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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 5

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(Photo via Texas Tech Athletics)

The first full week of Big 12 play had a lot of surprises in it, for sure. Let’s see how the conference stacks up in this week’s edition of Big 12 Power Rankings:

 

10. Kansas (2-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 10
Result: Lost at Baylor 26-7; Up Next: Oklahoma State

Kansas found an end to its hot streak Saturday in Waco. The Jayhawk defense was outplayed by the Bears’ offense, while their own offense struggled to get in a rhythm. With upcoming games against OSU and WVU, the Jayhawks could be in for a rough stretch.

 

9. Baylor (3-1, 1-0 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 9
Result: Win vs Baylor 26-7; Up Next: @Oklahoma

The Bears bounced back from their loss to Duke and were able to pull out a win over an improved Kansas. The Bears found some consistency in QB Charlie Brewer and were able to go the full game without turning the ball over to a surprisingly stingy KU defense. Just four games into the season, the Bears have already tripled their win total from last season.

 

8. Kansas State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 7
Result: Lost at WVU 35-6; Up Next: Texas

The Wildcats got off to a good start defensively against a high-powered WVU offense, but the offense couldn’t keep the defense off the field. K-State finished the first half with under 100 yards and didn’t cross midfield until the third quarter. A resurgent Texas team could add to its woes.

 

7. Iowa State (1-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 6
Result: Win vs Akron 26-13; Up Next: @TCU

After an early-September cancellation with FCS South Dakota State, Iowa State finally got in the win column on Saturday against Akron. After allowing an early TD, the Cyclone defense kept the Zips out of the end zone the rest of the day. Despite decent performances from QB Zeb Noland and RB David Montgomery, the Cyclones struggled to turn yardage into points. ISU will need to more efficiency from its offense when it returns to conference play.

 

6. TCU (2-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 3
Result: Lost at Texas 31-16; Up Next: Iowa State

It’s tough to say if TCU’s loss is more about a rapidly improving Texas team or an Ohio State hangover. Either way, turnover problems plagued TCU for the second week in a row, leaving the Longhorns with excellent field position. TCU led at the break but was outscored 21-3 in the second half. After losing two in row, TCU will need a home win over Iowa State if it wants to avoid falling into the back half of the conference.

 

5. Oklahoma State (3-1, 0-1 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 4
Results Lost to Texas Tech 41-17; Up Next: @Kansas

The Cowboys drop down one spot after a disappointing loss to the Red Raiders. OSU struggled to match their output from the last few games and were outplayed on all sides of the ball. QB Taylor Cornelius looked out of sync, and only completed 18 of his 38 passes for 258 yards. Facing Kansas next week should give the Cowboys a good chance to right the ship.

 

4. Texas Tech (3-1, 1-0 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 8
Results: Win vs OSU 41-17, Up Next: WVU

The biggest mover in this week’s rankings, the Red Raiders were able to secure their third straight win, which boosted them into the final spot of the AP Top 25. While Tech has been excellent on offense, their defense has struggled all season, entering Saturday’s game ranked 96th in the nation. Led by the return of safety Jah’Shawn Johnson, Tech was able to control the country’s sixth best offense. After holding OSU scoreless in the 2nd half, the Red Raiders will have a chance next week against WVU to prove that this defensive performance was not a fluke.

 

3. Texas (3-1, 1-0 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 5
Results: Win vs. TCU 31-16, Up Next: @ KSU

With their second win over a ranked opponent in as many weeks, Texas is… back? Okay, we won’t go there. But Texas is definitely on a roll, winning three straight and snapping a 4-game losing streak against the Horned Frogs. The Longhorns were able to capitalize on several TCU turnovers and got a solid performance from QB Sam Ehlinger. With a defense that looks to be among the best in the Big 12, UT was able to shut down a potent TCU offense after halftime. Texas will look to continue their streak against a struggling Kansas State.

 

2. West Virginia (3-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 2
Result: Win vs. Kansas State 35-6; Up Next: @Texas Tech

WVU shook off a sloppy first quarter and secured its first blowout win over scrappy nemesis Kansas State. Heisman hopeful Will Grier threw for five touchdowns, with three of those going to David Sills V. West Virginia’s defense completely shut down the K-State offense for much of the game. The Mountaineers will have a big test coming up on the road against the Red Raiders. Lots of analysts want to know if WVU is for real; this Saturday is a welcome opportunity to make a statement.

 

1. Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Previous Ranking: 1
Result: Win vs. Army 28-21; Up Next: Baylor

Not many people expected 31-point favorite Oklahoma to face it’s toughest test of the season in a home game against Army. But Army’s funky offense gave it a massive (and probably unrepeatable) time of possession advantage, holding onto the ball for 45 minutes and running 87 plays to the Sooners’ 40. Oklahoma needed a late interception in the fourth quarter to stop what could have been a game-winning drive from Army, before it pulled the win out of the fire in overtime.

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