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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 3

We’ve got a bunch of movement this week thanks a bye week for half the league.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 10 Kansas State at TCU Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was a relatively quiet weekend for the Big 12 as only six of the conference’s teams were in action this week, with the other four in a scheduled bye week. Next week will be just as quiet, as the six teams that played this week take a bye week, and the other four presumably play (more on that later).

Though quiet is only relative in terms of overall action, because the Red River Rivalry game was loud and obnoxious as always (and the teams played a crazy game too), and current and future stars made their name elsewhere.

1. Kansas State Wildcats

Oklahoma State loses the top spot this week because they didn’t play, so cut your whining right now. So it came down to K-State and Iowa State because both sit at 3-0 in conference play. The two have played basically the same schedule through the first three games, so it’s pretty easy to compare their resumes to break the tie. TCU Games (both in Ft. Worth): K-State won by a touchdown with a true freshman backup; ISU won by a FG, in TCU’s first game of the season — Point Cats. Tech Games (both at home): K-State won by 10, but needed a late push after losing their starting QB; ISU won by 23, and was in control throughout — Point Cyclones. OU Games: K-State beat OU in Norman; ISU won in Ames — Point Cats. That’s 2-1, Cats win this week.

K-State takes a break this next week, and then gets a glorified scrimmage game against KU in Manhattan to shake the dust off before heading to Morgantown for Halloween. The Wildcats now have plenty of time to either get Will Howard more up to speed, or get Skylar Thompson healthy. Either way, feels like a win-win for K-State.

2. Iowa State Cyclones

Don’t despair Cyclones, you still have the best running back in the conference (yeah, I think Hall is better than Hubbard), and one of the best in the country (and he’s from Wichita, you can thank Bill Snyder for him). Breece Hall is showing no signs of a sophomore slump. But unlike the Wildcats, the road gets tougher for ISU after their break next week, as they’ll get to head to Stillwater to try and keep their perfect record intact.

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Cowboys were off this week, and it’s very possible they may be off next week too if Baylor can’t get enough players out of quarantine. We may not know for sure until late next week, so stay tuned.

4. West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers were also on bye this week, and in this case get to move up because they couldn’t lose. They get KU next week, which is a perfect opportunity to move to 2-1.

5. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers / Louisiana Ragin Cajuns

These two get combined this week, because they weren’t allowed to settle this on the field. For once in this weird year, this game wasn’t postponed because of COVID, but rather because of Hurricane Delta hitting Louisiana. The game has been pushed to Wednesday, Oct 14th, which will be a prime-time showcase on ESPN.

6. TCU Horned Frogs

TCU hangs on here, because they didn’t need a bajillion overtimes to beat Texas. They also lost by less to ISU than OU did. TCU is a good team, but they’ve still got work to do. After their bye week is a visit from the Sooners. Should be a good game.

7. Oklahoma Sooners

Well OU finally got to put one in the win column. But after four overtimes, is a win over Texas really all that impressive? No, no it is not. To their credit, OU didn’t quite fold at the end of the game like they did against K-State and Iowa State, but they did allow Texas to come back and tie the game before the end of regulation. Spencer Rattler even got benched for a while. Things are still not great in Soonerland.

8. COVID-19

COVID gets the nod here, because it managed to shut down the entire Baylor football program, as well as infecting KU head coach Les Miles. This is the second time this season that the virus has negatively impacted the Baylor program, and has put next week’s homecoming game against OSU in jeopardy.

9. Arkansas State Red Wolves

The Red Wolves got back on track this week by beating up Central Arkansas in the first home game of the season for Arkansas State. They get a visit from a good Georgia State team next Thursday, so by this time next week we’ll have some good answers about just how good (or bad) these Sun Belt teams really are.

10. Texas Longhorns

Texas’s claim to fame is that they beat Texas Tech in overtime earlier this season, a win that continues to lose luster. They did come back to tie OU to force overtime, but could never seal the deal and ended up losing when Sam Ehlinger threw an interception on UT’s answer drive in the final OT period. Rough. There are some serious problems in Austin, and after replacing both coordinators after the end of last season, Tom Herman’s head has to be getting nervously close to the chopping block.

11. Baylor Bears

Baylor still has won a conference game, so they will stay out of the bottom two for now; though it’s a win over KU so that only goes so far. But it feels like Baylor is doing whatever it can to not play football this year, and well, maybe they shouldn’t, ever, for... I digress. Add in that Baylor, the university, just got levied a hefty fine from the federal government over Clery Act violations, and it’s just not been a good week for Baylor.

12. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Things are going downhill fast in Lubbock. Sure, they’ve had a tough start to open the season, but they really should have beaten Texas in Lubbock a few weeks ago. They host West Virginia after their bye week, but if trends continue, this could be a long season for the Red Raiders.

13. Kansas Jayhawks

Les Miles has COVID, but it seems he spared the rest of his team. How thoughtful. Maybe the Jayhawks would do better if he was forced to not coach their next game? I mean, at this point it’s worth a shot. They can’t get any worse. Right? Well, I guess Miles still managed to lose to the bye week, so it can get worse. At least they’re really only disappointing a handful of fans at this point.