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 13, let’s get into this week’s Big 12 Power Rankings.
1. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 1)
The Iowa State Cyclones absolutely dominated West Virginia on Saturday. There was no letdown game against the Mountaineers, despite the team coming off an emotional road win vs. Texas the week prior. Both sides of the ball were outstanding and efficient. This team is playing the best football in the Big 12 right now and has every chance to win a Big 12 Championship in two weeks.
2. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 5)
Having Texas at No. 2 will bother a lot of you. But remember we do these rankings on a week-by-week basis. And Texas put on one of the best performances of the season on Saturday, hanging 69 points on K-State on the road. Bijan Robinson is proving to be an absolute stud for this team and should play a huge role in 2021 and beyond. And now it’s looking more and more like Tom Herman will be around next fall, after reports surfaced Sunday that Urban Meyer is not coming to Texas.
3. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 2)
The Sooners took care of the Baylor Bears 27-14 on Saturday night and while they got the win, it was probably OU’s worse performance in several weeks. That’s more of a compliment to how well the Sooners have been playing in recent weeks. They’re still going to a Big 12 Championship Game where they are looking to win their sixth straight conference title in two weeks when they take the Iowa State Cyclones.
4. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 7)
Hey, TCU quietly put together a nice close to the season, wining four of their last five games, including Saturday’s double-digit comeback over Oklahoma State. TCU played two Top 25 teams this year (when those teams were ranked, which is how Top 25 wins are counted) and they won both of them against No. 9 Texas and No. 23 Oklahoma State. It’s still a third-straight season of mediocrity by Gary Patterson’s standards, but there is reason for optimism as the conference schedule wraps up.
5. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 6)
Yes, the Bears lost but they’re in the No. 5 spot. That says a lot about the fifth team that won this week (more on them below). Baylor’s defense looked fast against the Oklahoma Sooners and put up a nice fight. If the offense could have gotten anything going in the first half, the game might’ve turned out differently. Last week Baylor got a win and this week they played OU tough. Dave Aranda should be happen in what’s been a disappointing season.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 8)
The Red Raiders are the first team this season to win a game and NOT be in the top half of the rankings. That’s because when you barely beat Kansas by a field goal at home, you don’t deserve it. And frankly, if the teams below them didn’t perform even worse, I’d have them ranked even lower. But the Red Raiders are perplexing on both sides of the ball at times, and I’m not sure why we should expect 2021 to be much different at this point.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 3)
The Cowboys lost a game they led 13-0 in in the first half. That is bad for a team that was still in the Big 12 title race heading into this match up against an average TCU squad. The offense remains much more concerning than the defense. Spencer Sanders has his moments of greatness and then he has games like Saturday (16/34) that make you wonder if he’s the future at the position for Oklahoma State.
8. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 4)
The Mountaineers had a chance to take advantage of an emotionally-drained Iowa State team. It never happened and never even came close. The defense, which has been the best in the Big 12, played its worst game of the season and the West Virginia offense is never going to carry this team to a win. That side of the ball needs to get better for WVU to take the next step as a program.
9. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 10)
For the first time this season, Kansas is out of the basement of the Big 12. I will give them this: It’s a team that has been steamrolled every single week. But Les Miles’ guys keep coming back for more every week and it almost resulted in an upset as 27-point underdogs is worthy of some respect.
10. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 9)
And yes, it’s Kansas State appearing in the No. 10 spot. The first team not named Kansas to appear here this season. They’ve lost five in a row. That happens. But this team looked utterly inept on Saturday against Texas and looked like it had mailed in the season. For a group of guys who are supposed to still be young and hungry, playing a blue blood, that’s a bad look on everyone, including the coaching staff. That, combined with Kansas keeping it close vs. Texas Tech, earns K-State the basement this week.
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