And just like that, the 2022 college football season put a bow on Championship Weekend and in the Big 12, it was Kansas State winning the conference title with a thrilling 31-28 win over TCU on Saturday. While only two teams played, we are going to give you our full Power Rankings following the Championship Game and heading into the bowl season.
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. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 2)
Well, the Kansas State Wildcats are Big 12 Champions. They got their revenge after blowing an 18-point lead in the regular season against TCU in an incredibly impressive win. What Chris Klieman has done in building this program back up over his four seasons on the job should not be overlooked. It’s one of the best coaching jobs in America.
2. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 1)
The Horned Frogs may have lost the Big 12 Title game, but since they were a perfect 12-0 coming in, along with some help around the country, TCU is still heading to the College Football Playoff, which they deserve. No one saw what Sonny Dykes ended up doing in Year 1 in Fort Worth. It’s a testament to him, his coaching staff, and his players for buying in. TCU is a nine-point underdog against Michigan and most people will pick against them, but overlooking these guys would be a mistake.
3. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 3)
Interestingly, the Longhorns were part of the Playoff conversation, but not for the reasons they wanted. Alabama and TCU had a common opponent in Texas, so for those desperately trying to make Bama to the Playoff a thing, thankfully there was a common opponent in UT that made this an even more ridiculous conversation than it really was. UT is now heading to the Alamo Bowl, where they will try to beat Washington.
4. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 4)
The Red Raiders capped off a season that exceeded expectations in Year 1 under Joey McGuire and now they get rewarded with Ole Miss in the Texas Bowl in what is one of the more compelling match ups in the bowl season. The most interesting part for Texas Tech will be who they start at quarterback, which could give us a glimpse into who gets the nod in 2023.
5. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 5)
The Baylor Bears wrapped up a disappointing season at 6-6, which comes after a Big 12 Championship last season and expectations they could repeat this year. It did not happen and clearly Baylor head coach Dave Aranda is not afraid to make moves as he fired his defensive coordinator Ron Roberts last week. It was the right move and we will see if it’s Aranda’s last.
6. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 6)
Speaking of teams we thought would compete for a Big 12 title, Oklahoma did not come close, going 6-6 in Brent Venables first season on the job. OU did lose a lot, but there was still a ton of pure talent on this team and it did not come close to meeting those expectations. Oklahoma hopes that this is just part of a reset for Venables, but time will tell.
7. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 7)
The Mountaineers end the season ranked higher than other teams who actually reached bowl eligibility because I’ve always put some extra emphasis on how you play down the stretch. And the Mountaineers won two of their last three games and Neal Brown was retained as head coach. Given his solid recruiting class, I understand it. The time to move on would have been in the first half of the season. The later we got in the year, the more likely it was Brown would remain. Let’s see if that pays off for WVU in 2023.
8. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 8)
Kansas football fans can’t be upset. This team reached a bowl game. But losing six of seven to end the season certainly stings after a 5-0 start. It also goes to show how tough the Big 12 Conference is every single season. There is no week off. But once again, Kansas is bowling. Who would’ve said that in August?
9. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 9)
The Pokes are going bowling, but yikes, what a brutal end to the season for a team that was in the Top 10 at the halfway point. The team completely collapsed down the stretch and has serious question marks on both sides of the ball. We’ll find out more about where this program is headed in the weeks to come.
10. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 10)
Well, they’ve moved on from their offensive coordinator and hired a new one. That had to be done. But at 1-8, this was the worst conference record for Matt Campbell since he got to Ames. It’s going to be a long offseason, but hopefully the result is a lot of valuable playing time for guys who will make a big different in 2023 and 2024.