Monday, November 19, 2012
Big 12/SEC Power Rankings: Week 13
By David Ubben
Here's how the Big 12 looks with two weeks to go in the season:
1. Kansas State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12, last week: 1) K-State suffered a pretty embarrassing loss, but did so as the Big 12's only undefeated team in a league without a one-loss squad. The Wildcats still control their Big 12 title fate, and it'd be a little unfair to drop them below the Sooners.
2. Oklahoma (8-2, 6-1, last week: 2) The Sooners escaped Morgantown with a dramatic victory despite all kinds of defensive issues. Tavon Austin had a lot to do with that, but Landry Jones discovered his clutch gene and delivered a game-winning drive for the record books. OU can win its eighth Big 12 title with wins over Oklahoma State and TCU to close the season.
3. Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2, last week: 4) OSU won't be higher than Texas on my Top 25 ballot because of its three losses, but there's no doubt the Cowboys are playing better football than the Longhorns right now. Despite quarterback injury issues all season long, the Pokes have four Big 12 wins in five weeks, all by at least 21 points.
4. Texas (8-2, 5-2, last week: 3) Texas was idle this week, but you've got to give some respect to what Oklahoma State's done. Texas needs help in the form of an Oklahoma loss to get back in the Big 12 title hunt, but the Longhorns have to take care of business on Thanksgiving against TCU.
5. Texas Tech (7-4, 4-4, last week: 5) The slide continues for Texas Tech, which has lost three of its last four games and has one win over that stretch in double overtime against 1-10 Kansas. The Red Raiders turned heads with their upset win against West Virginia that looks less and less like an upset every day. Since then, Tech has seen its defense backslide and its offense look inconsistent.
6. TCU (6-4, 3-4, last week: 6) TCU was idle this week, but gets to play the part of A&M on Thanksgiving against Texas. Love y'all, but it's not the same. More on that later today.
7. Iowa State (6-5, 3-5, last week: 8) Iowa State's got lots of reasons to be excited. The Cyclones are going bowling after laying waste to an improving Kansas team and freshman quarterback Sam Richardson makes it look like they may not be sweating out bowl bids in future seasons.
8. Baylor (5-5, 2-5, last week: 9) The Bears made their season with a historic night against Kansas State, but they're still just one of three Big 12 teams that aren't bowl eligible. For now, the Bears jump ahead of West Virginia. I tend to prefer teams who have won a game in the past six weeks.
9. West Virginia (5-5, 2-5, last week: 7) Moving Tavon Austin to running back is a move that was equal parts genius and desperation. You've got to love the idea of getting him the ball as much as possible, but it still didn't equal a win against Oklahoma. It might have against just about everybody else in the league, though. WVU has Iowa State and Kansas left. A bowl should be just around the corner.
10. Kansas (1-10, 0-8, last week: 10) KU had its shots this season and didn't take advantage. Saturday's loss to Iowa State was never close in the second half. Another winless season in Big 12 play is going to be hard to avoid with only a trip to Morgantown left on the schedule.
4. Texas A&M (9-2; LW: 4): Even without a bye week, the Aggies haven't lost any steam. The offense rolled over Sam Houston State on Saturday and now A&M takes on a banged-up Missouri team that is coming off of a very tough home loss to Syracuse. Johnny Manziel is now at the top of the Heisman charts and the Aggies really are playing for a chance to go to a BCS bowl game. This is the hottest team in the country. -- Edward Aschoff