Monday, December 5, 2011
Big 12 Power Rankings: Pre-bowls
By David Ubben
Here's how the Big 12 sits heading into the bowl season.
1. Oklahoma State (11-1, 8-1, LW: 1) The Cowboys made it clear on Saturday night that they're the Big 12's best team. The defense shined on a big stage, and the offense returned to form after the shocking night in Ames.
2. Kansas State (10-2, 7-2, LW: 3) How about the Wildcats? They started the season at No. 8 in the Power Rankings and slipped all the way down to No. 10 after needed a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Eastern Kentucky in the opening week. Now? Here they are. Unbelievable.
3. Baylor (9-3, 6-3, LW: 4) There was no late-season collapse this season. The Bears beat Oklahoma and Texas in the same season, won nine (!) games and as Robert Griffin III said, may have itself its first Heisman winner. Only two years after Alabama got their first, right? Best season in Baylor history?
4. Oklahoma (9-3, 6-3, LW: 2) What a fall for the Sooners. One blowout loss lands Oklahoma all the way down here at the end of a disappointing season riddled by injury. Disappointing season for a million different reasons, but the Sooners fell well short of their stated goal of a national title. One of the most disappointing preseason No. 1 teams of all-time.
5. Missouri (7-5, 5-4, LW: 5) The Tigers rescued their season from 3-4 to win four of their final five games and reach 7-5. Well short of what they'd like, but still an OK year with a defense that wasn't quite what most expected and a first-year starter at quarterback. Off the Tigers go into the SEC East.
6. Texas (7-5, 4-5, LW: 6) The Longhorns' defense was solid, but if you can't put points on the board, you can't win big in the Big 12. Texas learned that this year, and for the second consecutive season, the Longhorns don't have a quarterback they know they can roll with for a 12-game season. With nothing settled between Case McCoy and David Ash, and Connor Brewer on the way next year, don't expect that to change soon.
7. Texas A&M (6-6, 4-5, LW: 7) The Aggies are coachless, and the fired Mike Sherman was justifiably unhappy with being notified he was fired via phone while pulling into a recruit's driveway. Texas A&M will try to win a bowl game under interim coach Tim DeRuyter, but loses a lot on the field and will be in a new system come spring. It could be a rough first year in the SEC West for the Aggies.
8.Iowa State (6-6, 3-6, LW: 8) The Cyclones took the last two losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State really hard, and as painful as they are, Iowa State is bowling, and that's all that matters. Two in three years for Paul Rhoads, who already won his first shot in a bowl game.
9. Texas Tech (5-7, 2-7, LW: 9) For the first time since 1999, Tech won't be bowling. The transition from Mike Leach to Tommy Tuberville has been difficult and made even more so by huge numbers of injuries in both seasons, but the Red Raiders bring back lots of talent in 2012. They could make some noise if they stay healthy.
10. Kansas (2-10, 0-9, LW: 10) Chalk up another coachless Big 12 team. The Jayhawks won't get Leach on the sideline, but a change was needed after two years of blowout losses and no respect across the Big 12.