It was a fairly quiet week for Big 12 action. Baylor and West Virginia played on Thursday night, both games on Saturday were officially over by 6pm CDT, and none of the three were particularly thrilling on the national scene (no crazy upsets this week).
So while last week saw a huge shakeup to the whole board, the movement this week is fairly minor, even if there are a bunch of swaps in spots 4-10.
1. Baylor Bears
It wasn’t exactly the prettiest game ever played, but the Bears did enough to hold off a suddenly scrappy WVU team, and kept their hopes at an undefeated season alive on Thursday night. Next up for the Bears is the big rivalry game with TCU, which could be a trap game for Baylor if they get caught looking ahead to the OU game the next week.
There was a sense of concern over much of the Wildcat fanbase headed into Saturday. For the first time in over a decade, a man other than Bill Snyder was leading the Wildcats against the Jayhawks, and the last time someone other than Bill Snyder led the Cats, there was far too much joy in Lawrence. Those fears are gone now. The streak lives on, and the order of things in the Sunflower State is as it should be. A dominating victory over the Jayhawks shows that the improvements that created the upset against OU are here to stay, and, with bowl eligibility secured, the Wildcats have a chance to really put a stamp on their first season with Chris Klieman.
The Sooners took the week off to lick their wounds, so no movement for OU in this list. They’ve got a couple tough games next up, first hosting a dangerous Iowa State team that isn’t above knocking off OU in Norman, and the undefeated Bears in two weeks.
The Longhorns get to move up a spot this week because they were also off this week and couldn’t lose again to drop. They’ll have to save that next loss for next week when the Wildcats visit Austin looking to re-assert their dominance in the series.
The Cowboys may be lower than the Longhorns and the Cyclones in the actual standings, but they were one of the six teams that played this week, and used that opportunity to knock off the Horned Frogs in Stillwater to get back to .500 in conference play and also lock up bowl eligibility this season. The Pokes get their bye week next, and then finish with two winnable games (KU & @WVU) and then Bedlam.
The Cyclones at least also had a week off this week to get fully prepared for the wrath of OU. And, like Texas, no movement up this week except for a team above them losing. And like Texas, it may come to their game in two weeks before they have a chance at securing bowl eligibility. But the Cyclones have done crazy things in Norman, so I’m not ready to count them completely out.
The Horned Frogs don’t fall super far this week, as the three teams below them aren’t working their way out of that cellar any time soon. TCU followed up a big upset win over Texas with a loss in Stillwater, that came down to allowing a touchdown in the third quarter without an answer. No rest for the weary in Fort Worth either, as they welcome in Baylor next week.
The Mountaineers are looking like the best team of the bottom three, even if that hasn’t translated to wins on the field right now. A tough, but close, road loss at Baylor might have just given the ‘Eers enough life to finish this season on a high note, but it’s still unlikely West Virginia will be headed to a bowl game this season. They get a few extra days off this week thanks to the Thursday night game, and likely be ready at their shot for another win when Texas Tech visits Morgantown this weekend.
Texas Tech only moves up here because they had the weekend off and couldn’t lose, and while they will hold the eternal shame of losing to KU, they still have a better winning percentage, right now. There’s not a bright light left on the schedule either, with trips to Morgantown and Austin, as well as visits from TCU and K-State left on the schedule. Like the rest of the bottom three, going to a bowl game in 2019 is pretty much out of the question.
10. Kansas Jayhawks
Well, their visit out of the basement didn’t last long. The Jayhawks were riding high after a close loss at Texas and a close win over Texas Tech. The offense was starting to click, covering for a defense that still showed leaks. Renewed confidence lead to an attitude that the Jayhawks hadn’t had in over a decade. Confidence that KU had a chance in the Sunflower Showdown. But it just wasn’t to be, as the ‘Hawks fell back to Earth against a K-State squad determined to keep order in the state. Things don’t get any easier for the Jayhawks either, with two straight road games capped by a visit from the Bears to end the season. Their loss drops them back to last in the Big 12 standings, and last place in the power rankings — and in both places they will likely stay the rest of the season.