The 2022 college football season wrapped up Week 4 and the Big 12 started to get into more conference play, and we got multiple upsets, overtime and much more. Then, there were non-conference games that saw the Kansas Jayhawks improve to 4-0, while TCU took back the Iron Skillet from SMU. All in all, it was a fun weekend to close out the month of September.
So now it’s time for our Big 12 Power Rankings. Here’s a reminder on how I’ve done this for years: It’s about how your team looked and how it played, not always about if your team won or lost. And last week’s rankings have little impact on this week’s. That’s what makes this fun. These are also not predictions for the way the season will end, just a Power Rankings based on the most recent performances.
So with that being said, here are our Week 5 Big 12 football Power Rankings.
1. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 1)
Kansas broke the jinx! The previous two weeks the No. 1 team in our Power Rankings had lost (Baylor, K-State), but NOT Kansas! KU kept rolling to a fairly easy win over Duke on Saturday. Jalon Daniels accounted for five touchdowns. He became the first Jayhawks player in school history to record multiple games in which he was responsible for five touchdowns. Kansas has scored 27 touchdowns through four games after scoring only 32 touchdowns in 12 games last season. Daniels has accounted for 15 of them (11 passing, four rushing). This is unbelievable to witness.
2. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 8)
Well, K-State certainly has the best win in the Big 12 this season after going on the road and beating Oklahoma in impressive fashion. Adrian Martinez had his break-out Big 12 moment on Saturday, rushing for nearly 150 yards and four touchdowns, while his long run on a 3rd and long late in the 4th quarter will be remembered by K-State fans for a long time. The defense was stout, however OU admitted missed some big opportunities. For whatever reason, the Wildcats love playing in Norman: The Sooners have lost nine home games since 2012, and four of those losses have been to K-State. Go figure.
3. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 6)
Is Baylor the forgotten team in the Big 12? In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, “I get no respect”. Why Baylor, as defending Big 12 champs, was an underdog at Iowa State, working in a first-year QB, I’ll never understand. My picks weren’t great this past week (2-4), but I nailed the Bears. I got the better and more experienced quarterback, with the stronger overall defense? Sign me up. Baylor will be in the thick of the Big 12 race come November.
4. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 7)
Well, kudos to the Red Raiders for pulling off a 14-point deficit late in the third quarter and beating Texas in overtime for the first time at home in 14 years. It wasn’t always pretty, and I still questioned some of the coaching decisions, but you have to hand it to Joey McGuire in doing what several of his predecessors have been unable to do: Beat Texas. And remember, that’s beating a Texas program that has also been down for over a decade. Tech’s only loss is to a Top 10 N.C. State team on the road and we’ll find out more when they take on K-State this weekend.
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 3)
The Cowboys were idle this past week, but get bumped down two slots simply because of what the teams in front of them did. And if we are being fair, OSU hasn’t played the toughest of schedules yet, so they aren’t going to get the benefit of the doubt in these rankings. Not yet, anyway.
6. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 10)
Boy, did the Mountaineers need that one against Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Blacksburg is one of the toughest places to play, and WVU smoked the Hokies in the second half and rolled to a three-score win on the road. J.T. Daniels and C.J. Donaldson could become one of the better QB-RB duos in the Big 12 this season, if the offensive line holds up its end of the bargain. The defense was stout as well. The Mountaineers now head to Austin to play the Longhorns.
7. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 9)
Well, if there was a doubt as to just how good TCU was, the Horned Frogs answered some of that on Saturday, beating a solid SMU squad on the road. Now it was Sonny Dykes’ former team, but still. Kendre Miller is becoming one of the most underrated players in the Big 12 after piling up over 140 rushing yards on the day, and QB Max Duggan is looking sharper by the week. TCU gets a real test this Saturday against Oklahoma.
8. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 5)
The Cyclones certainly got hurt by the officials on Saturday against Baylor, but I can’t pin the game exclusively on that. They never got the run game going and Hunter Dekkers was uncomfortable much of the afternoon against a strong Baylor defense. These two teams plays great games every year and Saturday was another example of that. But for Iowa State, they travel to KU this weekend and can take down the No. 1 team in the rankings.
9. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 4)
The reason Iowa State got the edge for No. 8 over Oklahoma was simply because Iowa State has the better win (road vs. Iowa) than Oklahoma (road vs. Nebraska). Both teams lost this weekend at home, and for the Sooners, the run defense had no answer for Adrian Martinez, and Dillon Gabriel missed to many passes he has to make at this level to win a Big 12 Championship.
10. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 2)
At this point, Texas’ most impressive game is still a loss at home. And when you blow a 14-point lead with 20 minutes left in the game and the offense completely stalls out with a total of 11 plays over three drives for 18 yards. That’s horrible. Sark is now 2-4 against Big 12 teams when leading by double-digits in the second half. Inexcusable.