The 2022 college football season wrapped up Week 10 and the Big 12 season is heading down the home stretch. There were five games this week, with TCU beating Texas Tech 34-24, Baylor getting by Oklahoma 38-35, Iowa State over West Virginia 31-14, Kansas rolling Oklahoma State 37-16 and Texas getting by Kansas State 34-27.
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.
1. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 1)
The TCU Horned Frogs deserve to remain in the top spot, despite once again having to come back against Texas Tech before pulling away for a 34-24 win. But regardless, they’re 9-0 as they head into the final three weeks of the regular season. And they did all this with Quentin Johnston on the sidelines due to an ankle injury. But if TCU wants to move to 10-0 against Texas this week, Johnston needs to get healthy and play a big role against a vulnerable Texas secondary.
2. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 3)
Baylor gets to slide up to No. 2 after beating Oklahoma on the road for their third-straight Big 12 win to improve to 4-2 in Big 12 play and being in the thick of the race. The Bears have rebounded nicely on the season and are playing the kind of football I expected all season long. But better late than never, as the Bears still have a real chance of making a Big 12 Championship Game.
3. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 5)
The Texas Longhorns are rising after a solid win against Kansas State in Manhattan on Saturday. Sure, the second half was bad, as UT only scored three points, but they held on and got a big turnover on the final drive when it mattered most. Feeding Bijan Robinson appears to be the answer for the Longhorns, so Steve Sarkisian would be wise to not mess up what’s working, especially with TCU coming to town this weekend.
4. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 2)
Well after a historic win last week against Oklahoma State, K-State lost to Texas on Saturday in disappointing fashion, as the Longhorns scored touchdowns on their first three drives. I put this one on the defense, not Adrian Martinez late in the game. In fact, the coaching staff had poor clock management on that final drive and Martinez was burnt by the time he fumbled the ball. To lose that game like that with two timeouts in your back pocket is a disappointment. But K-State is still in the thick of the Big 12 race.
5. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 8)
Kansas is back in the win column and is bowl eligible for the first time in 14 years after beating Oklahoma State. Lance Leipold is the Coach of the Year in college football and no one can convince me anyone else is in his league based on what he walked into last spring. Jason Bean is getting more comfortable and confident by the week and the defense is getting better for KU. Fun times in Lawrence.
6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 4)
The Cowboys are a quickly-fading team. The injuries are piling up and so are the losses. Oklahoma State has scored a total of 16 points its last eight quarters of football, while giving up 85. That’s brutal. And things are so bad in Stillwater that the Cyclones are favored on the road against the Pokes this weekend. Who would’ve predicted that two weeks ago?!
7. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 6)
Oklahoma is 5-4 after their loss on Saturday to Baylor. The defense still isn’t stopping anyone, especially on the ground, and the offense just doesn’t have the fire power it did under Lincoln Riley. Brent Venables is allowed a grace period here, but it would help if he wins (at least) two of his next three games to close out the season against West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 7)
The Red Raiders are fading as well, having lost two in a row and four of their last five games since beating Texas in overtime in what feels like a different season (September 24th). In fact, a TCU staff member trolled Texas Tech over that now infamous Joey McGuire moment following that game when he said, “Everything runs through Lubbock”. Now, Tech is just hoping a mediocre bowl game will run through Lubbock. But first they have to find two more wins against Kansas, Iowa State and Oklahoma. It’s possible.
9. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 10)
Well Iowa State is out of the basement after beating the team right in front of them in the Power Rankings on Saturday, West Virginia. The Cyclones played one of their best games of the season, especially on the offensive side of the ball where they had really struggled. Now WVU isn’t very good, but Iowa State just needed to get in the win column in Big 12 play and they did exactly that.
10. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 9)
How much longer will this train wreck continue? There is not more climb to trust. It’s over for Neal Brown. He seems like a great guy, but at some point there needs to be a sign of an improving program. And those signs don’t exist. WVU isn’t good and they’re the most penalized team in the Big 12 this season. It’s time to move on.