Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 11

It's week 11 in the Big 12, and a whopping 10 teams have a chance at bowl eligibility. But while that race is somewhat muddled, things are starting to become more clear at the top.

1) Nebraska 8-1, 4-1 (LW 1)

Playing without explosive quarterback Taylor Martinez, the Cornhuskers got all they could handle from a tricky Iowa State team on the road. Quarterback Cody Green had only 89 yards of combined offense (79 passing, 10 rushing), but Rex Burkhead and Roy Helu Jr. combined for 228 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, while Austin Cassidy returned an interception for a score. Still, it took a poor pass on a two-point conversion for the 'Huskers to escape with the win. Nebraska is still the best team in the Big 12, but they lose quite a bit of invulnerability when Martinez doesn't play.

Last time out: W 31-30 (OT) at Iowa State

Next time out: Kansas

2) Oklahoma State 8-1, 4-1 (LW 4)

The Cowboys made a major statement in the South last Saturday in drilling a very good Baylor team in a game that wasn't ever close. The Cowboys led 34-0 and 41-7, riding a 435-yard passing day from Brandon Weeden. Justin Blackmon had 173 yards and a touchdown receiving and ran for a 69-yard score. Overall, the Cowboys put up a whopping 725 yards of total offense, punting just once in the contest. And defensively, they largely bottled up quarterback Robert Griffin III, keeping him without a score. Now the Cowboys will try and take that momentum into Austin to exorcise some demons left from that series.

Last time out: W 55-28 vs. Baylor

Next time out: at Texas

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

The Aggies never trailed in their 33-19 victory over the Sooners, though Oklahoma sure made it interesting. The Sooners rebounded from a 19-0 deficit to cut the lead to 19-17 heading into the fourth quarter. But a pair of big plays, a 23-yard Cyrus Gray touchdown run and a 64-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Ryan Swope gave the Aggies breathing room for the win. Lost in the Aggies' turnaround under Tannehill is a similar turnaround taking place on defense, where the Aggies are starting to put together a pretty salty unit.

Last time out: W 33-19 vs. Oklahoma

Next time out: at Baylor

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

Many a good team has lost in Lubbock, so there's no reason for disappointment there. What was disappointing was how thoroughly the Tigers were handled on their trip South. The final score was close, but it's worth noting that Missouri scored 14 of its 17 points on a pair of big plays — runs of 69 and 71 yards — within the game's first six minutes. Other than those two plays, Missouri was held to just 215 yards, with quarterback Blaine Gabbert completing just 12-30 passes for 95 yards himself. Texas Tech won the rest of the game 24-3, holding Missouri scoreless in the second half. That's two in a row for the Tigers, who will host a scrappy K-State team on Saturday.

Last time out: L 17-24 at Texas Tech

Next time out: Kansas State

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

The Sooners have lost two of their last three games and struggled at times offensively against an upset-minded Aggie squad. And so Oklahoma, which found itself in the driver's seat for the Big 12 South just a few weeks ago, now much avoid another loss to make the Big 12 title game. That's a tall order with a tough Texas Tech team coming to down and a future showdown with rival Oklahoma State. Finding a running game would be a huge help — the Sooners rushed for 72 yards on 44 carries against the Aggies — as would protecting the quarterback. The Aggies sacked Landry Jones four times.

Last time out: L 19-33 at Texas A&M

Next time out: Texas Tech

6) Baylor 7-3, 4-2 (LW 5)

The Baylor offense was largely tamed by a middle-of-the-road Oklahoma State defense, while the Bears' D continued to struggle. If anything, the game showed just how thin Baylor's margin for error is. Though the Bears are significantly more talented than they have been, they still don't necessarily have the horses up and down the roster to compete if Robert Griffin III has an off day. The schedule doesn't get much easier, as the Bears still have this week's game against Texas A&M before playing Oklahoma to round out the year.

Last time out: L 28-55 at Oklahoma State

Next time out: Texas A&M

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

The genius of Bill Snyder is often lost because of the way his teams win. Saturday, they simply capitalized on Longhorn mistakes, didn't make any of their own and pounded out a win on the ground. In doing so, they beat Texas despite throwing just four passes, completing two for nine yards. But quarterback Collin Klein, running back Daniel Thomas and backup running back William Powell pounded forward for 45 carries, combining for 261 yards (5.8 per carry) and five touchdowns. Defensively, K-State picked off five Garrett Gilbert passes and didn't allow a score until the fourth quarter.

Last time out: W 39-14 vs. Texas

Next time out: at Missouri

8) Iowa State 5-5, 3-3 (LW 8)

The Cyclones nearly pulled off their second consecutive win over the Cornhuskers, failing only when a fake extra point attempt went awry. After scoring a touchdown in overtime, coach Paul Rhoads went for the fake and the win. That attempt failed when holder Daniel Kuehl couldn't get his throw to an open Collin Franklin in the end zone. It was intercepted by NU's Eric Hagg instead. Still, the Cyclones again proved to be a tough out for the Cornhuskers, and probably managed to maintain momentum into their next game at Colorado. Should the Cyclones win there, they'll be bowl eligible for the second consecutive year, despite a schedule that included Iowa and Utah in the non-con and the so-called "tough" South rotation of Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

Last time out: L 30-31 (OT) vs. Nebraska

Next time out: at Colorado

9) Texas Tech 5-4, 3-4 (LW 10)

Kudos to the Texas Tech defense for shutting down an explosive Missouri offense. And kudos to the Red Raiders for fighting back from an early 14-0 gap. The Red Raiders' NASCAR offense was able to get off 101 plays in the game, 40 more than Missouri did. Taylor Potts completed 19-28 threes for 188 yards and three touchdowns, while back Baron Batch had one of his top games, running for 134 yards and adding another 14 receiving yards. Lyle Leong caught nine passes for 123 yards. But the most impressive performance came from the Red Raider pass defense, which held Blaine Gabbert to 95 yards through the air. It's almost a shame that the Red Raiders took so long to get started, dropping games to Texas and Iowa State before gaining their footing. As it is they'll have to scrap to get to bowl eligibility.

Last time out: W 24-17 vs. Missouri

Next time out: at Oklahoma

10) Texas 4-5, 2-4 (LW 9)

Mistakes and big plays. Those two have doomed the Longhorns all season, and both bit Texas in a big way last Saturday. Five Garrett Gilbert interceptions led to 17 points for Kansas State and took away seven from the Longhorns. Defensively, the 'Horns allowed Kansas State's three biggest rushers to average 5.8 yards per carry between them. Neither is a good trend heading into a home game against Oklahoma State, one of the top teams in the conference in turnover margin and the best offense in the league in terms of scoring, total yards and yards per play. The Longhorns need to beat either Oklahoma State or Texas A&M to go bowling.

Last time out: L 14-39

Next time out: Oklahoma State

11) Kansas 3-6, 1-4 (LW 12)

To put Kansas's comeback in perspective, the 35 fourth quarter points that the Jayhawks scored would be the second-most points the Jayhawks have scored in a full game this year. The biggest comeback in Kansas history saw the Jayhawks rebound from a 45-17 deficit to win. JUCO transfer Quinn Mecham has shown positive signs the past few weeks, while running back James Sims exploited open rushing lanes for 123 yards and four touchdowns. Kansas likely won't follow up that game with success this week, though it's worth noting that the Jayhawks have done some positive things each of the past two weeks.

Last time out: W 52-45 vs. Colorado

Next time out: at Nebraska

12) Colorado 3-6, 0-5 (LW 11)

On the flip side of the Kansas comeback was Colorado, a team that allowed one of the worst teams in the conference to rally from 28 points behind in the fourth. Cody Hawkins passed for 322 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Paul Richardson, who had 141 yards and two scores. Rodney Stewart rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns himself. But none of it was enough to overcome a terrible fourth quarter, though the Buffs nearly achieved a tie at the end, only to have a receiver drop the potential game-tying touchdown. Dan Hawkins should have his resume ready.

Last time out: L 45-52 at Kansas

Next time out: Iowa State

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