Monday, October 3, 2011
Big 12 power rankings: Week 6
By David Ubben
Big weekend of conference play with a pair of Big 12 teams getting upset means lots of movement. Here goes.
1. Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0, last week: 1): Sooners are still looking like the Big 12's best team, but Alabama and LSU have passed them in the media's poll while Oklahoma remains the coaches' No. 1. Everything's gone according to plan for OU's chase for an eighth national title, but Saturday's showdown with Texas at the Cotton Bowl will be a fun one.
2. Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0, LW: 2): Oklahoma State got some rest and coach Mike Gundy got some face time as a guest analyst at ESPN for a day. Here comes Kansas.
3. Texas (4-0, 1-0, LW: 5): The Longhorns are in the top 10 but far from validated after wins against only Iowa State, BYU and UCLA. Here's the Longhorns' chance. Beat Oklahoma, and any doubts about Texas being back will disappear.
4. Kansas State (4-0, 1-0, LW: 6): What an unbelievable rise for the Wildcats. Two weeks ago, this team was at No. 9 in the power rankings. A goal-line stand against Miami and a late interception against Baylor have the Wildcats in the polls and undefeated. You know what they say: "Defense moves you up in the Big 12 Blog Power Rankings."
5. Baylor (3-1, 0-1, LW: 4): Baylor rightfully feels like it should be 4-0 after blowing a nine-point fourth quarter lead that included a missed field goal in a one-point loss. The offense was rolling, but the defense couldn't make stops when it needed them. Like the blown lead against TCU, Baylor inexplicably stopped testing Kansas State's secondary on vertical routes up the field late in the game. The difference between Baylor and A&M right now is narrow, but they meet at Kyle Field next week.
6. Texas A&M (2-2, 0-1, LW: 3): The Aggies' first halves are befitting of a top 5 team, if not better. The second halves? A team in the bottom third of the Big 12. I guess this is a compromise between the two. The Aggies blew one lead at home and another at a neutral site. Baylor lost by a point on the road to a top 20 team.
7. Texas Tech (4-0, 1-0, LW: 9): Still waiting to figure out how good Texas Tech is. At least now we know they can erase a 20-point first-half deficit against the worst team in the Big 12. So that's ... good? ... I guess? We'll figure this team out as the schedule toughens, but it's undefeated, and only five teams in the Big 12 can still say that.
8. Missouri (2-2, 0-1, LW: 8): Missouri's tough early schedule continues to be difficult with a trip to face burgeoning Kansas State. That's three consecutive road games against top 25 teams for the Tigers, who sat at home last week on a bye.
9. Iowa State (3-1, 0-1, LW: 7): Iowa State fell behind 34-0 against Texas by way of turnovers and a secondary that got burnt by an average passing game. Not good signs. Iowa State has to cut down on the turnovers if it's going to max out its potential.
10. Kansas (2-2, 0-1, LW: 10): Kansas at least learned it can outplay a pretty good team for a quarter. The Jayhawks just have to figure out how to carry that through 60 minutes. The running game is legit, and will continue through the season, but the defense won't give it a chance giving up rapid-fire points like it's done the past few weeks.