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 12, let’s get into this week’s Big 12 Power Rankings.
1. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 2)
The Iowa State Cyclones move up to the top spot this week after their win over the Texas Longhorns on Friday. A comeback Top 25 win on the road the day after Thanksgiving is always impressive, but for Iowa State is now puts them (essentially) into the Big 12 Championship Game in two weeks. The only downside is the rumor mill that will now surround head coach Matt Campbell.
2. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 1)
The Sooners had an unexpected off week after their game against West Virginia was moved to December 12th due to a COVID-19 issue. OU is playing great and moving them down in the Power Rankings has nothing to do with how they are playing, and more to do with the respect Iowa State has earned at this point.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 5)
The Pokes move up a couple of spots after beating Texas Tech on Saturday in a Big 12 game that felt like it was out of the early 2010’s with all the wackiness that took place. Plus, they found their Chuba Hubbard replacement in Dezmon Jackson. Oklahoma State can still make the Big 12 Title by winning out, while also getting Oklahoma to lose one of its final two games.
4. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 4)
West Virginia was also off this week after the OU game was postponed due to COVID-19. The Mountaineers have a stout defense, the best in the Big 12, and an offense that is steadily improving. Their game against the Cyclones this weekend is the most intriguing match up in the Big 12 Conference.
5. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 3)
Iowa State RB Breece Hall put it best after beating Texas. “Our five-star culture beat their five-star players.” That has been the case for over a decade now at Texas. The Longhorns have certainly made improvements as a program under Tom Herman, but he’s also had three-straight Top 10 recruiting classes and this team still can’t win a Big 12 title and has only been to the game one time in four years. That’s unacceptable, and now his job is in jeopardy.
6. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 9)
The Baylor Bears finally got a win they desperately needed over the weekend, coming back to beat Kansas State on a last-second field goal. This season has still been a disappointment, but I hope Baylor fans come to appreciate Charlie Brewer and all that he did for this program. It’s been a tough season in Waco, but give it to Dave Aranda, the team is battling and has something to build on in 2021.
7. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 7)
TCU crushed Kansas. But can you really move anyone up in the Power Rankings after beating… Kansas? Sorry, the answer is no. But I was encouraged by the likes of running back Zach Evans, a former-five star prospect who had his best game of his true freshman season. If TCU can just get a semblance of an offense going, then maybe 2021 can be the year they break this three-season streak of mediocrity.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 6)
The best thing to say about Texas Tech is that at least this team did not quit on Matt Wells. They were down nearly 20 points and came back to make it a game in the final minutes. But they still lost, so we can’t spin this too much. I don’t know if Matt Wells is the guy moving forward, but at this point, Tech needs to stay the course and see if it can continue the rebuild effectively.
9. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 8)
From 4-0 in Big 12 play to 4-4. Before the season, had you told me K-State would be 4-4 in Big 12 play I’d have taken it. But the way the last four games have unfolded, with coaching miscues and player mistakes, it’s hard to swallow. This team could easily be 6-2 in the conference right now, even with Skylar Thompson down and a lot of young players on the field. This season has now become a disappointment.
10. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 10)
Kansas is gonna Kansas. That means losing every game, not just straight up, but against the spread, and by a big number. It’s tough to watch these games, but I stand by how Les Miles is trying to build this the right way.
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