The 2022 college football season wrapped up Week 5 and the Big 12 is officially in conference play, and boy was it a fun start. Three of five underdogs won outright on Saturday, as Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma State all took home victories over their opponents. Meantime, Texas and Kansas State were the only favorites to win this week. It’s going to be that kind of season in the Big 12.
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 6 Big 12 football Power Rankings.
1. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 1)
And the Kansas Jayhawks hang onto the top spot this week after improving to 5-0 following a 14-11 win over Iowa State on Saturday. It wasn’t always pretty, but you’ve got to tip your hat to the Kansas defense that picked up an offense that was averaging nearly 50 points per game. The Jayhawks’ magical season continues and is being rewarded by ESPN College Gameday, who is coming to Lawrence for a football game for the first time ever.
2. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 2)
Kansas State hangs onto the No. 2 slot this week after a 37-28 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday. Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn crushed Tech with a combined 341 rushing yards, while Martinez added three rushing scores on the day. The defense was all over Donovan Smith, who was never comfortable. The Wildcats are going to be one of the toughest match ups in the Big 12 this season.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 5)
The Cowboys played their first Big 12 game on Saturday following a bye week, and it was an impressive showing, going on the road and beating Baylor in Waco. It was revenge of sorts for the Pokes, who lost the Big 12 Championship game to Baylor last season. Spencer Sanders threw for 181 yards, while also leading the team with 75 rushing yards and one TD. And the defensive front gave Baylor’s offensive line a tough time all afternoon.
4. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 7)
How about those Horned Frogs?! TCU handed Oklahoma its worst Big 12 loss in eight seasons with a 55-24 victory at home over the Sooners. Max Duggan and the TCU offense piled up 668 yards of offense, which included averaging 8.8 yards per rush. TCU also had four sacks and seven tackles for loss against an OU offense that was held to 355 total yards.
5. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 3)
Baylor gets the nod at No. 5 this week, ahead of Texas Tech. Baylor lost to Oklahoma State at home, but has a road win vs. Iowa State, which I’m giving a slight edge to over Texas Tech’s home win vs. Texas. Both teams have two losses thus far and have fairly similar resumes. Baylor is still the defending Big 12 Champs and have an off-week until taking on Baylor next Thursday.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 4)
The Red Raiders could’ve completely fallen apart after falling down 13-0 against K-State, but that didn’t happen on Saturday, as they trailed KSU by three on halftime, before the Wildcats took control in the second half. The Red Raiders edge out Texas here, who they beat last week in Lubbock. Tech doesn’t get any down time though as they have to travel to take on Oklahoma State this weekend.
7. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 10)
The Longhorns only slide up three slots here. They crushed West Virginia, but the Mountaineers weren’t coming to town as a world-beater anyway. Texas found itself up 28-0 in the second quarter and 35-7 at the end of three. If Texas can show that kind of consistency moving forward, they can continue to rocket up the Power Rankings.
8. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 8)
The Cyclones are now 0-2 in Big 12 play after a loss to Kansas on Saturday. And if not for three missed field goals, Iowa State likely wins that game in Lawrence. But as it has during the Matt Campbell era, special teams bit this team at the worst time. Oh, and the running game is a mess, as they averaged less than one yard per carry on Saturday. That has to improve, and improve fast.
9. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 6)
The Mountaineers put on a pathetic performance on Saturday in Austin. After having extra time off following a Thursday night win over Virginia Tech. It’s an indictment on this coaching staff with how lackluster this team appeared to be for their game against Texas. Neal Brown’s seat is hot, again.
10. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 9)
The Sooners had their worst Big 12 loss in eight years and fell to 0-2 in Big 12 play. I was nervous that their weak non-conference schedule wasn’t giving us a great feel for what exactly this team is, but I never anticipated it being this bad. Oklahoma has given up 636 rushing yards the last two games, while Dillon Gabriel looks overmatched and jittery against Big 12 defenses. This is a bad combination for OU moving forward.