The 2023 college football season is underway with the Big 12 Conference having some wild games to highlight Week 6.
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. Plus, 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 Power Rankings based on the most recent performances.
So with that being said, here are our Week 7 Big 12 football Power Rankings.
1. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 2)
There was never a doubt here, right? Oklahoma beat Texas in a classic Red River Rivalry on Saturday between the two teams who appear to be the best of the Big 12 this season. I wondered just how good OU was given the schedule, but they clearly proved that on Saturday and are well deserving of No. 1 this week.
2. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 1)
Texas had opportunities to win this game, but could not get it done. 1st and goal and stopped four times, including at the 1-yard line? Ouch. Texas can still achieve its goals by winning out and making a College Football Playoff, but it just became much harder after losing to OU.
3. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 3)
Well, WVU had a bye week, and based on what they’ve done thus far, I see no reason to move them off No. 3. Frankly, No. 3 to No. 11-12 is a total mishmash in the Big 12 this year.
4. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 5)
Well, that was dominant. KU rushed for 399 yards in a 29-point win over UCF on Saturday without star QB Jalon Daniels. Kansas dominated both lines of scrimmage, with four sacks and six tackles for loss against UCF. If things break just right, Kansas can find itself in Arlington in December.
5. BYU Cougars (Last Week: 6)
BYU was off this week, but they get a bump up after what happened above them in Week 6. But they need to win at TCU this week against a team that is clearly not what it was last season, and now has an injured QB.
6. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 11)
Maybe you think this is too big of a jump, but Iowa State’s loss to OU doesn’t look nearly as bad based on how the Sooners looked against Texas. The Cyclones dominated TCU on Saturday night and pulled away in the second half as the underclassmen continued to gain confidence. This team is getting better and will be a different team at the end of the season than it was in September.
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 8)
The Red Raiders went to Waco and stomped the Baylor Bears. But Baylor stinks. Tech also continues to look improved, but Iowa State’s win is more impressive, so I give them the edge for No. 6 this week, while the Red Raiders slide up one spot.
8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 13)
Now a team that jumped several spots was Oklahoma State. What?! Who saw that coming on Friday night? As double-digit underdogs, the Cowboys rolled the Wildcats on the backs of the defense and the running game led by Ollie Gordon. Just when you count Mike Gundy out… he ropes you back in.
9. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 4)
I don’t think Kansas State will finish 9th in the Big 12, but that’s now how we do these power rankings. What’s their best win? UCF. But boy, UCF doesn’t exactly look like it’s about to light the world on fire. And the Oklahoma State loss is a bad one, so for this week, the Cats are plummeting.
10. Cincinnati Bearcats (Last Week: 10)
Cincinnati also had itself a bye week after losing at BYU last week. This week, the Bearcats host an Iowa State team that is getting more dangerous by the week. It will be very telling for both teams.
11. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 7)
TCU continues its disappointing season after losing a second-straight Big 12 game, in large part thanks to a lifeless second half. TCU is not making the adjustments other teams seem to be making against them, and that’s costing them.
12. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 9)
Baylor has played four good quarters this season: three vs. Utah and one vs. UCF. Otherwise, it’s been a horrific season for the Bears. And getting blown out by a former assistant on their home turf is not a good look for Dave Aranda. Tough times in Waco.
13. UCF Knights (Last Week: 12)
UCF just gave up 400 rushing yards to Kansas, knowing full well Jalon Daniels wasn’t playing and Jason Bean is not the passer that Daniels is. That’s just unacceptable. Plumlee didn’t look like he was ready to return at QB, despite giving it a go. UCF, like the four new teams, could be in for a long season.
14. Houston Cougars (Last Week: 14)
Houston didn’t play, but there’s no reason to move them off of No. 14 right now. But if they beat WVU on Thursday…