Big 12 Power Rankings, Week Five, Part Two

Baylor heads up the second tier of teams for the second week in a row. But the Bears have a shot to move way up with a win this week.

6) Baylor (3-0)

S&P+ Rank: 42 (Offense: 16, Defense: 79)

Credit the Bears for traveling to play a tough team in Louisiana-Monroe, one that had been giving BCS foes all kinds of headaches, and pulling out the win. The Bears made the plays they needed to down the stretch, including a great pass-and-catch from Nick Florence to Terrance Williams to put the game away. The Bears have enough offensively to be scary, but the defense continues to try and find its way. If they can't come together, the Bears will have to win a shootout every week, and that's something that they aren't quite as equipped to do offensively as they were a year ago. Test No. 1 comes this week when arguably the Big 12's most explosive offense faces the Baylor defense. Grab your popcorn.

UP NEXT: at West Virginia, on Saturday

7) Texas Tech (3-0)

S&P+ Rank: 6 (Offense: 19, Defense 9)

That's not a typo: according to S&P+, Texas Tech has fielded the No. 6 team in the country, and the second-best squad in the Big 12. And it's no secret why the Red Raiders have seen such an ascension … it's the defense, currently ranked No. 9 nationally. Everyone figured Tech would put together a top-20 offense with the return of Seth Doege and several offensive weapons. And while most thought the Red Raiders would be improved on defense, it's probably safe to say that nobody thought they'd have a top-10 defense (at least for now). Is this ranking for real? We'll at least have a better idea after this week.

UP NEXT: at Iowa State, on Saturday

8) Iowa State (3-0)

S&P+ Rank: 41 (Offense: 99, Defense 17)

We'll know quite a bit more about the Cyclones after this week's game against fellow unbeaten Texas Tech. Will the Iowa State offense snap into gear? Will the Iowa State defense be enough to slow down a top-20 national offense? Both are questions that should be answered. As always, Iowa State is a dangerous team capable of beating anybody on a given day. But because their overall talent level isn't near the top of the Big 12 heap, they'll always be somewhat overlooked.

UP NEXT: Texas Tech, on Saturday

9) Oklahoma State (2-1)

S&P+ Rank: 12 (Offense: 1, Defense: 66)

One of only two Big 12 squads to drop a non-conference game, Oklahoma State is a top-five team in the league per S&P+, thanks to its No. 1 offense. But the Cowboys' two wins have come against Savannah State and Louisiana, and the defense hasn't been nearly as good as last year's top-20 unit that helped the Cowboys to a 12-1 season. The 'Pokes could shoot up this list by protecting their turf against the visiting Longhorns this week. Oklahoma State typically plays Texas tough, and has won the last two meetings against the Longhorns, both in Austin.

UP NEXT: Texas, on Saturday

10) Kansas (1-3, 0-1)

S&P+ Rank: 83 (Offense: 94, Defense 60)

The only Big 12 team not ranked in the top 45 in overall S&P+, the Jayhawks are, at least for now, an easy pick for No. 10. The funny thing is, they're not that far off from a much better result. Kansas held double-digit second-half leads against three of its opponents, and only trailed TCU 10-6 halfway through the third quarter. But two of those big leads were washed away — including last week against Northern Illinois on the road — and the Jayhawks allowed TCU to pull away. Definitely a team that needs to learn how to close.

UP NEXT: at Kansas State (Oct. 6)

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