Big 12 Power Rankings
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Big 12 is getting interesting and this week's power ranking has a lot of movement in it, all expect for the Jayhawks. A few teams are set up to create some distance this weekend, headlined by the massive game in Dallas on Saturday.
1. West Virginia – There is really no argument here for the moment. West Virginia has handled each test impressively this season en route to a 5-0 record and boast the nation's most electric offense and the Heisman frontrunner with Geno Smith. The Mountaineers have been in dog fights in their two conference games but pulled out both late, including an impressive 48-45 road victory against No. 12 Texas on Saturday. West Virginia should pick up another win in Lubbock against the Red Raiders on Saturday.
2. Kansas State – Kansas took an early 14-7 lead on the Wildcats but that was accomplished with trick plays. Once the Wildcats got things rolling, they kept ‘em rolling. KSU outscored its Sunflower State rival 49-2 the rest of the way and continues to impress. The Wildcats travel for a tough road game at Iowa State this Saturday before a massive meeting with No. 5 West Virginia in Morgantown in two weeks.
3. Oklahoma – The Sooners' 41-20 demolition of Texas Tech on Saturday has Oklahoma strutting once again. The defense came up huge for OU and looks like the Big 12's best at this juncture. The Red River Rivalry on Saturday will go a long way toward answering the question of just how good Bob Stoops' team is. Beat Texas and the expectations start to escalate again.
4. Texas – After a fortunate win against OSU in Stillwater on a controversial call and a nail-biter home loss to West Virginia, the jury is still out on the Longhorns. There is no question UT is vastly improved from the past two seasons but whether or not it's good enough to beat Oklahoma for the first time since 2009 has yet to be seen. OU's defense will likely provide the biggest test for UT quarterback David Ash all season.
5. Baylor – The Bears' offense is undeniably electric and currently leads the nation in passing yards per game with 416.5. But the question remains: is the Baylor defense good enough to stop anyone of consequence? Baylor's defense ranks 119th and still must face many of the league's top offenses. But for now, a one-loss Baylor team deserves a No. 5 ranking.
6. Oklahoma State – It keeps being said that OSU is better than its 2-2 record and that's definitely true from a talent standpoint. OSU should trounce the hapless Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday in their first of what should shape up as three-straight wins (Iowa State and TCU in Stillwater). If OSU can start getting the most out of its defensive talent and the offense keeps rolling along, regardless of who's at quarterback, the Pokes will be in good shape and start climbing up this list.
7. Iowa State – Defense. Defense. Defense. ISU's coaches keep preaching it and it keeps working. ISU isn't a team any Big 12 team wants to see on its schedule (just ask Oklahoma State) but it's difficult to get a read the Cyclones. K-State has to go to Ames this weekend in a game that won't feature much explosive offense for Big 12 fans.
8. Texas Tech – The Red Raiders got their fans fired up with a 4-0 start but a blowout home loss against the Sooners has cooled a lot of the enthusiasm. Tech has a pretty hard road ahead starting this weekend at No. 5 West Virginia.
9. TCU – What a drop for the Horned Frogs. The loss of starting quarterback Casey Pachall for the season in a huge blow for TCU and the first test without him didn't go well in a two-touchdown home loss to Iowa State. This is starting to look like it could turn into a long season for Gary Patterson's squad.
10. Kansas – The trick plays were good enough to only lose to rival K-State by 40. Sigh. Kansas won't be having much fun with OSU in town on Saturday.