This looks to be the premiere week for Big 12 football. West Virginia at Texas, and Baylor at Oklahoma will be extremely interesting and competitive games, while the battle between TCU and Kansas State could determine the Big 12 champ. Stock up on pork rinds, hot sauce and sodee water.
1. Kansas State: The methodical and precise Wildcats annihilated the rapidly disintegrating Oklahoma State Cowboys, and now prepare for what could be the Big 12 title match at TCU. KSU has everything going for it except a truly salty running game. Could that weakness spell the difference in Cowtown?
2. TCU: The Horned Frog offense scythed through the Texas Tech defense like a blue-hot Homelite through a tub o’ Smart Balance, but were held to 389 yards and 30 points by West Virginia. Didn’t make much difference, though. The Mountaineers turned it over five times and the Frogs got a last-second field goal to steal one in Morgantown. You’ve got to hand it to TCU—when they had to make plays they did, unlike in their lone loss of the year at Baylor.
3. Baylor: The Bears were a bit rusty after their bye week, but fortunately, their opponent was Kansas, so it didn’t matter. Rustiness will matter, however, if it occurs against Oklahoma. If Baylor loses to the Sooners, they can kiss their Big 12 title hopes goodbye. And a loss is a distinct possibility.
4. Oklahoma: The Sooners were more impressive in their destruction of Iowa State than Baylor was in beating Kansas. OU’s Trevor Knight may have been the best college quarterback in the country last Saturday as he passed for 230 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 146 yards and three more TDs. When Knight is that sharp, Oklahoma is very difficult to beat. But consistency is not his strong suit.
5. West Virginia: The Mountaineers are probably the best three-loss team in America. They’ve lost to Alabama, Oklahoma and TCU by a total of 23 points. But that alone won’t get them past Texas in Austin. WVU will still be smarting from the last-second loss to TCU, while the Longhorns are putting some pieces together. There is danger here, cherie.
6. Texas: On the hooves of their 34-13 trouncing of Tech, and with a dazed West Virginia coming to town, the Horns can actually smell a bowl game in their future. Do not be surprised if Texas wins a defensive struggle over the Mountaineers.
7. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have lost three straight for the first time since 2005. If they finish the season losing six straight, it will be the first time since 2000. And right now that looks like a distinct possibility.
8. Iowa State: The Cyclone defense looked downright terrible against Oklahoma. If that unit doesn’t sort itself out immediately, there is no guarantee Iowa State will win in Lawrence against the woebegone Jayhawks.
9. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are off this week off and is favored by a field goal.
10. Kansas: Of the five Big 12 teams Kansas has faced, Baylor is the only one to truly crush them. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks close the season with games against TCU, Kansas State and Oklahoma. A full scholarship, with all it confers, may not be enough to justify going through that misery.
Yeager's Week 11 Big 12 Power Rankings
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