Welcome to the end of “Big 12 Week”, aka the 12th week of action for Big 12 teams.
And what a weekend it was — that is, if your team resides in Ames, Ft. Worth, Morgantown, Norman, or Stillwater. We had a big upset in Manhattan, a near upset in Ft. Worth, the prevention of an upset (technically) in Waco, a “sorta” upset in Ames, and a curb-stomping in Stillwater. Basically, your average week in the Big 12.
With all that happening, we had some interesting shuffling around the Power Ranking board.
With their come-from-behind victory, the Sooners returned to their rightful place atop the Big 12 standings and these power rankings; while also giving their College Football Playof hopes new life. And what a come-back it was. Down 31-10 at halftime, it looked like Baylor had this one in complete control. But OU stormed back, and put up 17 points in the final period to pick up the tough road victory. Next up for the Sooners is a home game against TCU, which could be a trap game for OU if they are too busy looking ahead to Bedlam the following week.
2. Baylor Bears
The Bears reign of terror is finally over. Though losing a close one to the favorites won’t drop you far. The Bears still have one tough spot on their path to finish the season, with a big game against the Longhorns next weekend, but the Bears are in prime spot to get a second chance against the Sooners in Arlington in early December (sorry, yes, I’ve been saying Dallas, and that’s wrong).
A win over Texas is worth more to the Power Rankings than a win over the Jayhawks, so while Iowa State is actually below the Cowboys in the Big 12 standings, they get the nod here at #3 this week. The Cyclones were up 20-7, before Texas made a 4th-quarter charge to take the lead. But a field goal saved the day, prompting our Iowa State SB Nation buddies to change their name:
The whole week leading up to this game was spent talking about the return of Les Miles to Stillwater. Well, after this weekend, Miles is probably glad that
he’ll get fired before he returns he won’t have to go back to his former stomping grounds for two years. Mike Gundy’s bunch did what good teams should do to the Jayhawks, and left their Big 12 title game hopes just ever so barely alive. Next week, they’ve got to travel to Morgantown, and will likely have fewer problems against the Mountaineers than the Wildcats did this weekend...
Texas is ... moving back down. After a win over K-State last weekend kept their Big 12 title hopes alive, their second trip outside the Lone Star State this season put those dreams to rest. Iowa State had their way with the Longhorns for three quarters before the bovines decided they needed to wake up and actually play some football. But it was not enough, and the UT faithful get to experience the same pains that K-State fans did last weekend.
Like most games for TCU this season, it was ugly, but four field goals later TCU emerged victorious over the Red Raiders. The win was important for TCU’s bowl hopes, who need one more win against either OU or West Virginia to keep playing. And with this TCU team, much like the other purple team in the Big 12, nothing is a given in 2019. It wouldn’t shock me if TCU beat OU in Norman next weekend, nor would it surprise me to see them lose at home to West Virginia to end the season.
In what was a surprise to possibly everyone, likely including the Mountaineer players themselves, WVU left Manhattan on Saturday as the victors. WVU may not want to go home again, as they have now gone 2-0 versus teams from the Sunflower State this season, with both games played IN Kansas. It wasn’t exactly a great showing, but the Mountaineer defense did just enough, including a game-winning interception, to keep their ever-so-slim bowl hopes alive. But for this week, the Mountaineers can celebrate knowing that there is only one team in the Big 12 right now that is mathematically eliminated from bowl contention, and it isn’t them.
Heading into Saturday, the Red Raiders needed to win two of their last three to get bowl eligible. Now, they must win both of their final two games to get that postseason game, and that starts this weekend with a visit from the reeling-again Wildcats. Tech still has one of the best passing attacks in the country, while being one of the worst defending it. So that means K-State will probably go to their graves next weekend trying to run the ball (keeping bowl hopes alive for Tech), while Texas clobbers them in two weeks doing exactly what you should do against the Red Raiders.
Woof. The Wildcats flat-out did not show up for this game. After opening the game with a 3-and-out by the defense, and a 68-yard strike for a touchdown on the first Wildcat play from scrimmage, the Cats fell apart. Sure, things turned around a bit, but it was never enough, and neither the coaches nor the players seemed like they expected West Virginia to put up so much of a fight. They’ll all learn, especially the coaches, that you can’t ever take anyone lightly in the Big 12, but for now, a loss to a team that has been bottom-feeding for the past few weeks gets you sent to the bottom. Do better, Cats.
10. Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks sure talk a lot of smack for a team that just is not very good. They spent the whole week before the K-State game claiming they were “back” or something, and spent the week leading up to this game talking about how Les Miles was going to return in triumph to Stillwater. Hey KU, maybe keep your mouths shut until you actually win a few games. Whether is was bulletin-board material, or KU just being bad (it’s definitely this), KU went to Stillwater and got beaten badly, finally ending their delusions at becoming bowl-eligible. Next up is a trip to Ames, where the Cyclones will likely try to one-up both the Wildcats and the Cowboys in terms of beating applied.