Monday, October 24, 2011
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 9
By David Ubben
Time for our weekly Big 12 rankings after a crazy Saturday. All four games were won by road teams for the first time since 2000 and the third time in league history.
1. Oklahoma State (7-0, 4-0, LW: 2): The Big 12 Power Rankings have a new No. 1 for the first time this season. Oklahoma State went up to Missouri and impressively took care of business against a good team, outrunning the Tigers by 21 points. Then, the Cowboys sat back and watched their rivals suffer one of the biggest upsets in league history. Not a bad Saturday for the boys in orange.
2. Kansas State (7-0, 4-0, LW: 3): Is K-State better than Oklahoma? We'll find out this Saturday, but I know I saw this team go to Lubbock last week and beat Texas Tech, who beat Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday. The Wildcats' destruction of Kansas this week was also much more complete. And in the red zone, Collin Klein's been much better than Landry Jones, even if the pair are polar opposites. Bottom line: K-State doesn't have a loss. Oklahoma does.
3. Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1, LW: 1): The Sooners will have to pick up the pieces from a crushing loss that, barring complete anarchy atop the polls, eliminates them from a stacked national title race. The blame for this one lays in all three phases: the defense was undisciplined in coverage and tackling, the offense was out of sorts, missed on blocks and throws and the field goal unit kept the Sooners from keeping it close.
4. Texas A&M (5-2, 3-1, LW: 4): The Aggies have rebounded from their two losses with an outstanding game against Baylor and an OK win against Iowa State on Saturday. The offense wasn't sharp, but they leaned on their running back duo and walked away with a two-touchdown win. That'll work in Big 12 play.
5. Texas Tech (5-2, 2-2, LW: 6): Tech grabbed its biggest win under Tommy Tuberville with big guts and a career-defining night from first-year starter Seth Doege. With it ended any serious talk of the Red Raiders' 18-year bowl eligible streak coming to an end, and the win could serve as a launching point for what could be a huge season in 2012.
6. Baylor (4-2, 1-2, LW: 5): Baylor has to sit for two weeks on a frustrating loss to Texas A&M, but it won't get any easier. Undefeated Oklahoma State is up next, and the Cowboys delivered the worst beating to the Bears of anyone last season.
7. Texas (4-2, 1-2, LW: 8): Texas was the other idle team on Saturday, but had to enjoy what it saw. As a friend of mine and Texas fan told me on Sunday: "Oklahoma losing is like bacon. It just makes everything better." The season hasn't been what Texas would have liked, but 4-2 is nothing to be ashamed of.
8. Missouri (3-4, 1-3, LW: 7): Missouri's losses are all to ranked teams, sure, but four losses is four losses. There are a whole lot of good teams in this league, and Missouri has to find a way to beat a couple of them if it wants to claw back into the postseason.
9. Iowa State (3-4, 0-4, LW: 9): Iowa State has made the switch at quarterback, and taking care of the ball will be a big key for Jared Barnett keeping his new gig. ISU, though, is getting outmuscled by better teams and has to show a lot of improvement to justify any bowl talk.
10. Kansas (2-5, 0-4, LW: 10): Letting your rival score 59 on your home field in two consecutive years is a good way to land on the hot seat, and that's where Turner Gill finds himself this week. Kansas better find a corner and turn it real fast. The Jayhawks need a conference win in the worst way, and the next opportunity comes Saturday in Austin.