Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 13

There were some difficult choices this week. For one, I'm not sure Oklahoma State would defeat Texas A&M if the two teams played again. For two, I think Oklahoma's recent play is above Missouri's, which explains the Sooners' higher ranking. And the bottom is getting muddled, with plenty of teams who beat each other.

1) Oklahoma State 10-1, 6-1 (LW 2)

The Cowboys started off sluggishly against Kansas, falling behind 14-10 and nearly taking a deficit to the locker room. But they woke up in the second half and finished with typical offensive numbers: 48 points and nearly 600 yards of total offense. Brandon Weeden continued his tear, throwing for 389 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboy defense continues to impress as well, holding Kansas to 288 total yards. Now, Oklahoma State is just one Bedlam game away from winning the Big 12 South for the first time in conference history. The Cowboys would then have a shot at their first conference title since sharing the Big Eight in 1976.

Last time out: W 48-14 at Kansas

Next time out: Oklahoma

2) Texas A&M 8-3, 5-2 (LW 3)

The Aggies might not have put up a great effort offensively, but were able to control the ball with a fantastic performance from running by Cyrus Gray, who rushed for 137 yards and also served as Texas A&M's leading receiver with 65 yards receiving. The most impressive part was the Aggies' defensive effort against the Cornhuskers, which caused as many turnovers (2) as the scores the Aggies gave up (two field goals). The outstanding job that Tim DeRuyter has done cannot be overstated: on Nebraska's last chance drive, the defense forced an intentional grounding call on second down, then sacked Taylor Martinez on third down before forcing an errant pass to seal the game.

Last time out: W 9-6 vs. Nebraska

Next time out: at Texas

3) Oklahoma 9-2, 5-2 (LW 5)

The Sooners jumped on the Bears from the get-go, never allowing Robert Griffin III and the Baylor offense to get on track. Offensively, the Sooners threw the ball all over the field and received 182 total yards from running back DeMarco Murray. Now, the Sooners are just one game away from appearing in the Big 12 title game yet again. Oklahoma State enters the game with the better record and the home-field advantage, but the Sooners have typically dominated Bedlam and will enter the game with plenty of confidence. The key, as always, will be which Landry Jones shows up in Stillwater.

Last time out: W 53-24 at Baylor

Next time out: at Oklahoma State

4) Nebraska 9-2, 5-2 (LW 4)

What would normally have been an excellent college football game was overshadowed by coach Bo Pelini's on-field outbursts. Pelini was at-odds with the 'Huskers 16 penalties for 145 yards and also took exception with quarterback Taylor Martinez, issuing a very public chewing-out. Offensively, the Cornhuskers broke three long runs that accounted for 81 yards, but gained just 63 yards on their other 33 carries. Defensively, the Cornhuskers did a nice job, but had no answer for Cyrus Gray. Now, Nebraska must win its season finale, or hope for a Missouri loss, to win the Big 12 North.

Last time out: L 6-9 at Texas A&M

Next time out: Colorado

5) Missouri 9-2, 5-2 (LW 4)

The Tigers had one of their worst offensive outputs of the last several years, putting up just 306 total yards and 14 points. Most seasons, that sort of performance would have meant an automatic loss. But the Tigers were able to grab a win based on the strength of their defense against an Austen Arnaud-less Iowa State squad. Still, the Tigers will need a better performance out of the running game heading into their rivalry game with Kansas. Missouri averaged just 3.3 yards per carry, failing to take the pressure off quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who passed for just 172 yards. If there was an offensive bright spot, it was tight end Michael Egnew, who caught seven passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. Last time out: W 14-0 at Iowa State Next time out: Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

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

The Bears ended the regular season by getting blasted by Oklahoma. The Sooners actually led 53-10 before the Bears added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. The result was disappointing for a squad that had been competitive with Texas A&M just a week earlier. The Bears struggled to contain the Sooner passing attack, which rolled up more than 350 yards, including 120 to running back DeMarco Murray and 113 to Ryan Broyles. Now, for the good news. Despite faltering down the stretch, the Bears still hit seven wins and will be going bowling. Considering that the Bears haven't attended a bowl since the formation of the Big 12, that's a big accomplishment.

Last time out: L 24-53 vs. Oklahoma

Next time out: None

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

The Wildcats have struggled in their last two conference games, especially defensively, where they've allowed 38 and 44 points. Against Colorado, the Wildcats allowed running back Rodney Stewart to run wild, while the Buffs did a surprisingly good job of slowing down the Kansas State running game. Carson Coffman had a nice passing day, but the Wildcats aren't going to win many games with Coffman and the passing game serving as the team's primary offensive threat. The Wildcats are now finished with conference play and have a winnable non-conference matchup before moving on to bowl season.

Last time out: L 36-44 at Colorado

Next time out: at North Texas

8) Texas Tech 6-5, 3-5 (LW 9)

The Red Raiders finished up conference play two weeks early and annihilated non-con foe Weber State to become bowl eligible. The Red Raiders were up big the whole game, putting up 669 total yards and riding Taylor Potts' 276 first-half passing yards to an easy victory. The win means that the Red Raiders achieved bowl eligibility for the 18th consecutive year … and the Raiders have parlayed that into 10 consecutive bowl berths. The Red Raiders still have one more conference game left, against Houston, with a chance to win a pair and end up with an eight-win season.

Last time out: W 64-21 vs. Weber State

Next time out: Houston

9) Colorado 5-6, 2-5 (LW 12)

What a difference a coach, or lack of a coach can make. Two weeks ago, Colorado was winless in the league and was coming off a loss to fellow cellar-dweller Kansas. But the Buffs gained a big win against Iowa State, then followed that up with an eight-point victory over Kansas State. Rodney Stewart was tremendous for Colorado, rushing for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Scotty McKnight chipped in 74 yards receiving and other two touchdowns, while the defense held the vaunted K-State rushing attack to just 2.7 yards per carry. Now the Buffaloes will take on a Nebraska team that has been less than convincing in its last few games.

Last time out: W 44-36 vs. Kansas State

Next time out: at Nebraska (Friday)

10) Iowa State 5-7, 3-5 (LW 8)

The Cyclones played their hearts out defensively against Missouri, shutting down the Tiger ground game and holding quarterback Blaine Gabbert in check. But they couldn't produce enough offense without senior signal-caller Austen Arnaud. In his place, backup quarterback Jerome Tiller completed just 13 of 31 passes and averaged 3.0 yards per carry. Running back Alexander Robinson ended his career with a 98-yard performance, while receiver Jake Williams had six catches for 102 yards. The Cyclones actually overcame the so-called "tough" Big 12 South rotation of Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech, going 2-1, but went 1-4 against North competition.

Last time out: L 0-14 vs. Missouri

Next time out: None

11) Texas 5-6, 2-5 (LW 10)

Texas finally took care of business against an inferior team, forcing three turnovers and putting up more than 500 yards of total offense. Garrett Gilbert had his best game as a Longhorn, passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 60 more yards. And Cody Johnson became the first Texas back to top the 100-yard mark this year in rushing for 124 yards and a score. Defensively, the Longhorns held FAU to less than 300 yards of total offense. A potential bowl is still within the Longhorns' grasp, but they'll need to perform well off a short turnaround.

Last time out: W 51-17 vs. Florida Atlantic

Next time out: Texas A&M (Thursday)

12) Kansas 3-8, 1-6 (LW 11)

The Jayhawks continued their improving play with a strong first half against Oklahoma State. Kansas actually would have led at halftime had the Jayhawks not gotten stuffed on the half-yard line in the first half. Things didn't go nearly as well in the second half, with the Jayhawks losing the second stanza 28-0. Now, Kansas needs to transfer that first half effort into the Border War. It's been a rough season, but if Kansas could pull out a win over Missouri, the Jayhawks would have plenty to build on in the offseason.

Last time out: L 14-48 vs. Oklahoma State

Next time out: Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

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