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2021 Big 12 Power Rankings - Week 8

We’ve got a logjam near the top, and KU very nearly caused major chaos.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

1. Cincinnati Bearcats

The Bearcats survived a road trip against Navy, and now, finally, sit alone at the top of these Power Rankings. Now the schedule turns a bit easier for our future conference mates, with a road trip to Tulane this weekend, followed by a visit from Tulsa and then a trip to USF. The next serious test is the Nov. 20th showdown against SMU, which could very well be a match-up of unbeatens.

3. Oklahoma Sooners

Nope, Sooners, you don’t get the second spot. Not with that turd you laid in Lawrence. Sure, KU played out of their minds, but OU still needed some more help from the officials (followed by yet another questionable statement from the Big 12 office trying to cover their butts) before finally pulling away in game they should have won by 60 points. Goodness. Do better, Sooners. Next up for OU is a visit from Texas Tech.

4a. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Death, taxes, Oklahoma State losing in Ames to spoil an undefeated season. It was close, but yet again the Cowboys lost by a field-goal margin to the Cyclones in Ames. If they Cowboys want to pretend to be the big dog in the conference, then they can’t keep doing this. Next up for OSU is a visit from KU, and hopefully they look far better against the Jayhawks than their Sooner State cousins, because that was just pitiful effort by OU.

4b. Baylor Bears

The Bears were idle this week, getting a much-needed bye week after seven-game slog to start the season. They move up this week because of Coastal’s loss, but don’t move higher because they lost to the Pokes a few weeks ago. Next up is visit by the Longhorns this weekend.

4c. Iowa State Cyclones

Good job mucking things up, Cyclones. Brocktober is in full effect in Ames, and after a rough start the Clones are rolling through right along through what is now a three-game win streak. Why not higher here? Well they lost to Baylor, have fewer games against Top 25 teams than the two right above them, and have a home loss. Next up is a trip to Morgantown this weekend to face a Mountaineers team that might have found new life this past weekend.

6. Houston Cougars

That loss to Texas Tech is looking worse and worse as the season rolls along. But to their credit, the Cougars have gone undefeated since, but needed overtime at home this past weekend to put away East Carolina. However, expect the winning streak to come to an end this weekend, as the Mustangs of SMU are in town.

7. BYU Cougars

BYU got back in the win column this past weekend with a win on the road at Washington State. Although it’s tough to gauge just how impressed we should be with a 21-19 win over a team that just lost their head coach and several assistants last week, and weren’t all that impressive before that. But a win is a win, and the Cougars have found themselves back in the Top 25. Next up is a visit from the Virginia Cavilers, who are also sporting a 6-2 record, and just won a shootout with Georgia Tech (yeah, that’s a real thing now, I guess).

8. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Our undefeated darlings are no more. The Chanticleers first regular season loss since 2019 comes at the hands of Appalachian State in Boone, NC. For App State, it was their first win over a Top 25 team since That Game against Michigan in 2007. For Coastal, it puts them in a 4-way tie in the Sun Belt east division with App State, Troy, and Georgia State, who are all currently 2-1 in conference play. And guess what, the Chants next game is this Thursday night against Troy. However, the Chants will have a good chance to get back to their winning ways as this one is back in the safe confines of Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC.

9. Texas Longhorns

LOLUT. Okay, they didn’t do anything to deserve that this week, but it’s a thing now, so why stop it. The Longhorns were off this past week, and for their sake, hopefully they used the week off to figure things out on defense and also figure out how to play a full 60 minutes, because a road trip to Waco is looming, and the Bears aren’t going to roll over this year.

10. Kansas State Wildcats

Thank goodness. It only took nine games, but the Big 12 losing streak is finally at an end. It wasn’t pretty, and the Wildcats still spotted the Red Raiders two early scores, but in the end, K-State emerged with a very much needed victory. Next up is a visit from TCU for Homecoming, and hopefully the Cats can take advantage of the Horned Frogs porous defense.

11. UCF Golden Knights

That was legitimately impressive. Sure, Memphis has struggled some this year, but UCF finally looked competent in a 24-7 drubbing of the visiting Tigers. It was a game the Knights needed to win, and they got it done. Next up is a trip up to Temple to face an Owls team that is on a two-game losing streak, and just lost to South Florida.

12. Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Red Raiders were spotted 14 points before the Wildcats offense saw the field, and held a 24-10 halftime lead. And still managed to lose to a K-State team that has a very hard time not shooting itself in the foot on a regular basis. At now 5-3, it was very likely Tech’s last best game to earn that critical 6th win, as the Red Raiders finish the season with four straight games against ranked opponents, including this weekend’s trip to Norman. Someone might want to start checking for “For Sale” signs in front of Matt Wells’ house.

13. West Virginia Mountaineers

Well the Mountaineers finally picked up their first Big 12 win of the year. Just like the Wildcats first win, it wasn’t exactly pretty, but it got the job done. A close game at halftime ballooned a bit for the final score, but the game probably shouldn’t have been as close as the final score indicated. However, much like the Red Raiders, at 3-4 it’s going to be tough to find three more wins to reach bowl eligibility with three ranked teams sitting among the five games left on the schedule, including this weekend’s visit by Iowa State.

14. TCU Horned Frogs

TCU continues a free fall that continues to defy logic. Gone is the vaunted TCU defense that pummeled teams, and ended more than a few teams’ Big 12 title hopes. It feels like the Gary Patterson era is reaching a critical crossroads, very much similar to what Bill Snyder faced in both 2004/05 and 2018. Snyder “chose” retirement both times instead of a massive staff shakeup, and it’s very possible that Patterson may be faced with a similar choice before too long. The 3-4 Frogs head to Manhattan this weekend, and are probably out of bowl contention even if they can pull off the upset, as they, like WVU, also face three ranked teams out of the five remaining games.

15. Kansas Jayhawks

Jayhawks, take a bow, I’m actually impressed. But don’t let it go to your head too much. The opportunity for the greatest upset in college football history* was there for the taking, and in the end it slipped away. That said, if the Beakers can play like that every game there’s a couple games that legitimately might be in their reach to end the season. But before that, a trip to Stillwater is in store this weekend, and expect the Cowboys to exercise some frustration on KU.

*No, that’s not hyperbole.