Big 12 Football Rankings And Reactions, Week 11

Big 12 Football Rankings: Week 11

1. Oklahoma (9-1)

W, at Baylor, 44-34: Yeah, yeah, there’s still that loss to Texas and Oklahoma State is unbeaten, but no one in the conference is playing better right now. The Sooners were tearing it up before offensively, but now they have the truly big win over a top team. The wins over Tennessee and West Virginia are going to look stronger and stronger, and the resume is getting CFP-worthy. Beat TCU, beat Oklahoma State on the road, and even with the Longhorn loss this deserves to be a playoff team.

2. Oklahoma State (10-0)

W, at Iowa State, 35-31: It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but it’s a win, Oklahoma State is 10-0, and nothing else matters. As long as there’s a 0 at the end of the record, the playoff spot is the Cowboys’ for the taking. Baylor suddenly looks beatable, but Oklahoma is playing at the highest of levels. As tough as the finishing kick might be, the team seems able to play up – or down – to the team and the moment. Everyone will be picking the Sooners in a few weeks, and most will be taking Baylor – it’s currently an even line. In a lot of ways, the pressure will actually be on the other side.

3. Baylor (8-1)

L, Oklahoma, 44-34: Just win out. Oklahoma still has that loss to Texas on the resume, and it still has to deal with TCU and a road game to Oklahoma State. One more Sooner loss, and Baylor could still take the outright Big 12 title with wins over TCU and Texas. Even if OU wins out, the Bears will be in a New Year’s Six bowl at 11-1. It might not be what the Bears want, but there’s still a lot to play for. First, it’s time to get the machine cranked up again after being outgunned by the Sooners. Jarrett Stidham might have looked a little bit like a freshman, but he was still okay throwing for 257 yards. Oklahoma might just be that good.

4. TCU (9-1)

W, Kansas, 23-17: Okay, before bailing out on any hopes for the season, the Horned Frogs are still 9-1 with a chance to win at least a piece of the Big 12 title. They won’t be the One True Champion unless Oklahoma State starts screwing up, and 23-17 against Kansas is ugly no matter what, but if Trevone Boykin can quickly return from his ankle injury – he’s expected to be ready to roll – everything changes back around if they can win at Oklahoma. Beat OU, beat Baylor, and then, at the absolute least, they’re back in a New Year’s Six Bowl game.

5. West Virginia (5-4)

W, Texas, 38-20: The running game was excellent vs. the Longhorns, but it was the defense that got the win with five takeaways in the home win the team needed to have. Now it’s easy time with Kansas up next to become bowl eligible, and if by some miracle the Mountaineers blow that, there’s a failsafe against Iowa State. But forget about that – it’s time to enjoy the easy part of the schedule. Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State – nothing less than 8-4 will be okay.

6. Texas Tech (6-5)

W, Kansas State, 59-44: That’s how it’s all supposed to work – Patrick Mahomes threw for 384 yards and three scores, and DeAndre Washington ran for 248 yards and three scores. Okay, so the D was absent for long stretches, but when the offense blows up in the first quarter like it did and makes a team like Kansas State press, it all works. Now the program can exhale with the sixth win, and now it’s time to have fun. Beat Texas, and then the regular season becomes strong with a winning season assured.

7. Iowa State (3-7)

L, Oklahoma State, 35-31: The Cyclones had them. They got the monster game out of QB Joel Lanning – cementing him as a player to build around – and they got a strong first three quarters out of the defense. They just couldn’t close, and now bowl eligibility is over. How does the team close? Will the fight and the fire still be there after a season-ripping loss like this? Going on the road to face Kansas State and West Virginia will be a big-time fight if Lanning can’t repeat his performance.

8. Texas (4-6)

L, at West Virginia, 38-20: The offense is supposed to be spotty, but the D? At this point in the season it’s supposed to be far stronger and far better against the run. Instead, the Mountaineers were able to move the ball without any sort of a problem – oh yeah, and the five turnovers didn’t help. It’s a tall task to beat Texas Tech and Baylor now to get bowling, but the running game has to keep both high-powered offenses off the field. The Longhorns ran just fine against WVU, but it couldn’t hang on to the ball.

9. Kansas State (3-6)

L, at Texas Tech, 59-44: It’s not hard. Kansas State doesn’t have the overall offensive firepower, and this year, it doesn’t have the defense. Texas Tech not only threw at will, but it got a massive day out of RB DeAndre Washington in the wild win. The Wildcats got their yards and points, but they could never get control of the game with Texas Tech scoring and scoring some more however they wanted to. This might be a horrific 0-6 start to the Big 12 season, but it’s more than possible to close out with wins over Iowa State, Kansas and West Virginia to go bowling. To do that, the Wildcats have to control the clock far, far better.

10. Kansas (0-10)

L, TCU, 23-17: Fine. Kansas lost, but it gave TCU all it could handle with the defense swarming all over Trevone Boykin, hitting the Heisman candidate out of contention and out of the game. The Jayhawks have to take this as a small step – they didn’t get obliterated by a top team that’s in the fight for the Big 12 championship. That’s not going to translate into a win against West Virginia or Kansas State, but at least the D showed it could play a wee bit.