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2021 Big 12 Power Rankings - Week 6

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We might have a breakthrough.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We’re still waiting on a couple teams to play conference games; but good news, those finally happen this coming week! Also, do we have the biggest fraud of an undefeated team in the FBS? Quite possibly.

1a. Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Cowboys remain unbeaten, this week because they were idle. It also helps that the teams below them didn’t or couldn’t (more on that in a sec) do anything to move past the Cowboys. For now. The Pokes return to action this week for a big trip to Austin to face the Longhorns, who got absolutely pantsed by OU to end the game this past weekend (more on that later).

1b. Cincinnati Bearcats

Look, the Bearcats should be in the #1 spot all alone and a mile ahead of the pack. But they aren’t, yet, because they haven’t played a Big 12 game, yet. I just can’t completely give things over to Cincinnati without at least one Big 12 win on the sheet. But guess what? They get that opportunity this weekend, with a visit by UCF (yes, it counts). It’s a game the Bearcats should run away with, but it’s a Big 12 game now, and stranger things have happened.

3. Oklahoma Sooners

For the fifth time the season, the Sooners managed to win a game that they should have lost. It’s becoming a thing. Down 41-30 heading into the final period, OU put up 25 points, including the game-winning touchdown run (through several un-called holds) on the last play of the game to eek out a victory over Texas. The Sooners are 6-0, but they sure feel like frauds right now. But with Spencer Rattler benched and freshman quarterback Caleb Williams running the show, they might have a chance to change that perception. They’ve got the Horned Frogs next, let’s see if they can win by more than a TD this time (not likely).

4. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

At least Arkansas State was slightly competitive with the Chanticleers, and was the first team to put up a TD against Coastal in three weeks. The Chants are on pace to run roughshod over the east division of the Sun Belt, but their last true test comes in a couple weeks with a trip to Boone, NC to face Appalachian State. But Coastal is off this week, while ASU is not. Could make a difference.

5. BYU Cougars

Unbeaten no more, someone on this list finally went and lost to Boise State. At home, no less. The Cougars took an early lead, but it wasn’t enough to overcome four turnovers (and ugly navy uniforms), and BYU falls to 5-1 on the season. It’s a tough break for the Cougars, who were poised to shoot up near Cincinnati land this weekend in these rankings. But while BYU will still be hunting for it’s first Big 12 win this weekend, some of the luster has come off the Cougars train. Oh, and that trip to Waco this weekend just got a lot more dangerous.

6. Baylor Bears

Did the Bears wake up? Is this something we’re going to have to be worried about now? Coming off their first loss of the season (to a good OSU team), the Bears bounced back with a 45-20 win over the visiting Mountaineers from West Virginia in a game that didn’t feel that close. Gerry Bohanon looks legit, and the Bears could cause some havoc if they keep this up. That said, WVU is struggling pretty mightily this year, and it could just be a competition-induced flash. We’ll find out a lot more this weekend with BYU headed to town.

7. Texas Longhorns

LOLUT. But seriously, the Longhorns overcame a 28-7 start, a 38-20 halftime lead, and being up 41-30 heading into the 4th quarter to finally lose this game. It was the final result we expected, but getting there was the wild part. UT actually looked mostly competent for the first 45 minutes of the game, and their offense is actually starting to come along. But in the end, they just couldn’t do quite enough to get over the OU hump. And don’t expect a quick turnaround this week, as the undefeated Cowboys are in town, looking to break a two-game losing streak to the Horns.

8. Houston Cougars

Houston would be at least fifth in these rankings if they could have just taken care of the Red Raiders at the beginning of the season. Since that one loss, the Cougars have rattled off five-straight wins, including a solid 40-22 win over Tulane back on Thursday in New Orleans. Houston gets a bye week this week before a visit from East Carolina.

9. Kansas State Wildcats

The Cats moved down just because they didn’t play, and Houston did enough in their win to move up a notch. It happens. Hopefully the bye week was helpful on the injury front for the Wildcats, because they’ve got a big game this weekend and need everyone healthy to avenge the crushing 45-0 loss in Ames last season. The last time the Cyclones beat the Wildcats that badly was in 1943. Let’s never let that happen again.

10. Iowa State Cyclones

Zero play, zero movement. At least there was no one to move past the Cyclones in either direction, so they stay put. Iowa State has been up and down the season, literally win-loss-win-loss-win, on their way to a 3-2 record. Wildcats fans will be looking for the pattern to hold this weekend. The last time out, ISU faced the Jayhawks in Ames, a game that the Cyclones actually dominated, but that was last week, and the Clones were sitting idle this week.

11. TCU Horned Frogs

I was beginning to get a little worried about Gary Patterson’s bunch in Ft. Worth. Heck, just last week they lost to Texas at home, and things weren’t looking so great. Now Texas Tech isn’t a bunch of world-beaters, but they are at least a team with a pulse (but zero defense), and a 52-31 win in Lubbock is a decent place to start getting things back on track. But the Frogs will have to hope that track is running on a solid foundation, because next up is a trip to Norman to face the frauds Sooners.

12. UCF Golden Knights

Does UCF have things headed back in the right direction? Maybe — at least they got a win this weekend against a decent East Carolina team. But they’ve got a really tough stretch coming up starting with a trip to Cincinnati this weekend, followed by a visit from Memphis. UCF can still looked improved, even with some losses, but it’s not going to be pretty.

13. Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Red Raiders gave us a pretty good shock with their season-opening win over Houston, but the loss to Texas dropped them back to Earth. After the loss to TCU, Tech is sitting at 4-2 and has only one game left on the schedule where they will be the favorites, this weekend’s trip to Lawrence to take on KU.

14. West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers are really starting to look not-good right now. The loss to Maryland was excusable. The win over Va Tech was surprising, but WVU hasn’t won a game since that visit by the Hokies, and it’s not like they’ve had a particularity tough schedule. They fell by three points in consecutive weeks, before getting blown-out by Baylor this past Saturday. At least the ‘Eers have hit their bye week, and hopefully they’ll use it to get things figured out.

15. Kansas Jayhawks

I don’t think KU lost the bye week, which is an improvement. We’ll see if Lance Leipold got anything figured out this week, because Texas Tech is beatable. Though maybe not by the Jayhawks. KU has yet to score more than seven points in a Big 12 game this season, and a win for them might just be scoring 10-14 points against Tech’s non-existent defense.