Week 8 provided another unpredictable slate of action as we saw the top teams in the conference get taken to the wire by teams that have really struggled to this point in the year.
Prior to this weekend, it appeared that Oklahoma and Texas were all but destined to meet again in the Big 12 Championship, but the race looks much tighter with Kansas State and Oklahoma State ascending to 3-1 in Big 12 play after impressive victories.
With that, we saw some major changes in the Big 12’s standing according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), as the conference is beginning to round into shape as a competitive and wild conference from week to week.
Take a look at how the Big 12 stacks up in the FPI heading into Week 9 of the action.
|Kansas State||17.4||14||↑ 5|
|Texas Tech||6.8||36||↓ 4|
|Oklahoma State||6.2||39||↑ 8|
|Iowa State||6.0||40||↓ 1|
|West Virginia||3.0||51||↓ 9|
After holding at No. 2 in the FPI for a couple of weeks, Oklahoma fell two spots to No. 4 overall after is narrow victory over UCF on Saturday. Like their rivals, Texas also fell two spots to No. 7 in the overall FPI after it struggled to put Houston away following their bye week.
Kansas State made a big jump to No. 14 this week, giving the Big 12 three Top 15 teams for the first time this season. The Wildcats’ 41-3 victory over TCU was as impressive a victory as we’ve seen from them in 2023, and it appears they’re rounding into shape as November creeps closer.
On the other sideline, TCU fell six spots to No. 30 after being destroyed on the road but still managed to keep its spot as the fourth-best team in the Big 12, per FPI.
UCF made a massive jump to No. 31 in the FPI, up nine spots from No. 40 after taking Oklahoma to the wire on Saturday. The Knights saw John Rhys Plumlee return, and it seemed to give the team a spark, which is a good sign for Gus Malzahn’s squad going forward. Oklahoma State was the second-biggest riser in 2023, moving up eight spots to No. 39 after putting West Virginia away late with a 28-point fourth quarter.
West Virginia was the biggest faller of the week, moving down nine spots to 51 after dropping back-to-back games. The Mountaineers will hope to end their skid against UCF this weekend.
Overall the Big 12 is well represented with eight teams inside the Top 40 and 10 teams inside the Top 50.
We seem to be getting some real answers as to who is going to push for a conference title this season and a group of five to six teams has emerged through Week 8. In the latest Big 12 Power Rankings, Pete Mundo gives his take on which teams you should watch out for heading into Week 9.