Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 11

Week 11 promises to be one of the best slates of the 2014 college football season, as it includes two major games with conference championship implications. Bears Illustrated dives into the state of the Big 12 heading into this tumultuous week.

Week 11 promises to be one of the best slates of the 2014 college football season, as it includes two major games with conference championship implications. Baylor travels to Norman to face off against the preseason conference favorite Oklahoma Sooners, and top-ranked teams Kansas State and TCU play in Fort Worth in a virtual elimination game from the College Football Playoff.

Here’s how the conference is shaking out heading into week 11.

1. No. 7 TCU Horned Frogs 7-1, 4-1. This week: vs. Kansas State: The Horned Frogs escaped Morgantown, W.Va., with a tight win over the Mountaineers last week. Quarterback Trevone Boykin struggled, but made the plays when it mattered most to win on a last-second field goal. TCU has few chances left to prove itself, but its last big test will come this week against KSU.

2. No. 9 Kansas State Wildcats 7-1, 5-0. This week: at TCU: Kansas State does not overwhelm in any facet of the game, but it just keeps on winning. Quarterback Jake Waters has done it all for the Wildcat offense, and the defense has made plays when things mattered the most. KSU can make a statement with a big win over conference frontrunner TCU this weekend.

3. No. 13 Baylor Bears 7-1, 4-1. This week: at Oklahoma: The Bears looked back to normal in their dominant win over Kansas, but how much can we really take from that? Bryce Petty still struggled to connect with his receivers until his last drive, but the running game looked revamped with a healthy Devin Chafin. The Bears will have a chance to prove themselves once against on Saturday against Oklahoma.

4. No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers 6-3, 4-2. This week: at Texas: West Virginia proved that they were for real in a tight game against TCU in Morgantown, but they could not quite get the job done. It cannot be forgotten: the Mountaineers’ only three losses are to No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 7 TCU this season.

5. No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners 6-2, 3-2: This week: vs. Baylor: The Sooners are far from the national title contender many thought they would be coming into the season, and sit in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 title race. This weekend will be a big opportunity for the Sooners to make a case to move up against Baylor.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys 5-4, 3-3. This week: Bye: It turns out that Oklahoma State may not actually be all that good. The Cowboys have a winning record, but have lost every game they have played against a ranked opponent. Over the last three, OSU has lost by a combined 124-33 against No. 12 TCU, No. 22 West Virginia and No. 9 KSU.

7. Texas Longhorns 4-5, 3-3. This week: vs. West Virginia: The Texas offense showed some competence last week, but it probably has more to do with Texas Tech’s poor defense. However, the Longhorns get West Virginia at home this week, which could be a big opportunity to show that the improvement is sustainable.

8. Iowa State Cyclones 2-6, 0-5. This week: at Kansas: Iowa State always fights, but they got absolutely stomped by Oklahoma last weekend. Iowa State’s only two wins this year are to non-conference opponents, but that could change this week. Finally, the Cyclones play Kansas, albeit on the road. They then play Texas Tech at home, before finishing the season against two ranked opponents.

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders 3-6, 1-5. This week: Bye: If we needed any indication of how bad Texas Tech’s defense is, they just allowed 34 points to Texas at home. With Oklahoma and Baylor left, and Iowa State on the road, the Red Raiders could legitimately not win another game this season.

10. Kansas Jayhawks 2-6, 0-5. This week: vs. Iowa State: The Jayhawks have shown a surprising amount of life under new head coach Clint Bowen, but who is really surprised that taking the weight of Charlie Weis off a team’s shoulders helped? They still are the worst team in the Big 12, however.

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