Big 12 Football Rankings: Week 10
1. Oklahoma State (9-0)
W, TCU 49-29: It’s not just that Oklahoma State beat TCU and more than passed the first big test over the finishing kick of the season, it’s that it was utter domination at times. The defense that looked so, so awful against Texas Tech a week earlier played with a serious attitude – and with actual tackling ability. Can the Cowboys avoid slipping against Iowa State with everything on the line coming up? As long as the defense keeps taking the ball away, and if Mason Rudolph and the passing attack can keep pushing the ball down the field like they did against the Horned Frogs, this really might be the Big 12 team to beat.
2. Oklahoma (8-1)
W, Iowa State 52-16: Is anyone playing better right now than Baker Mayfield? He’s had a terrific season all the way around, but ever since the Texas game he’s been unstoppable with 14 touchdown passes, one pick, and with 725 passing yards in the last two games. He has the offense down without a problem at just the right time. Yeah, Kansas and Iowa State are the relative weeks off, but it’s given the team time to get everything ready to roll for the final three weeks. Right now, this is looking like the team that’ll emerge from the pack – and now it’s time to prove it at Baylor.
3. Baylor (8-0)
W, at Kansas State 31-24: All that really matters is that Jarrett Stidham looked great. Once in a while, Kansas State is going to rock the running game at home, and the Baylor offense stalled a bit too much in the second half, but this was a good, tough road date and the Bears passed. Stidham got his feet wet, and he was every bit as good as expected throwing for 419 yards and three scores. Everyone has gotten so used to Baylor putting up ridiculous numbers that it’s hard to think it could struggle a wee bit, but that can’t happen now with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU up next. Stidham is ready for primetime.
4. TCU (8-1)
L, at Oklahoma State 49-29: Out of all the top Big 12 teams, TCU looked the least likely to come up with a total clunker. Oklahoma State swarmed all over Trevone Boykin and never let him get comfortable, even though he ran for 73 yards and two scores, but there were too many mistakes and too many empty drives to get out from the hole. Boykin had an awful game and threw for 445 yards – don’t expect TCU to do this two games in a row. Kansas is about to get destroyed.
5. West Virginia (4-4)
W., Texas Tech 31-26: Now the Mountaineers know where they stand – they’re No. 5. They’re not in the category of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU or Baylor – the four losses, but with the running game rocking, and the offense taking control, they got the win they needed at home to stop the slide. Everything clicked from the O line to Skyler Howard doing what was needed, and now with the easy part of the schedule to finish, it’s time to prove that this really is the fifth-best team in the Big 12. This year, that wouldn’t be so bad.
6. Texas Tech (5-5)
L, at West Virginia 31-26: Patrick Mahomes was able to spread the ball around against the Mountaineers, but the really big plays weren’t there and the drives weren’t ending in points. It was a fight the whole game, and the Red Raiders had their chances, but there weren’t able to overcome yet another disastrous day from the defense – they couldn’t stop the run. On a three-game losing streak, they’re part of the bottom half of the Big 12, but that doesn’t mean that can’t beat Kansas State or Texas to get bowl eligible. If they can’t the season then becomes a complete and utter disaster.
7. Iowa State (3-6)
L, at Oklahoma 52-16: Any and all parts of the gameplan went flying out the window after getting down 21-3 early. The Cyclone defense that destroyed Texas the week before went bye-bye from the start, mainly because Oklahoma’s offense is so hot. Joel Lanning was okay, throwing for 260 yards and a score, but the team isn’t equipped to keep up in a shootout. There’s no way ISU wins out to go bowling, but it should be able to come up with one more big performance. Can it do it against Oklahoma State and screw up the Cowboys like 2011? Like it’s not going to hear about that over the next week.
8. Texas (4-5)
W, Kansas 59-20: That’s what playing Kansas is for. How do you get over a total clunker against Iowa State? You run and run some more, getting a huge day out of D’Onte Foreman and further establishing Tyrone Swoopes as an interesting option to go along with Jerrod Heard. But everyone slams around the Jayhawks – now it’s time for a little consistency. Can the Longhorns make a push for the league’s No. 5 slot with a win at West Virginia? They have to win two of their last three with Texas Tech and Baylor to close – it’s going to be impossible if the ground game can’t keep rolling.
9. Kansas State (3-5)
L, Baylor 31-24: The unbelievable part about the Kansas State offense is how it’s 180-degrees different from what it was last season. The passing game isn’t there, and now there’s just one weapon – quarterback Joe Hubener. The Wildcats are like a slow drip at times offensively, but it works just well enough to occasionally stay alive. But the Big 12 requires firepower, and the Wildcats just don’t have it. Fortunately, the nasty part of the schedule is over – K-State can absolutely win three of the last four against Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas and West Virginia.
10. Kansas (0-9)
L, Texas 59-20: It wasn’t possible to ever get in the game against the Longhorns because the defense wasn’t able to come up with any sort of a stop against the run. The offense had the ball for over 32 minutes and put up over 400 yards, but the four turnovers and the complete and total inability to slow down the run never let the game get interesting. Freshman QB Ryan Willis is getting more and more time, throwing for 214 yards and a score. For now, that’s about the only real plus.