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Big 12 Football Power Rankings – Week 11

The top two teams in the Big 12 won this week, but the gap between the two of them is as small as ever. Oklahoma barely survived against Iowa State, while Baylor won an exciting rivalry contest with TCU.

There aren’t many changes in the rankings outside of the basement, but the difference from position to position continues to shrink in general.

1.       Oklahoma (LW: 1) The positive: Oklahoma won this week over a confusing but tough Iowa State team. The negative: Oklahoma did everything in its power to give away a game against Iowa State. The Sooners were up three touchdowns at halftime, then scored just one more touchdown the rest of the way and only won by a point. They’re still the best team in the Big 12, but the last two weeks have shattered the notion that they’re among the best teams in the country right now.

 

2.       Baylor (LW: 2) The Bears came out of arguably the wildest game of the weekend in the Big 12 with a rivalry-game win, which should always be celebrated. The game was wild both for its shockingly low score heading into overtime, then for its series of crazy plays in the extra sessions. It’s hard to win rivalry games in general, even more so on the road, but Matt Rhule’s group showed resilience and toughness this Saturday to remain undefeated and inch that much closer to Oklahoma in the rankings.

 

3.       Kansas State (LW: 3) Even with a loss to Texas, K-State isn’t falling this week. Had it been a blowout it may be a different story, but the Wildcats went to Austin, were in a position to win and only lost on the very last snap of the game. There are obvious issues with K-State right now, notably the fact that its rushing game, the lifeblood of its offense, rushed for a shade under two yards per carry this weekend. Still, the ‘Cats had a shot to win a tough game and aren’t going to drop below a team that was on a bye.

 

4.       Oklahoma State (LW: 4) The Cowboys were one of two Big 12 teams with a bye this week, which should have them well-rested ahead of their easiest stretch of the season (games against Kansas and West Virginia are coming in the next two weeks). Oklahoma State should be 8-3 heading into Bedlam.

 

5.       Texas (LW: 5) Texas showed off some impressive resilience in its win over Kansas State at home this week. After going down 14-0 the Longhorns scored 24 unanswered, then went back to ol’ reliable Cameron Dicker to seal the win as time expired. Texas needed this week after losing two out of three games and barely edging out Kansas in that stretch. Sam Ehlinger was far from great against K-State, but a strong effort from the running game (to the tune of nearly six yards per carry) was a huge asset this week.

 

6.       Iowa State (LW: 6) Iowa State should be lauded for its decision to go for two at the end of its game against Oklahoma in Week 11. When you are playing a team with superiority talent and are facing an adverse situation, you need to shorten the game. The Cyclones didn’t convert, but it was the right call by Matt Campbell. Unfortunately for his group, they fell to 5-4 on the year and are still mired in the middle of the pack. However, with games against Texas, KU and K-State remaining, ISU has a shot to make a strong run to finish the year.

 

7.       TCU (LW: 7) TCU ran out of gas late but played well, especially on defense, in its Week 11 loss to Baylor. The Revivalry has spawned plenty of exciting games in recent years, and it looked like we were in for another big upset in this year’s edition. Max Duggan has tons of potential at quarterback for the Frogs, but a rough game for him (against an admittedly good defense) hurt TCU this time around. He completed less than 50% of his passes, averaged just 4.4 yards per attempt and threw three picks. Giving away possessions in a close-fought game like that is usually a death sentence.

 

8.       Texas Tech (LW: 9) Things were shaken up for a few weeks after the Red Raiders dropped a game to KU, but things in the bottom section of the Big 12 are right back to the way they were to start the year. Texas Tech came out and beat down West Virginia this Saturday, with a holistically solid effort on both sides of the ball. This isn’t at all a surprising result, given the talent disparity between the two teams for now, so don’t be surprised if both Texas Tech and West Virginia remain locked in these spots the rest of the year.

 

9.       West Virginia (LW: 8) To be completely blunt and fair, this just isn’t a good program right now. If anyone is the right man for the job, it’s Neal Brown, but he’s dealing with a lot of riff raff on the Mountaineers roster right now. Austin Kendall clearly isn’t taking this program anywhere at quarterback, and after backup Jarret Doege threw 17 passes this weekend it’s fair to argue he should take the reins for the final three weeks.

 

10.   Kansas (LW :10) You can make the argument that we were all winners this week for getting a break from the Jayhawks after their debacle against K-State. Kansas has a tough stretch to end the year after its last bye, with road games against Oklahoma State and Iowa State coming up, then the last game of the season at home against Baylor.

For past editions of the power rankings, click here.

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