Ah yes, it’s that time of year when the Big 12 Football Power Rankings return to Heartland College Sports. A reminder that these can change drastically from week to week. These are not supposed to be a mirror image of a given week’s standings. It’s based on the previous week’s performance and the opponent when compared to the rest of the conference.
So with the 2020 season through Week 4, let’s get into this week’s Big 12 Power Rankings.
1. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 3)
Another week, another shake up in the top spot! Oklahoma State continues to get it done on both sides of the ball. Yes it was Kansas this week, but still. True freshman QB Shane Illingworth looked his most comfortable yet, while QB Spencer Sanders should be back and healthy soon, plus the defense is arguably the best in the Big 12. With OU looking like it’s having a down year, this is Mike Gundy’s best chance yet to get over the OU hump and get to a College Football Playoff as well.
2. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 1)
You may be wondering why K-State drops a spot after winning again against Texas Tech. Simple, these are done week-by-week, and yes, K-State picked up a win, but they lost Skylar Thompson in the process. That being said, these young guys for Chris Klieman are playing their tails off, learning quickly and have come a long way in just two games since the loss to Arkansas State.
3. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 5)
The Cyclones continue to light it up in October, improving to 11-1 under Matt Campbell since 2017 after Saturday’s win over Oklahoma. Brocktober is real, folks. The Cyclones’ defense is outstanding and the difference with TE Charlie Kolar in the line up, Purdy’s safety net, makes a huge difference. Iowa State can beat any team in the Big 12 on any Saturday. If only they could’ve beaten Louisiana, this would be a Top 10 team right now.
4. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 7)
The Horned Frogs own Texas. 7-2 since joining the Big 12 against UT. Gary Patterson is 3-1 against Tom Herman, yet it was Herman taking a dig at Patterson last week. Max Duggan is quietly turning into one of the better quarterbacks in the Big 12 today. Add him to a defense that will only continue to get better, and TCU could be the darkhorse we have all been overlooking.
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 8)
How about those Mountaineers? WVU was an underdog at home against Baylor and pulled off an impressive win holding BU to under 70 rushing yards, while piling up 200+ on their end. This defense, especially the front seven, is appearing to be one of the best in the Big 12 Conference. Can WVU ride this defense to some surprise Big 12 wins? If Saturday was any indication, the answer is yes.
6. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 4)
The Longhorns should be 0-2 in Big 12 play. If not for their miracle win vs. Texas Tech, they would be. Sure, Keontay Ingram’s fumble didn’t help the cause down the stretch, but still, it was a sloppy and uninspiring game for the Longhorns, which has happened too many times under Tom Herman, especially when his team is the favorite.
7. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 6)
The Sooners have lost two-straight regular season games for the first time since 1999, when most of these players weren’t even alive. Think about that. It’s 2020 in a nutshell for ya. Spencer Rattler has some growing pains, the backfield missing Kennedy Brooks and the defense isn’t improving as much as many hoped for. Suddenly, Saturday vs. Texas has become a must-win game.
8. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 2)
Baylor has one win vs. Kansas and then a loss to West Virginia where they didn’t look too sharp, especially on the offensive line and trying to stop the run. That’s a problem for the Bears. This league is too deep (sans Kansas) for Baylor to put on more performances like Saturday and expect to come out ahead more times than not.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 9)
Speaking of coming out on top, that’s looking increasingly difficult for the Red Raiders. They lost to Kansas State to drop to 0-2 in the Big 12 and lost Alan Bowman to injury. Bowman has been so injury prone during his career in Lubbock. Henry Colombi came in and played better as the game went on, but it just feels like Matt Wells can’t catch a break through his first season and change.
10. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 10)
This team is really bad. And I feel bad, as I want them to be good, or at least better. I hope that this really tough year, and yes it’s going to be as bad as any KU football season the past decade which is saying something, will be Step 1 of doing a rebuild the right way, with high school guys, and not plug-and-play JUCO’s who might help you win two or three games. Let’s see.
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