injuries, but everyone has injuries. There’s no fix this deep into the season, so it looks like quarterback Sam Ehlinger must be on his A-game each time he walks onto the field.
On deck: Saturday at TCU, 3:30 p.m., Fox.
No. 4 Iowa State (5-2, 3-1)
Last week’s ranking: 4
Last game: Defeated Texas Tech 34-24.
In a nutshell: Here’s an eye-catching statistic: Iowa State has outscored opponents by a whopping 142-65 since being stuck 20-0 with about 17 minutes to play at Baylor on Sept. 28. Quarterback Brock Purdy has completed 70 of 93 passes for 975 yards and eight touchdowns while leading his team to three conference wins in arrow. True freshman Breece Hall has averaged 157.5 rushing yards the past two games – at West Virginia and at Texas Tech. The Cyclones still haven’t played Oklahoma and Texas, by the way.
On deck: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., FS1
No. 5 Kansas State (4-2, 1-2)
Last week’s ranking: 8
Last game: Defeated TCU 24-17.
In a nutshell: There’s a big divide between No. 4 and a Kansas State team coming off its first conference win under coach Chris Klieman. It was far from easy, last Saturday’s seven-pointer against TCU. This Saturday, Klieman’s Wildcats move up a bunch in stature. At least the game’s in Manhattan, if that means something.
On deck: Saturday vs. Oklahoma, noon, ABC
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