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Big 12 Football Power Rankings – Week 14

The Big 12 regular season is over, and the Oklahoma Sooners (unsurprisingly) went wire to wire as the top team in the power rankings. Every other position experienced a shakeup at some point, which was for several again in Week 14.

A lot of teams this season never gave us a clue as to whether or not they were actually any good until late in the campaign. After 12 games, we know for a fact it was a two-team league with a quality second tier and a mediocre (at best) bottom half. Here are the final power rankings for the 2019 season:

1.     Oklahoma (LW: 1) The only thing that keeps people from comparing the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State rivalry to ones like Nebraska-KU or Nebraska-Kansas State is a cool name. The Sooners own Bedlam to a comical degree and that held true this week. The running game was excellent, the passing game was good enough and the defense played its best game in several weeks. OU needed some momentum heading into the Big 12 Championship Game, and it got it with another dominant win over Oklahoma State.

 

2.     Baylor (LW: 2) If Oklahoma’s control over Oklahoma State is comical, Baylor’s over Kansas over the last decade is like watching Airplane! for the first time. During their 10-game head-to-head winning streak, the Bears have scored at least 55 points five times, including their 61-point effort this week in Lawrence. The best defense in the Big 12 looked the part while the offense was met with next to zero resistance all afternoon. Both teams in the conference title games had nothing more than a causal warm-up in Week 14 before the main event next Saturday.

 

3.     Kansas State (LW: 5) Chris Klieman’s first season in Manhattan is an unequivocal and rousing success. With a new coach and one of the least talented rosters in the Big 12 from top to bottom, K-State went out and looked better than nearly every other team in the league week after week. To end the regular season, the Wildcats thoroughly outplayed one of the darlings of the league, Matt Campbell and Iowa State. Most importantly, the K-State running game got back on track this week, and it’s clear how much better the program is (and how it can beat anyone) when that’s the case.

 

4.     Oklahoma State (LW: 3) Mike Gundy is an excellent coach. For all his successes, though, he is nearly incapable of beating OSU’s biggest rival. The situation was complicated this year, of course, with a backup quarterback starting, but it’s wholly unsurprising that the Cowboys couldn’t stay close in this one. It’s not often that Chuba Hubbard isn’t a game’s leading rusher and is held to merely 4.3 yards per carry, but that stat line alone indicates it was probably a tough weekend for the Pokes.

 

5.     Iowa State (LW: 4) One week after struggling against Kansas, Iowa State was never able to overcome Kansas State even momentarily. The Wildcats were in complete control for most of Saturday’s game, rendering a competitive but lackluster Cyclones a disappointment for this season. Finishing 7-5 with a bowl berth isn’t a bad thing, especially not for a program like Iowa State. However, this is a team that was expected to for a Big 12 title game berth by many, only to suffer a few inexcusable losses and finish tied in third, and not as the most impressive team among those tied. ISU is good, but it showed again in the season finale that it’s still far from great.

 

6.     Texas (LW: 7) Texas finally won a game decisively, beating up on Texas Tech on Friday, but the biggest win of the weekend for UT may have been firing both its offensive and defensive coordinators. This was a letdown season for the Longhorns by any measure, although it’s at least somewhat good for morale that they finished the year with a convincing victory. However, it’s official: Texas is not back.

 

7.     West Virginia (LW: 8) How different would this season be if Jarret Doege had started from the beginning? In just three starts Doege led the Mountaineers to a 2-1 record with impressive wins and this one this week over a TCU team with a lot to play for. Despite a bad reputation all season, West Virginia came within one win of a bowl and ended up seventh in the Big 12 standings. That’s not a terrible start in Year 1 for Neal Brown.

 

8.     TCU (LW: 6) Week 14, just like the whole season, was a disappointment for TCU. At the very least, this should have been a bowl team this year. Instead, the Horned Frogs struggled to find consistency all year and countered all their momentum-building wins with confounding losses. Max Duggan has a bright future as TCU’s quarterback, but this week was microcosm of his season: just not good enough throwing the ball when it mattered most.

 

9.     Texas Tech (LW: 9) The Red Raiders hung close with the Longhorns early on Black Friday, but down the stretch they just didn’t have the horses to keep up. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future for Texas Tech under Matt Wells, but it never was able to figure things out on a consistent basis in 2019. It’s promising that of its eight losses, this year, four were by just one possession Still, it hurts not to pull off at least one of those close games if you’re Tech.

 

10.  Kansas (LW: 10) There are undeniably more reasons to be optimistic about KU’s future this season than in years past, but not a single one of them was on display against Baylor. The Bears embarrassed the Jayhawks on Saturday, with the latter not being competitive whatsoever. As Les Miles and some of the players said after the game, this effort wasn’t indicative of the strides Kansas has made this year. While that’s true, KU also showed why it will remain at the bottom of the Big 12 until some drastic improvements happen.

For past editions of the power rankings, click here.


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