Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 8

October, 17, 2011
10/17/11
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Power Rankings: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Here's how the Big 12 stands after seven weeks of football:

1. Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0 in Big 12, last week: 1): It’s hard to believe a 30-point win on the road in conference can be underwhelming, but I suppose that’s where the Sooners sit after winning seven Big 12 titles in the past decade and talking up the prospect of winning a national title. The offense was sloppy early, but played well in the second half behind a dominant defensive performance to run away from Kansas late.

2. Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0, LW: 2): The Cowboys went on the road and beat Texas for the second consecutive season. Nobody’s done that since the Sooners a century ago. Granted, the list of teams that played in Austin in two consecutive years is probably a short one, but for now, we’re still on track for an undefeated Bedlam in December.

3. Kansas State (6-0, 3-0, LW: 3): The defense is making plays, the Wildcats are winning on special teams and Collin Klein is still bulling his way through defenses. Next week is the Sunflower Showdown, but the national spotlight in a home game against Oklahoma awaits if K-State takes care of business.

4. Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1, LW: 4): The Aggies are looking like themselves and beat Baylor convincingly with their best performance of the season. No second-half struggles this time. The pass defense is still suspect, but A&M got big stops when needed and the offense has been as advertised for most of this year.

5. Baylor (4-2, 1-2, LW: 5): Robert Griffin threw for a career-high 430 yards and looked great for most of Saturday, save for a lack of execution in the red zone early in the fourth quarter. The Bears’ defense, though? Not much better than last year’s seven-win team. Can't give up 55 points and expect to win, and Texas A&M is only one of a handful of elite offenses across the top of the Big 12.

6. Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2, LW: 6): The Red Raiders got their chance after snagging an onside kick against Kansas State, but a halftime lead turned into a failed fourth-quarter comeback in Lubbock all too quickly. A painful loss, but no reason to fall in the power rankings. Now, a trip to Norman, which has been a nightmare for Tech in recent years.

7. Missouri (3-3, 1-2, LW: 8): Missouri is back to .500, but still has plenty of difficult games ahead. First up: Oklahoma State in Columbia this week. The Cowboys have won eight consecutive road games and need a ninth to continue a dream season. Will a fast-improving James Franklin derail it?

8. Texas (4-2, 1-2, LW: 7): Texas looks like it found its quarterback in David Ash, but the true freshman will have to grow up quickly if Texas is going to look much different than its 2010 team. Four wins are on the board, but the Longhorns haven’t dealt with conference play well. Texas is 1-7 in its last eight Big 12 games and hasn’t won a Big 12 game at home since Nov. 21, 2009. The Longhorns went into free fall from No. 11 to out of the Top 25 in two weeks.

9. Iowa State (3-3, 0-3, LW: 9): Iowa State’s taken a pair of beatings on the road in consecutive weeks and benched quarterback Steele Jantz late against Missouri. The defense is banged-up and the offense sputtered on Saturday. Three consecutive losses sting and won't get any easier with a hot Texas A&M team on its way to Ames.

10. Kansas (2-4, 0-3, LW: 10): KU played its best game of the season on Saturday, but still lost at home by 30. That’s both very good and very bad, but the Jayhawks have a long way to go before even becoming a fringe bowl team. It will start with defense, which played with a ton of effort in the first half, but could only hold a big-time attack like Oklahoma's for a portion of the game. Now, it's time for the Jayhawks' shot at rivalry redemption at home against Kansas State, which beat KU 59-7 last year.

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