Monday, October 25, 2010
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 9
By David Ubben
» Power Rankings: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC | Non-AQ
1. Missouri (7-0, 3-0, last week: 4): The Tigers went toe-to-toe with the Sooners, put an end to the "Who have they played?" discussions and made a huge leap in the polls. Missouri knows it has to refocus now. A loss next week at Nebraska would do major damage to the significance of this win and put the Tigers' Big 12 title hopes in the hands of the Huskers.
2. Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1, LW: 1): It's hard to blame the Sooners. They made a ton of mistakes and couldn't capitalize when they had chances against Missouri, giving way to yet another fourth-quarter meltdown. Looking at the big picture, though, it was a road loss to a top 10 team by nine points. That's easily the best loss in the Big 12. No reason to slide the Sooners below Nebraska (home loss to Texas) or Oklahoma State (home loss to Nebraska).
3. Nebraska (6-1, 2-1, LW: 2): Taylor Martinez found his groove through the air and the Huskers outscored the Cowboys in the wildest game of the weekend. Who knows how many more 300 passing yards, 100 rushing yard-days Martinez is going to uncork over the course of his career, but if Oklahoma State's offense can't beat the Huskers when he does it, there might not be any team who can.
4. Oklahoma State (6-1, 2-1, LW: 3): The Cowboys clearly have the best skill position talent in the conference, and look headed for a double-digit win season. But asking an offense to score 40 points or more to beat teams with good offenses is going to make a Big 12 title nearly impossible. Oklahoma State's run defense is average, but they're going to see passing games a lot better than what Nebraska brought to Stillwater.
5. Baylor (6-2, 3-1, LW: 7): I have my doubts about whether the Bears are actually the fifth-best team in the Big 12, but there's no doubt they have the fifth-best resume in the conference and a ranking in both polls to show for it. That rank legitimizes a team that has played without much national attention. Baylor has done exactly what it should have done to this point, but now faces the first of three "prove it" games to close its season. Go into Austin next weekend and win (Hey, Iowa State did it, right?) and the Bears' doubters will be a select few.
6. Texas (4-3, 2-2, LW: 5): Not a big drop for the Longhorns this week, but Kansas State lost and do wins against Colorado and Kansas by Texas A&M and Texas Tech warrant a jump? Their records say no. We saw how well Texas responded from the Oklahoma loss. What's in store for Baylor in Austin next week?
7. Kansas State (5-2, 2-2, LW: 6): Wildcats were denied a chance at bowl eligibility, but don't have much to worry about on that front. The next three weeks will be tough, with games against Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma State, but K-State closes the season with trips to Colorado and North Texas. Yes, North Texas.
8. Texas Tech (4-3, 2-3, LW: 8): A good, much-needed road win for the Red Raiders, who only have three conference games left to play, at Texas A&M and Oklahoma sandwiched around a home game against Missouri.
9. Texas A&M (4-3, 1-2, LW: 9): It's tough to take much from doing to Kansas what every team in the Big 12 has done to Kansas so far, but the quarterback rotation will be interesting to watch for the rest of the season. It'll also be tough to watch. Jerrod Johnson's a competitor who, by all accounts, does everything the right way, but he doesn't need anybody to tell him he hasn't been getting it done this year.
10. Iowa State (4-4, 2-2, LW: 11): The win over Texas is huge for the program, but those lopsided losses still loom on the team resume. If anything, though, those made Saturday's win even more impressive. This wasn't anything anyone saw coming. It was a team buying into its coaches' philosophy, playing its best game and proving everybody wrong.
11. Colorado (3-4, 0-3, LW: 10): Colorado's rough week got even rougher when it learned Tyler Hansen will miss the rest of the season. These bottom two seem pretty locked in after Iowa State's win, and the Buffaloes have to find a way to win somehow.
12. Kansas (0-3, 2-5 LW: 12): We wondered if Kansas could pull another Georgia Tech, or at least play a competitive game in conference play. Then they trailed 31-10 at halftime. The Jayhawks will need to use the lessons learned while taking their lumps this year and try to improve next year.