Big 12/SEC Power Rankings: Week 12
1. Kansas State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12; last week: 1) Kansas State keeps on trucking down the road to the BCS and got to breathe a big sigh of relief with Collin Klein back on the field and looking healthy in Saturday's victory over TCU. Onward to Baylor, where the lack of run defense and turnover issues promise a favorable matchup for the Wildcats.
2. Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1; last week: 2) Oklahoma didn't look super-impressive in letting Baylor close in a bit late, but the Sooners took care of business, and their two losses have still come against top-three, undefeated teams. One very unfortunate truth: OU could win out, but if Texas does the same and upsets No. 1 K-State in its season finale, there's a slight possibility the Longhorns boot OU out of the BCS.
3. Texas (8-2, 5-2; last week: 3) Texas might end up there, but could more likely finish at JerryWorld for its first Cotton Bowl trip since all the way back in 2003. The Longhorns are playing solid football, and beating up on Iowa State the way they did on Saturday is way, way harder than it looks. The 26-point loss was the Cyclones' worst of the season.
4. Oklahoma State (6-3, 4-2; last week: 5) The Cowboys didn't get it done against K-State, but West Virginia was only the latest team to go down by three touchdowns to the Pokes. OSU is playing solid football, and can score points in bunches, regardless of who's at quarterback. There's not a win on OSU's résumé to write home about, but the Cowboys are taking care of business.
5. Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3; last week: 4) Tech's bad day could have gotten a lot worse if not for solid offensive execution in overtime and some clutch throws from Seth Doege. Kansas is oh-so-close, but it seems like a different Big 12 team every week is playing Russian roulette with the Jayhawks. For now, Tech lives another day without the embarrassing loss.
6. TCU (6-4, 3-4; last week: 6) TCU looked completely outmatched against Kansas State, but the defense held K-State to 82 fewer yards than any other defense the Wildcats had faced all season long. That's pretty impressive stuff. The offense was fortunate to keep Trevone Boykin around after he banged up his shoulder, but the streakiness is likely to continue, considering the Frogs' youth. Future's bright, though.
7. West Virginia (5-4, 2-4; last week: 7) West Virginia's free fall continued, but there's nowhere for WVU to drop in the power rankings when all three teams below them lose, including a blowout for the team directly below it. The Mountaineers still have to play Iowa State and KU, but a four-game losing streak has taken a whole bunch of sheen off next week's "Big 12 Game of the Year" against Oklahoma. Sheesh. Anyone see this coming?
8. Iowa State (5-5, 2-5; last week: 8) Iowa State got run over by Texas and a resurgent David Ash. New Mexico was the only other team to score fewer than 17 points on Texas. Not good company for the Cyclones, who have games against Kansas and West Virginia left on the board to reach bowl eligibility. I like their chances in Lawrence next week, but KU can be tricky at home.
9. Baylor (4-5, 1-5; last week: 9) The Bears just weren't good enough to beat Oklahoma at home, but put up a better fight than most figured. The road to bowl eligibility is steep, with three teams in the top five of the Big 12 power rankings left on the schedule in K-State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
10. Kansas (1-9, 0-7; last week: 10) KU is knocking on the door of snapping that 19-game Big 12 losing streak and almost knocked out the 18-game road losing streak, too. The Jayhawks' league skid is the nation's longest, but could come to an end next week with Iowa State coming to Lawrence, where KU nearly knocked off Texas two weeks ago, and lost to Oklahoma State by just six.
4. Texas A&M (8-2; LW: 6): Talk about hot! The Aggies are burning up and quarterback Johnny Manziel is more than a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender after the win at Alabama. The Aggies not only showed that they truly belong in the SEC but they punished the nation's top team and might have eliminated the SEC from making it to the BCS title game. This team did it with its most complete game of the season and no one in the country wants to tangle with Johnny Football's crew right now. The only negatives that stick out are home losses to Florida and LSU. -- Edward Aschoff
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