After a crazy start to the season, we’ve finally found some consistency this week. The top five teams remain unchanged, though the order has moved a bit, and teams 6-11 also just saw some reshuffling. At this point, it feels like we’ve got three clear tiers of teams.
Of course it’s the Big 12, so expect that to change this week.
The biggest change this week is the addition of a new team to the rankings that likely should’ve joined us last week, and of course the plummet of the Sooners to the very bottom of these rankings.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen!
The Horned Frogs take the top spot this week with easily the best win so far this season — which is extra weird because that win is over KU. But the Jayhawks are finally looking like they did circa 2008, and they are going to be in the conversation the rest of the season if they keep this up. But this past weekend, the Frogs escaped from Lawrence with the victory, and have earned their place at the top of these rankings. But it’s going to be tough to hang on to that spot, as they have a home match-up with Oklahoma State this weekend. They’ve already gotten one of their tough games out of the way, but still have home games against Oklahoma State and K-State before a break of sorts.
This week the Cowboys drop after a win because it was a tough home win over Texas Tech (where the Red Raiders even held a halftime lead) and not a road win over ranked KU. The Pokes are still legit Big 12 title contenders, but they’re going to have their hands full the next four weeks straight with @ TCU, Texas, @ K-State, and @ KU lined up. If they can survive that, they should be a playoff team. But that starts this weekend with a 2:30pm CT game on ABC against the Horned Frogs.
3. Kansas State
The Wildcats are still undefeated in Big 12 play, despite a lackluster effort in Ames that saw a 10-9 victory in a game that likely should have been a K-State blowout, but just as easily could have been a 9-6 loss. But a win is a win, especially in Ames, and the Wildcats are now sitting at 5-1 on the season. However, it’s a good thing K-State has their bye week this week, as they need to figure out how to make sure the offense stays on schedule after the first series before a very tough three-game stretch. After the break they get a primetime match-up with TCU in Ft. Worth, followed by home games against Oklahoma State and Texas. If they can get through that stretch unscathed, they, like the Pokes in the same fashion, should be considered a playoff team.
Can’t really move the Jayhawks down this week despite picking up their first loss of the season, because that loss is easily the best loss of the 1-loss teams below them. KU shook off the early loss of start QB Jalon Daniels to injury and a 10-3 halftime deficit to charge back in the 3rd quarter. The Jayhawks scored two straight TDs to take the lead before TCU got going again to retake the lead. TCU was able to score the last TD to retake to lead with 1:36 remaining, and held on to earn a tough win in Lawrence. Next up, the Jayhawks will try to do something they haven’t done since 1997: beat Oklahoma. And they have a very good chance of it this season. That game is an 11am CT kickoff on ESPN2.
The Bearcats took care of business against South Florida, but it wasn’t exactly inspiring, especially being at home. Cincinnati is going to struggle to move much further up these rankings this season unless teams above them really start collapsing, though they do have two more “movable” games left on the schedule with UCF and Tulane. But this week the Bearcats are off, before they head south to Dallas to face SMU on the 22nd.
The Green Wave make their first appearance in the Power Rankings despite having deserved a spot now for several weeks now. They own wins over K-State and Houston, both on the road, and the only thing keeping them this low is that nasty loss at home to Southern Miss. Tulane currently sits at 5-1 and have a very favorable schedule ahead of them, with two of their three remaining “toughest” games at home. Next up is a late-afternoon match-up this Saturday with South Florida in Tampa, where the Green Wave are a strong favorite.
The Knights don’t move this week thanks to Tulane’s entrance to the rankings above them, but they man-handled SMU in Orlando for a convincing 41-19 win to improve to 4-1 on the season. The Knights aren’t winning the American, not with Cincinnati, Memphis, and Tulane all still left on the schedule, but they should be able to snag enough wins for bowl eligibility before then. Next up is a Thursday night matchup on ESPN versus 2-3 Temple.
See below for more context, but seriously, the Big 12 needs a MUCH better TV deal....
The Longhorns took out some frustrations on the hapless Sooners this weekend on the way to a 49-0 win at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It was Texas’ largest margin of victory in the series, and it’s the largest shutout for either team since OU won 45-0 in 1956. Texas is by no means back, as OU just looks that terrible right now, but they did everything they were supposed to do for the first time in a very long time. They’ll have a bit tougher affair scoring points this weekend as they host Iowa State, who has a pretty good defense; but they will have a great opportunity to post consecutive shutouts.
Baylor doesn’t move much this week thanks to being off, but does move up a spot this week thanks to Tech taking a loss. The Bears are 3-2, but their best win was at Iowa State in a game in which they gave up 24 points to one of the Big 12’s worst offenses. At this point the Bears are basically out of the mix for a return trip to the Big 12 Championship, but they’ll have a good chance to move on towards bowl eligibility as they had to Morgantown this week for a Thursday night matchup on FS1 with the struggling Mountaineers.
10. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders are on the verge of being pretty good. They’ve just had the misfortune of playing two of the league’s best on the road in back-to-back weeks, losing at Oklahoma State 41-31 this past weekend. At 3-3, they’ve still got a ways to go to become bowl eligible for the second straight season, but with the way they are playing there are at least 3-4 more wins available with their schedule. But they’ll have to wait a week to get going on that, as they have a bye week this week before welcoming West Virginia for the conference’s current-longest road trip.
Two Three weeks in a row the Cougars have done something for us to give them the five-letter word. This week it was losing to a mediocre Notre Dame team in what was essentially an extended home game in Las Vegas. BYU just doesn’t seem to want to be good this season, and are content with being very average. Gross. Next up is a return to Provo and their actual home stadium for an intriguing match-up with Arkansas. After a hot start the Razorbacks have lost their last three, and the Cougars would love to make that four.
Big credit to Houston for a close win over Memphis in their house. I had fully expected the Tigers to run all over the Cougars, but Dana Holgorsen appears to have finally figured something out with his squad. The schedule eases up pretty significantly for Houston at this point, but first they hit a bye week before heading to Annapolis to take on Navy.
13. West Virginia
Credit here to the Mountaineers to not losing to BYE. It can be tough sometimes, but they got it accomplished and so actually move up this week thanks to being the only team at the bottom of the standings to not lose this past weekend. But the rest is over, and now they welcome in the Baylor Bears this week for a primetime Thursday night matchup in Morgantown.
14. Iowa State
I suggested last week that 12 might have not been low enough for the Cyclones. And despite an ugly affair in Ames, the Cyclones still have yet to crack the win column in Big 12 play. They’ve got an incredible defense, but their offense is hot garbage. That’s just not a winning formula in the Big 12. Next up is a trip down to Austin to face off against a Texas team that just pantsed OU on national television.
But seriously, HAHAOMG, what is happening in Norman??
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