Until somebody proves otherwise, the Big 12 is beginning to look like Baylor and the Nine Dwarfs. Not that Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State aren't very good—they are—but the Bears are the only outfit in this conference that looks truly great. The only team that looks like it will be a serious national title contender after all the smoke has cleared. There's still a long way to go, and as the skeptics insist, "Baylor hasn't played anybody." But, you know what? Most other Big 12 teams haven't exactly played a murderer's row to this point either. And only the Bears are racking up 70 points per game while taking their paws off the accelerator in the second half.
1. Baylor (same): You could see this one coming. Iowa State was attempting to rebound from two tough losses, and they were trying to do it against a juggernaut that had just received a wakeup call of sorts against Kansas State. Still, there was something morbidly fascinating about watching the Bears devour the Cyclones. It was like watching a three-hour long episode of Wild Kingdom with poor Jim wrestling the anaconda.
2. Texas Tech (same): Despite a very solid road win over a team coming off a bye week, a team that had earlier polished off Oklahoma State in Morgantown, the Red Raiders still seem to have more detractors than believers. But that's okay. When Tech finishes the season with only one or two losses and a place in the top 10, it will be time to haul the detractors to book before the court of public opinion.
3. Oklahoma State (+2): It's really a tossup between the Cowboys and the Sooners for the No. 3 spot on this week's power chart. Both teams have been iffy on offense all season, but the advantage right now goes to Oklahoma State because their defense is playing a bit better than Oklahoma's.
4. Oklahoma (+2): The Sooners can always fall back on their overall talent advantage to beat the vast majority of teams. However, with a quarterback as inconsistent as Blake Bell, and a defense that is suddenly showing some signs of vulnerability, Bob Stoops has reason to be concerned. But if somebody brings that up, Stoops will never admit it, of course.
5. Texas (-2): After building a three-game winning streak and a heaping helping of momentum, the Longhorns were stymied by a bye week. Now they go to Fort Worth to take on a TCU squad that is moving in precisely the wrong direction. Something tells me an upset could be in the offing here. And if it happens, Mack Brown will be the first to pounce on the bye week excuse, even while Gary Patterson laments the advantage that it supposedly confers.
6. Kansas State (+1): The Wildcats are a hard team to figure. They have won only two games, but they played Oklahoma State very tough in Stillwater and are the only team to go the distance with Baylor. It is likely that KSU is better than its record indicates.
7. TCU (-3): As noted above, the Horned Frogs are circling the drain and seem poised for the final plunge into oblivion. Every time TCU plays a real team, they lose. But my trick knee tells me that the Longhorns may just play the role of the life preserver for the Froggies this weekend.
8. West Virginia (+1): Well, we know the Mountaineers are capable of playing some ball at home. But that's not what they'll be doing on Saturday. Instead, they'll take a trip to the Little Apple to take on Kansas State. The next step for Holgorsen's boys is to prove they can beat a decent team on the road. It's not out of the question that the Mountaineers could do just that.
9. Iowa State (-1): The Cyclones are the only Big 12 team that has played a truly tough early conference schedule, and they've got two black eyes and a busted lip for their troubles. Iowa State has faced Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor, and lost all three. The fun continues when Oklahoma State comes to town this weekend.
10. Kansas (same): The Jayhawks are the just the latest in a seemingly inexhaustible string of sushi plates to be served up to the Baylor Bears. If nothing else, their scrum with BU will tell us if Baylor really does have a road weakness or whether their mere 10-point victory over Kansas State was a fluke.
Big 12 Power Chart: Week Eight
Raider Power Top Stories
Over/Under Game: Texas Tech at TCUThe Raider Power staff plays the over/under game answering questions from subscriber "jaburrs" centered around Texas Tech's upcoming matchup with TCU.
Raider Power8:08 AM
Q&A: Texas Tech Forward Anthony LivingstonRaider Power caught up with Texas Tech senior forward Anthony Livingston, a graduate transfer from Arkansas State who averaged 15.5 points and 9.4 rebounds last year, for an…
Raider Power7:29 AM
Choice Cuts: TCU WeekTexas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, defensive end Kolin Hill, safety Jah'Shawn Johnson and linebacker Malik Jenkins (pictured above) met with local media following practice on…
Raider PowerYesterday at 6:29 AM
2019 Cali QB Talks Texas Tech OfferSunnyvale (Calif.) Kings Academy 2019 quarterback Michael Johnson, Jr. details how his offer from Texas Tech went down and discusses his overall recruitment with Raider Power.
Raider PowerTuesday at 8:19 PM