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 6, let’s get into this week’s Big 12 Power Rankings.
1. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 1)
At this point in time, there’s no reason to move the Wildcats off the top spot. They’re coming off an impressive road win over TCU, and while they’ll go the rest of the way without Skylar Thompson, and roll with Will Howard, Chris Klieman deserves the benefit of the doubt, as he has proved many across the Big 12 and college football wrong for a year and a half.
2. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 3)
I do something others don’t do in this line of work: admit when I’m wrong. Iowa State, like most of the Big 12, did not play this past weekend. But in realizing they’ve beaten the same teams as K-State who I have at No. 1, it’s only fair to have ISU at No. 2 (they were at No. 3 in last week’s rankings) when their wins are much better than OSU’s thus far. It’s not a knock on OSU in any way. And let’s be clear on all this: it will all get sorted out this weekend when Iowa State plays Oklahoma State and the winner is likely to be No. 1 next week. For now, it’s all semantics.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 2)
The Pokes drop one spot for the reasons mentioned above. But they moved up to No. 6 in this week’s AP Poll. This was despite the fact that one voter had the Cowboys as low as No. 14. Go figure. Either way, the stiffest test for Oklahoma State comes this week against the Iowa State Cyclones.
4. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 5)
Yes, it was Kansas, but WVU still took care of business with a win on Saturday that was more impressive than the final score indicated. If not for some first half drops and a mistake or two, WVU wins this game by 40+. The Mountaineers currently have the No. 1 total defense in the country. Plus the running game is coming on strong thanks to RB Leddie Brown, who had 196 rushing yards on Saturday. The passing game still needs some work, but the rebuild is going well for Neal Brown thus far.
5. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 4)
OU was off this weekend following the huge Red River Rivalry win last week that kept the Sooners in the race for a Big 12 title. Lincoln Riley couldn’t have asked for a better time for a bye week. He has enough tape to teach his young guys, give them a breather or two, and get them refreshed for a big road game against Gary Patterson and the TCU Horned Frogs.
6. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 6)
The TCU Horned Frogs are still licking their wounds following their home loss to Kansas State, which may have also created some sore spots in the quarterback room moving forward as Max Duggan was benched for a couple of series in favor of Matthew Downing. But the defense remains stout, and it will need to show up this weekend against the Oklahoma Sooners.
7. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 7)
The Texas Longhorns likely wish they could’ve played a game this weekend to take away all the noise from off-the-field drama like what to do about “The Eyes of Texas“. Texas head coach Tom Herman is catching a ton of heat in recent weeks, as they’re an onside kick recovery against Texas Tech away from being 0-3 in the Big 12. The Longhorns need to get back in the win column this week against Baylor.
8. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 8)
Baylor has been dealing with a massive COVID-19 problem that caused the postponement of last week’s game against Oklahoma State. At this point, we just hope that the Bears can field a team to get back on the field against Texas this weekend.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 9)
The Red Raiders are moving on from QB Alan Bowman and are entering the Henry Colombi era on Saturday when they host the West Virginia Mountaineers this weekend. Tech’s offense has been a tale of two offenses under each QB. The Red Raiders haven’t scored one point in the last 10 drives with Bowman at QB, while Colombi has led the team to 29 points over 10 drives of his own. Will this be the change that Matt Wells desperately needs?
10. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 10)
One positive you can find from KU’s loss to West Virginia on Saturday is the fact that they covered the spread, even if it took a kick return in garbage time. KU has no clue what it’s doing on offense, as Miles Kendrick at QB wasn’t much better than what we’ve seen this season. Pooka Williams is incredibly talented, but with such little talent around him he can only do so much. Meantime the defense is young, and while it’s the better of the two units, it still has miles to go. The uphill climb continues in Lawrence.
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