Through nine weeks of play, the frontrunner for the Big 12 title is clear after the TCU Horned Frogs remained undefeated in their victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers. Even if it was just West Virginia, this is the same team that blew the Baylor Bears by 43 points two weeks ago before falling to Texas Tech last week.
While TCU stayed the course, Oklahoma State was crushed by Kansas State, which bounced back nicely from its first Big 12 loss a week ago to TCU. Will Howard was in complete control and the Wildcats defense played its best game of the season, shutting out Spencer Sanders and the explosive Oklahoma State offense.
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The Big 12 has been a fun league through the first nine weeks of the season, and the final stretch will provide plenty of drama for the conference on the road to Arlington. Let’s take a look at this week’s Big 12 power rankings.
Previous order: 1
This week: Beat West Virginia 41-31
And the points keep rolling in for TCU. Max Duggan was once again phenomenal, throwing for 341 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Horned Frogs. Kendre Miller had another big day, passing for 120 yards and a touchdown. TCU makes a case for the College Football Playoff while Max Duggan makes a case for the Heisman.
Next week: vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Previous ranking: 3rd
This week: Beat Oklahoma State 48-0
Adrian Martinez came through the warm up, but it was the Will Howard show for the Kansas State Wildcats tonight and he stole the show. Howard was 21 of 37 for 296 yards and four touchdowns, his second four-touchdown performance in as many weeks. Deuce Vaughn continues to emerge as one of the top running backs in the nation after another big day, rushing for 158 yards and a touchdown and catching four passes for 18 yards for another score.
The biggest difference this week was the play of the defense. They held Oklahoma State to 5 of 15 on third down and 1 of 4 on fourth down and just 217 total yards.
Next week: vs. Texas Longhorns
Previous ranking: 2nd
This week: lost to Kansas State 48-0
What on earth was that? Had they not beaten Texas last week, the Oklahoma State Cowboys would have fallen much further than three after totaling just 217 yards against a Kansas State defense that allowed 374.6 yards per game, which was 56th in the nation coming in.
Next week: at Kansas Jayhawks
Previous ranking: 4th
This week: Hello
Can Texas bounce back from a loss to Oklahoma State before the bye?
Next week: at Kansas State
This week: beat Texas Tech 45-17
In their last six games, the Baylor Bears have gone 4-2 and combined a two-game losing streak with multiple two-game winning streaks. This was an impressive win over Texas Tech last night in Lubbock. Richard Reese led the way for a Baylor offensive attack that has found its stride lately. Reese ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Baylor will look to keep their winning streak alive when they hit the road against Oklahoma.
Next week: at Oklahoma Sooners
Previous ranking: 7th
This Week: Defeat Iowa State Cyclones 27-13
Two straight wins and another sign that the defense is turning away the Oklahoma Sooners. They held the Cyclones to just 66 yards and hit Hunter Dekkers three times for the win. There’s still a lot of season left and room for improvement, but things are looking up for Oklahoma.
Next week: vs. Baylor Bears
Previous ranking: 6th
This week: They lost to Baylor 45-17
The highlight of the game for Texas Tech was the presence of Patrick Mahomes. Unfortunately, Baylor’s defense reverted back to the Mahomes-era defense in Lubbock, struggling to stop Richard Reese and the Bears’ rushing attack. Sadly for the Red Raiders, Mahomes couldn’t suit up to help their offense keep up.
Next week: at TCU Horned Frogs
Previous ranking: 8th
This week: Hello
A chance to regroup during a bye after three straight losses could be just what the doctor ordered for Lance Leipold and his crew as they prepare to welcome an Oklahoma State team hungry to erase a 48-0 loss to Kansas State. Will this trip to Kansas play out differently?
Next week: vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Previous ranking: 9th
This Week: Lost to TCU 41-31
West Virginia can only score in Morgantown, it seems. They’ve averaged 36 points in their last two home games, one over Baylor, but their 31 points Saturday weren’t enough to beat the undefeated Horned Frogs.