Week 7 Big 12 rankings and reactions: Oklahoma bounced back with a blasting of Kansas State, Baylor flexed its muscle, and TCU kept on rolling – it’s all setting up for a fantastic second half of the season.
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Big 12 Player of the Week
Baylor QB Seth Russell completed 20-of-33 passes for 380 yards and five scores, and ran 14 times for a team-high 160 yards and a score in the win over West Virginia
Big 12 Football Rankings: Week 7
1. Baylor (6-0)
W, West Virginia 62, 38: Yeah, the offense is a system, and yeah, the schedule isn’t that great, but how many times does Baylor have to put up 60 points with ease before everyone starts to believe? Well, when the Bears do it against the Big 12 elite, then that’ll come, but for now just sit back and enjoy the ride. Corey Coleman has all but locked up the Biletnikoff with his ten-catch, 199-yard, three score day, while Seth Russell was flawless running the attack and running wild for 160 yards. West Virginia is a good, solid team, and the Bears just ripped through it like it was some junior high D. The machine will roll through Iowa State, but there should be a bit of a test at Kansas State to follow. As long as the offense continues to be this sharp, forget about it. Unlike recent years, this Bear team looks like a real, live championship contender.
2. TCU (7-0)
W, at Kansas State 52-45: What more does Trevone Boykin have to do? TCU suffers – relatively speaking – from being in the same league as Baylor, who’s putting up ridiculous numbers at an even bigger level, but there’s no arguing with 7-0 with the offense humming. Boykin once again was terrific, throwing for 436 yards and four scores and leading the way with 74 rushing yards and a score, and Iowa State didn’t have any answers. Okay, so the defense struggled early on, and okay, the first quarter was scary, but it didn’t matter. The defense put the clamps down, Boykin and the offense took over, and now it’s on to the West Virginia game and a better battle than it might probably appear to be.
3. Texas (2-4)
UP NEXT: Kansas State
4. Oklahoma (5-1)
W, at Kansas State 55-0: How maddening are the Sooners? This was the team that’s supposed to show up and dominate on defense and rip it up on offense, and it’s just this time of perfect performance that makes the Texas loss all the more bizarre. Fortunately, the loss to the Longhorns doesn’t matter if OU wins out, and if the defense can swarm into the backfield like it did against the Wildcats, and if Baker Mayfield can be flawless again – throwing for 282 yards and five touchdowns – this is a true Big 12 title contender again. So is OU as bad as it was in Dallas or as good as it was in Manhattan? With Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa State up next, we probably won’t know until mid-November against Baylor.
5. Oklahoma State (6-0)
UP NEXT: Kansas
6. West Virginia (3-3)
L, at Baylor 62-38: Is it possible for the Mountaineers to have a short memory? After losing three straight and bowing out of the Big 12 title chase, the hits just keep on coming with a road trip to TCU next. The defense didn’t generate any pressure on Baylor’s Seth Russell, and it’ll have to figure out how to somehow get to Trevone Boykin or it’ll be another long day. But more than anything else, West Virginia has to do even more to control the clock with the ground game, and even though the Baylors and TCUs don’t care about time of possession, 182 yards and 4.1 yards per carry are good, but not great, considering a bulk of the yards came on a big Wendell Smallwood run. West Virginia will have to figure out how to keep up the pace, and it has the weapons to do it.
7. Texas Tech (5-2)
W, at Kansas 30-20: Did Texas Tech fall asleep? Fine, the defense isn’t going to stop anyone this year – that’s been established. But this wasn’t how this was supposed to go with too much of a fight in the fourth quarter, and with the offense sputtering and coughing a bit too much. This was supposed to be the layup, and it was a 23-20 game late until the defense came through with the pick six from Jah’Shawn Johnson to put it away. The offense works – at least it was more than fine throughout the first part of the season – and now it has to ramp it up to another level with Oklahoma up next.
8. Kansas State (3-3)
L, Oklahoma 55-0: Reboot. After the gut-wrenching loss and the solid performance against TCU, and followed up by the total clunker against Oklahoma, now there has to be a massive concern about just going to a bowl game with Baylor up next and a road trip to Texas Tech to follow. Could a post-season bid come down to the regular season finale against West Virginia? That’s getting ahead of the game a bit, but first, the Wildcats need to find another offensive option than Joe Hubener. He completed just 4-of-14 passes, and while Kody Cook tried to do a little of everything, it’s not a plus that he led the team with 38 receiving yards and 19 rushing yards to go along with a 1-of-8 passing day with a pick.
9. Iowa State (2-4)
L, TCU 45-21: The offense couldn’t have asked for more out of the start, with 21 first quarter points with three impressive scoring drives, and then everything fell flat. The defense was never going to hold up against the TCU attack, so the Cyclones had to keep pace and couldn’t. Mike Warren finally got bottled up – at least a little bit – running for 78 yards on 22 carries, and the passing game didn’t have any answers once the TCU floodgates opened up. The good news and bad news are both the same – Baylor is up next. At least ISU gets the Bears out of the way, but it’s not going to be pretty unless Sam Richardson throws for over 400 yards in a firefight.
10. Kansas (0-6)
L, Texas Tech 30-20: Is this the moment that Kansas knows it can play a little bit? Probably not, but the Jayhawks fought hard and had a real, live chance to pull off the big win – up until Ryan Willis was intercepted for a score. The defense struggled in the first half, but it did a nice job of keeping the Red Raiders from moving the ball consistently in the second half and gave up just a field goal. For a program and a team looking for anything positive to build off of, this was a nice step. However, this might have been the easiest game the rest of the way.