Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 10

A hyped battle between the top two teams in the North turned out to be yet another example of Nebraska's dominance over the division. The Cornhuskers have lost just once to a North team in the last two years, a fluky upset loss to Iowa State last year.

1) Nebraska 7-1, 3-1 (LW 3)

The Cornhuskers showed that they were again the top team in the North, jumping up to a 24-0 lead on the Tigers in Lincoln. Nebraska's efforts were led by I-back Roy Helu, who rushed for a 'Husker record 307 yards on 28 carries, including three touchdowns. Quarterback Taylor Martinez was held in check on the ground, but he completed 6-of-9 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with an injury. Good news for 'Husker fans: it appears that he'll be ready to go for this week's game against Iowa State.

Last time out: W 31-17 vs. Missouri

Next time out: at Iowa State

2) Missouri 7-1, 3-1 (LW 1)

The exact units that earned so much praise against Oklahoma — the lines — are sure to catch the most heat after the Nebraska game. Missouri allowed Nebraska runners to average seven yards per carry, with Roy Helu Jr. rushing for more than 300 yards. On the other side, Missouri only had one ball carrier top 3.5 yards per carry, while quarterback Blaine Gabbert was sacked six times. Consistently under duress, Gabbert completed just 43 percent of his throws and failed to top the 200-yard mark despite throwing the ball 42 times. Now the Tigers must hope the 'Huskers slip up in one of their final four games.

Last time out: L 17-31 at Nebraska

Next time out: at Texas Tech

3) Oklahoma 7-1, 3-1 (LW 2)

The Sooners put up 635 yards and scored 40 points in the second and third quarters on their way to blasting Colorado 43-10. Landry Jones completed 70 percent of his throws for 453 yards and four touchdowns, with Ryan Broyles serving as the primary recipient. Broyles caught nine passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman running back Roy Finch continued his strong play, rushing for 59 yards on 10 carries. And the Sooners only allowed Cody Hawkins to complete 39 percent of his throws. Now Oklahoma must travel to play a dangerous Texas A&M team with the firepower to give a shaky-at-times OU defense issues.

Last time out: W 43-10 vs. Colorado

Next time out: at Texas A&M

4) Oklahoma State 7-1, 3-1 (LW 4)

No Justin Blackmon, no problem. Sure, the Cowboys were noticeably weaker without their best receiver, with quarterback Brandon Weeden suffering through several dropped passes from his receivers. But Weeden still threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs Kendall Hunter and Joseph Randall combined to rush for 207 yards on 35 carries. And the defense showed up, limiting Daniel Thomas to 3.5 yards per carry. Had the Cowbosy kept their drops, penalties and turnovers down, they might have won by 30. Instead, they'll still come home happy with a W, and will get Blackmon back for this week's huge game against a for-real Baylor team.

Last time out: W 24-14 at Kansas State

Next time out: Baylor

5) Baylor 7-2, 4-1 (LW 5)

The Bears finally validated their efforts against a more talented team, rallying from a nine-point third-quarter deficit to get a key win at Texas. Now, the Bears are 4-1 with a legitimate shot a Big 12 South title. It won't be easy, as the Bears still have games against Oklahoma, and this week, Oklahoma State. The Bears have the offense, and the quarterback, to keep up with anybody. But can they get enough defensive stops to get by the high-powered Cowboys? That's a tough question to answer, especially considering they allowed 428 yards to a previously struggling Texas offense last week.

Last time out: W 30-22 at Texas

Next time out: at Oklahoma State

6) Texas A&M 5-3, 2-2 (LW 10)

Texas A&M had two issues this year: poor quarterback play and a poor defense. Consider one of those two problems solved. A week after a strong performance against Kansas, new starter Ryan Tannehill completed 72 percent of his passes for 449 yards and four touchdowns. More importantly, he kept his turnovers down, throwing just one interception. Receivers Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope each went over the 100-yard receiving mark, while running back Cyrus Gray topped the century mark in rushing. Now, if the Aggies could only fix No. 2, they would have an outside shot at the South title with games remaining against both Baylor and this weekend against Oklahoma.

Last time out: W 45-27 vs. Texas Tech

Next time out: Oklahoma

7) Kansas State 5-3, 2-3 (LW 6)

Perhaps no team in the Big 12 is better at playing beyond its talent level than Kansas State. The Wildcats were outclassed by the Cowboys and outgained by 222 yards. But the Wildcats stayed within striking distance until quarterback Carson Coffman threw a pick-six halfway through the fourth quarter. The game was even tied 7-7 at halftime before Oklahoma State's talent took over. Now, the Wildcats host a reeling Texas squad, one that is the opposite of Kansas State in terms of talent utilization to this point. Kansas State has traditionally been Texas's foil, going 4-2 against the Longhorns in Big 12 play. Can K-State get to bowl eligibility? This would be a great week to do so.

Last time out: L 14-24 vs. Oklahoma State

Next time out: Texas

8) Iowa State 5-4, 3-2 (LW 7)

The Cyclones put in an underwhelming performance in the first half against the Jayhawks, failing to score an offensive touchdown in trailing 9-7. They rebounded with a strong second half, thanks largely to Alexander Robinson's 117 rushing yards and a better performance by quarterback Austen Arnaud. The Cyclones also tightened up defensively, especially against the run, while only allowing 268 total yards, after the Jayhawks moved the ball on the ground in the first half. Up next is a Nebraska team likely bent on revenge for last year's upset.

Last time out: W 28-16 vs. Kansas

Next time out: Nebraska

9) Texas 4-4, 2-3 (LW 8)

The effort was back this week, though the result remained the same. Texas went up 19-10 and had two chances to increase that lead. But the Longhorns instead allowed a series of big plays that changed the game and turned the momentum Baylor's way. There were some positives Texas could take from the game, like the performance from quarterback Garrett Gilbert, the best of the sophomore's still-young career. Now, if Texas could fix its problem with dropped passes — there were five against the Bears — the Longhorn offense could really start to execute.

Last time out: L 22-30 vs. Baylor

Next time out: at Kansas State

10) Texas Tech 4-4, 2-4 (LW 9)

In a way, the Red Raiders were simply unlucky. They just happened to be the team that Ryan Tannehill first started against. The quarterback picked apart the Tech secondary in throwing for 449 yards and four touchdowns. Tannehill's performance, and the ensuing Aggie win, cast shadow on a great performance by quarterback Steven Sheffield, who replaced starter Taylor Potts and completed 11 of 14 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns to one interception. To put that in perspective, Sheffield's passer rating was even higher than that of Tannehill. Now, can Sheffield win and keep the job for the rest of the year? We'll find out, starting this week against Missouri.

Last time out: L 27-45 at Texas A&M

Next time out: Missouri

11) Colorado 3-5, 0-4 (LW 11)

Another week, another Big 12 loss for the Buffaloes, who were blasted by Oklahoma. The Buffs' main bright spot, as it has for most of the year, came from tailback Rodney Stewart, who rushed for 85 yards on 19 carries. Receiver Scotty McKnight wasn't far off, catching five passes for 84 yards, though his biggest play, a 49-yard touchdown catch, happened after the game was well out of reach. Next up is the Buffs' best chance for a victory, as Colorado travels to play the only other team without a conference victory in Kansas. Bringing a defense that doesn't allow 635 yards would be a great start.

Last time out: L 10-43 at Oklahoma

Next time out: at Kansas

12) Kansas 2-6, 0-4 (LW 12)

The Jayhawks finally showed signs of life last Saturday in taking a 9-7 halftime lead over Iowa State. But any excitement was short-lived, as the Cyclones won the third quarter 21-0. The Jayhawks played without their first two quarterbacks due to injuries, with third-stringer Quinn Mecham earning the start. Thankfully, Kansas should have at least one of its first two options available for its game against Colorado, one of the few winnable games left on the schedule. Getting another 125-yard performance from Angus Quigley would help.

Last time out: L 16-28 at Iowa State

Next time out: Colorado


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