Monday, November 22, 2010
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 13
By David Ubben
Lots of movement at the top, but very little at the bottom, where lots of teams lost or beat up on overmatched opponents. Oklahoma State is a slight cut above every one else, but the next four teams are almost entirely interchangeable.
1. Oklahoma State (10-1, 6-1, last week: 2) No team in the Big 12 has been more consistent than the Cowboys, who have shown up in every game this year and are the only team in the Big 12 with just one loss. Best of all the loss was to a very good Nebraska team.
2. Texas A&M (8-3, 5-2, LW: 5) The Aggies momentum is more tangible than ever, and it lifts them to No. 2 here after a five-game winning streak that featured two wins over top 10 teams.
3. Nebraska (9-2, 5-2, LW: 1) The Huskers continue to look very average on offense without a full-strength Taylor Martinez. They should be able to beat Colorado, even if Martinez still isn't back to his old self, but he'll have to be healthy in the Big 12 title game for Nebraska to reach a BCS bowl.
4. Oklahoma (9-2, 5-2, LW: 3) The Sooners dominated Baylor, but Oklahoma State made it clear when it played Baylor two weeks ago that beating the Cowboys is a much different, much more difficult task. Oklahoma will have its hands full trying to win the South.
5. Missouri (9-2, 5-2, LW: 4) Nebraska's game against Colorado on Friday will have a major effect on the intensity level of Saturday's Border Showdown. If the Huskers clinch the North, Missouri will be trying to avoid an embarrassing loss and maybe improve on its bowl standing. If the Huskers lose, the Tigers will have an entire season at stake against the rival Jayhawks.
6. Texas Tech (6-5, 3-5, LW: 8) Regardless of who you're playing, a 44-0 halftime lead is a good day. The Red Raiders have to clean up their season with a hopeful seventh win against Houston, who knocked them off last year.
7. Baylor (7-5, 4-4, LW: 7) The Bears season came to a disappointing end with three consecutive double-digit losses. But seven wins is still more than most pegged them for this year, and they'll be back in 2011 hungry for more after tasting bowl season over the holidays.
8. Kansas State (6-5, 3-5, LW: 6) The Wildcats win for the most perplexing loss of the week. Bill Snyder's team couldn't stop Colorado running back Rodney Stewart. This week they'll face another interim coach with a quarterback, Riley Dodge, whose father was fired during the season.
9. Colorado (5-6, 2-5, LW: 11) The Buffaloes look rejuvenated under Brian Cabral, and beating K-State is way more impressive than beating Iowa State. Now, time to crank up the difficulty level to 11 for a season-ending trip to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
10. Texas (5-6, 2-5, LW: 10) The Longhorns didn't fall as much as they were leapfrogged by a surging Colorado team now a win away from bowl eligibility. The 51 points on the board look pretty good, but Texas did score on a Hail Mary and a defensive touchdown. And it was Florida Atlantic. We'll see if the offense can take a step forward next week against a Texas A&M team playing some of the best defense in the league.
11. Iowa State (5-7, 3-5, LW: 9) The Cyclones couldn't go out in style without Austen Arnaud, but as the season closes, the future is bright for Paul Rhoads' Cyclones, who are moving in the right direction.
12. Kansas (3-8, 1-6, LW: 12) The Jayhawks showed some first-half fight, but Oklahoma State has too much offense for Kansas to handle. Turner Gill could tie a nice bow on the season with an upset of rival Missouri to close a first year filled with frustration.