It was moving day in the Big 12 standing on Saturday with a Bedlam blowout and Iowa State handling business en route to a 45-0 victory over Kansas State. While both the Sooners and Cyclones set themselves up nicely for the Big 12 Championship next month in Dallas, they also gave the AP voters plenty to look at in terms of moving them up in the rankings after several top 15 teams fell victim to losses or squeaked out close wins over inferior opponents.
Here at Heartland College Sports, we will take you in depth of the AP rankings and let you, the casual fan, see why the ranking is the way it is and possibly call out some strange things we see from the AP registered voters. With that being said, let’s check out who gets free cheese fries at Eskimo Joes the next time they’re in Stillwater and who will be forced to watch Kansas football on repeat.
At first glance, week 12 in the AP ballots are all over the place; there is one voter that ranked the Oklahoma Sooners #8, meanwhile some voters didn’t even have the Sooners in the top 20. This week’s article could easily be about several different people, but let me make it easy and narrow the scope to one man for our sanity. The man I would like an explanation from regarding his ballot is none other than Garland Gillen from WVUE-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. Gillen, take a seat and let’s chat.
Garland’s top 10 is pretty confusing when you look and see he catapulted Northwestern all the way to #7 after a home victory over Wisconsin. Certainly a quality win for the Wildcats, don’t get me wrong, but I will object to jumping them over both BYU and Cincinnati who have looked dominant this year. Following that, Gillen ranked Indiana at #12 after losing to playoff-contender Ohio State. This goes into my season-long argument of trying to get voters to fully evaluate teams before jumping them so high in the rankings, Indiana has beaten 0-5 Penn State, 1-3 Michigan State, 2-3 Michigan and 1-4 Rutgers. Indiana should not have been ranked inside the top 15 last week, let alone the top-10. People wanted the storyline of “it’s a top-10 matchup between Ohio State and Indiana!” without looking at the depth of who Indiana has beaten to get here. With that being said, Garland please explain to us why you think the Hoosiers are better than both Iowa State and Oklahoma.
Mr Gillen’s highest ranked Big 12 school is Iowa State at #17, following Georgia, Coastal Carolina, Marshall and then USC. Iowa State has done more than enough to prove they belong in the top 15 discussion after plowing through Kansas State 45-0 on Saturday. Georgia meanwhile barely escaped with a seven-point home victory over two-win Mississippi State. If we are truly comparing teams, Iowa State and Oklahoma are playing exponentially better than Georgia right now. Both ISU and OU’s losses came early in the season and if we are judging the teams as they stand right now, I would say both the Big 12 teams would be favored in a matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs.
Continuing on, Gillen ranked Wisconsin at #19 which is very high, considering they have only two wins on the season over two of the bottom feeders in the Big 10 conference. Wisconsin hasn’t beaten anyone and they lost against their first real opponent. Doesn’t seem like the Badgers have done enough to be picked above teams like Texas and Oklahoma State if we are being honest. Garland must have liked watching Tulsa rebound late against Tulane on Thursday, because he put Tulsa at #21 in his ranking, followed by Texas at #23 and shockingly ended his rankings by including Nevada at #25.
Listen, I understand I am an Oklahoma State Cowboys guy through and through, but I can be objective as possible when need be. I understand Oklahoma State didn’t show much against OU on Saturday; a poor performance in a rivalry game is never great. But, OSU has two losses on the year. Both of those are against ranked teams, and one was in OT. The Cowboys also have two ranked wins on the season, the same amount of total wins as Wisconsin has. Oklahoma State lost to #18 Oklahoma on Saturday, it’s not like they let the Kansas Jayhawks beat them at home. To drop the Cowboys 12 spots to unranked because they lost to Oklahoma is mind-boggling.
Looking ahead, the four ranked teams in the BIG 12 are all scheduled to play this week, starting with a post-Thanksgiving special with #15 Iowa State and #20 Texas meeting on Friday at 11am CST. With a win against the Longhorns, the Cyclones would clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game in Dallas. Oklahoma State will return home on Senior day against Texas Tech, meanwhile the #14 Sooners will look to ride the momentum into Morgantown to play a feisty West Virginia team.
**Please do not send any ill-will to any AP voters, this is meant to be a fun article highlighting some discrepancies amongst the AP Top 25 voters.**
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