Big 12 Power Rankings, Week Five, Part One

The Oklahoma Sooners hold onto the top spot in the LonghornDigest.com Big 12 Power Rankings, while Texas A&M slides after losing at home to Oklahoma State.

1) Oklahoma (3-0, 0-0)

The Sooners might have dropped below LSU in the AP poll, but their efforts have still been more than enough to hold onto the top spot in our Big 12 Power Rankings. Oklahoma did a great job of turning the tables on a Missouri team that pushed the Sooners around a year ago, rolling off 28 straight points to turn a 14-3 first-quarter deficit into a 31-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Missouri never got closer than two scores the rest of the way, and the Tigers made the final score look closer with a last-minute touchdown drive. The Oklahoma running game could use a bit of touching up, and Missouri had two players top the 100 yard mark in the game. Now the Sooners get a near-bye against Ball State before heading to Dallas to take on archival Texas.


Last Time Out: W 38-28 vs. Missouri

Next Time Out: vs. Ball State (Saturday)



2) Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0)

The Cowboys showed plenty of character in rebounding against Texas A&M, especially on defense, where the Oklahoma State group went from trampled to dominant over the course of halftime. It's that defense that will be the key this year, as everyone knows that the Cowboys will be able to move the ball. And Justin Blackmon needs to secure the ball. If he did that, the Cowboys wouldn't have been left to sweat out a final A&M drive. Still, even though it wasn't a perfect effort, the team should be lauded for going into a hostile environment and coming back against a team that is arguably among the Big 12's top three or so squads. Now they'll get a bye week before hosting Kansas.


Last Time Out: W 30-29 at Texas A&M

Next Time Out: vs. Kansas (Oct. 8)



3) Baylor (3-0, 0-0)

By now, surely everyone has seen this stat, but it still bears mentioning: Robert Griffin III has more touchdown passes (13) than incompletions (12) on the season. And he had another stellar showing against Rice, completing 29-of-33 passes for 338 yards and five touchdowns. Now, Baylor will take on a Kansas State team that has one of the country's top defenses through three games. While Griffin is the most obvious weapon, keep an eye on the running game, paced by Terrance Ganaway, and the Bears' group of wide receivers, arguably the fastest group in the league. The Bears still need to show they have a defense, and Kansas State's running game will provide an interesting challenge there.


Last Time Out: W 56-31 vs. Rice

Next Time Out: at Kansas State (Saturday)


4) Texas A&M (2-1, 0-1)

This might seem like a precipitous drop for a team that lost by one point to one of the league's top couple teams, but it says just as much about Baylor's early performance. And let's face it: you have to be somewhat worried about the state of a program when it loses such a big lead, at home, and seems totally unable to respond. After losing the lead, the Aggies did make a valiant comeback attempt in the final few minutes. But where was that fire when the Cowboys scored 27 straight? And why in the world did Mike Sherman forget about Christine Michael? For as many answers as the Aggies seemed to give in the first half (like: how good can the Aggies be, with the answer being really, really good), they raised even more questions in the second. The most pressing question for this week: just how hung over will the Aggies be from the loss when facing a dangerous Arkansas team at Cowboys Stadium? The answer could tell us quite a bit about what kind of team this is.


Last Time Out: L 30-29 vs. Oklahoma State

Next Time Out: vs. Arkansas in Dallas (Saturday)



5) Texas (3-0, 0-0)

Texas safety Blake Gideon has said on multiple occasions that the Longhorns don't like to use the word "revenge." But what else can we label the current tour, which has Texas playing four straight teams that defeated the Longhorns a year ago? The Longhorns were last seen two weeks ago, avenging their 2010 loss to UCLA with some serious style points. Now, they'll take on an undefeated and feisty Iowa State team in Ames, one that has to have some confidence after beating the Longhorns 28-21 last year. The final two stops on the tour will come after that game, when Texas plays Oklahoma in their annual showdown at the Cotton Bowl before returning home to host Oklahoma State. With games against arguably the top two teams in the league pending, it's even more vital for Texas to beat out Iowa State this week. Win all four, or potentially even three of the four, and people won't remember much of 2010 any more.


Last Time Out: W 49-20 at UCLA

Next Time Out: at Iowa State (Saturday)


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