Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 6

Written By: Andrew Sheridan

Image Credit: The Oklahoman | USA Today Network

The third week of Big 12 action brought us one of the games of the season in the Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas as a winner wasn’t decided until FOUR OVERTIMES! Elsewhere in Texas, Kansas State traveled to Amon G. Carter Stadium and left with a victory behind true-freshman quarterback Will Howard and true-freshman running back Deuce Vaughn. Finally, up north in Ames, Breece Hall and the Cyclones handled a defeated-looking Texas Tech team. Only two Big 12 teams are in play this coming weekend as the Baylor/Oklahoma State game was postponed to December due to a COVID outbreak within the Baylor squad.

10) Kansas Jayhawks | 0-3 (0-2) | Last Week: #10

Image Credit: KU Football

Last Game: vs. Oklahoma State, 7-47 L

The Jayhawks had a bye week this past weekend, and it came at just the right time. As a unit, Kansas has been in shambles this season with, unfortunately, a less than positive outlook on the remainder of the season. Les Miles is currently in isolation after testing positive for the Coronavirus last week. In Kansas’ most recent game, they were manhandled by Oklahoma State in Lawrence. Defensive coverages were blown left and right, nor could their rush defense do any work on that front either. So far in Big 12 play, Kansas has scored just 21 points while allowing 94 points on defense. In the next five games, the Jayhawks travel to West Virginia, travel an hour down the road to K-State, host Iowa State, travel to Norman, and host Texas. The future isn’t looking too promising for the Jayhawks. Unless KU can pull off a miraculous upset, expect the Jayhawks to go 0-5 in their upcoming slate.

Next Game: @ West Virginia – Oct. 17 | 11:00 AM | FOX

9) Texas Tech Red Raiders | 1-3 (0-3) | Last Week: #9

Image Credit: Brian Powers | USA Today Sports

Last Game: @ Iowa State, 15-31 L

Texas Tech looked lifeless last weekend. Simply put – the Red Raiders did not compete in their game against the Cyclones. More specifically, the offense did not compete. The defense, for the most part, was able to hold their own, but when the defense is on the field for 40 of the 60 minutes of the game, legs get tired and points are bound to be scored. The Red Raider offense was only able to muster 270 total yards with only 58 of those being rushing yards. Quarterback play was inconsistent as Matt Wells couldn’t quite figure out who he wanted taking the snaps. He seems to have decided on his man at this point, as earlier this week, Wells announced Henry Colombi would be starting against West Virginia in two weeks. For now though, Tech is on a much-needed bye week in hopes of finding their offensive form before hosting the Mountaineers.

Next Game: vs. West Virginia – Oct. 24 | 4:30 PM

8) Texas Longhorns | 2-2 (1-2) | Last Week: #5

Image Credit: Longhorns Wire | USA Today Sports

Last Game: vs. Oklahoma, 45-53 (4OT) L

 Texas is now 10-7 since Sam Ehlinger declared “WE’RE BAAACCCKKKK!” after defeating Georgia in the 2018-2019 AllState Sugar Bowl. Needless to say, Texas is not back. The 2020 edition of the Red River Shootout was one to remember after Texas rallied from 14 down with three minutes remaining to send the game to not one, not two, not three, but four overtimes! Ehlinger seemingly saved the Longhorn offense in many instances with his legs as he led Texas with 23 carries for 112 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ehlinger had a mediocre day through the air as he threw for 2 touchdowns but also threw 2 interceptions, both of which were in the endzone. Texas has a talented and resilient team, but they simply can’t put everything together they need to be successful. Tom Herman and his staff need to find an answer for the Longhorns soon or they could find themselves looking for a job elsewhere. Texas’ schedule doesn’t get any easier from here as they host Baylor in 2 weekends followed by a trip to Stillwater to face a Top 10 Oklahoma State team.

Next Game: vs. Baylor – Oct. 24 | 2:30 PM | ESPN

7) TCU Horned Frogs | 1-2 (1-2) | Last Week: #4

Image Credit: Richard W. Rodriguez | AP Photo

Last Game: vs. Kansas State, 14-21 L

I’m not sure what was uglier: TCU’s offense or TCU’s uniforms. Only one week removed from upsetting a then Top 10 Texas team, the Horned Frogs returned home to manage only 14 points against an under-manned Kansas State team. The problem wasn’t that TCU couldn’t move the ball either because they pulled off over 50 more total yards than the Wildcats did, but they strongly lacked the ability to finish their drives. TCU had six offensive drives where they gained at least 30 yards; however, only two of those drives resulted in points. A big part of the problem with the TCU offense was the offensive line. The offensive line struggled the entire day against typical three or four man rushes from the Wildcats. K-State managed 3 sacks on the day with 6 tackles for loss and 2 QB hurries. From watching the game, it sure seemed like a lot more than that, but regardless, it gave Max Duggan and the TCU offense fits. Matthew Downing threw an interception mid-3rd quarter to AJ Parker that was returned for a touchdown which ended up being the difference in the game. TCU will need to find their offensive groove again when they host the Sooners in a week if they hope to get back to .500 in the Big 12.

Next Game: vs. Oklahoma – Oct. 24 | 11:00 AM | ABC

6) Baylor Bears | 1-1 (1-1) | Last Week: #7

Image Credit: William Wotring | The Dominion Post via AP

Last Game: vs. West Virginia, 21-27 (2OT) L

Two games into the season for Baylor, nobody really knows what to expect from this team quite yet. Their opener looked promising against Kansas as they put up 47 while only allowed 14, but then again, it’s Kansas. Game two was less than ideal for the Bears as Baylor struggled with turnovers and rushing the ball. Baylor only ran for 27 yards on the game on 33 attempts. That’s less than a yard per rush. Yikes. Charlie Brewer threw for 3 touchdowns but more or less negated those touchdowns with two crucial interceptions, including one on the first play of the second overtime. Baylor had a scheduled BYE last weekend and now has another this weekend as the Bears struggle with a Coronavirus outbreak within the team. If the games go on as planned, Baylor travels to Texas for their next test, where Dave Aranda hopes to get his team back on track.

Next Game: @ Texas – Oct. 24 | 2:30 PM | ESPN

5) Oklahoma Sooners | 2-2 (1-2) | Last Week: #8

Image Credit: Andrew Dieb | USA Today Sports

Last Game: vs. Texas, 53-45 (4OT) W

Oklahoma was up by 14 points with five minutes remaining when Oklahoma DB Woodi Washington intercepted Sam Ehlinger in the endzone. From there, the game seemed all but over as the Sooner offense trotted back onto the field to hopefully close the game off. Unfortunately, Oklahoma held the ball for a mere 24 seconds before punting the ball back to Texas. Only four minutes later, Texas scored their second touchdown in as many minutes to tie the game at 31. Oklahoma would manage to hold on after four overtimes when Tre Brown intercepted Sam Ehlinger on 4th down to make the game final. Oklahoma had the same issue they have faced all season – they find themselves with a sizable lead and they let their opponent back into the game! FINISH! You have to FINISH, Oklahoma! The Sooners hope to fare better in their next 3 games as they travel to TCU and Tech followed by a home game against Kansas. Win all three of those games and the Sooners will keep any hope at another Big 12 Championship alive.

Next Game: @ TCU – Oct. 24 | 11:00 AM | ABC

4) West Virginia Mountaineers | 2-1 (1-1) | Last Week: #6

Image Credit: Ben Queen | USA Today Sports

Last Game: vs. Baylor, 27-21 (2OT) W

West Virginia nearly lost their matchup with Baylor thanks to their own player tackling their punt returner, setting up a muff and Baylor recovery. Luckily, the Mountaineers defense was able to keep Baylor from scoring any points on the following drive, stopping a 4th down Gerry Bohanon run on their own 1 yard line. The West Virginia defense forced the turnovers when it counted and won the game because of it. Jarret Doege had a big day throwing the ball, but was not able to capitalize on that when it came to points, only throwing for 1 touchdown on the day. West Virginia was on BYE this past week but plays host to Kansas this weekend in the Big 12’s only matchup of the week. Hopefully we will learn more about this West Virginia team after this week, but with the opponent being Kansas, we should expect an easy win for the Mountaineers. As of now, West Virginia has put themselves in a great position to make a run for Top 4 of the Big 12 this season.

Next Game: vs. Kansas – Oct. 17 | 11:00 AM | FOX

3) Iowa State Cyclones | 3-1 (3-0) | Last Week: #3

Image Credit: Brian Powers | USA Today Sports

Last Game: vs. Texas Tech, 31-15 W

Brock Purdy finally looked like the quarterback everybody had been talking about before this season started last weekend after throwing for over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brock Purdy though, wasn’t the story of the day, but it was once again Sophomore running back Breece Hall. Hall had another monster game rushing for 135 yards on 27 carries. He added another 2 touchdowns to his tally bringing his season total to 8. The Cyclones looked absolutely dominant in this game, controlling every aspect from start to finish. Iowa State possessed the ball for over 40 minutes! Army Football is a big fan of that last sentence. The defense looked composed as ever, only allowing 7 points through the first 55 minutes of the game. Iowa State is now off to an impressive 3-0 start in Big 12 play after initially falling to Louisiana in the season opener. However, the Cyclones travel to Stillwater to face a tough Oklahoma State team in 2 weekends. Looking ahead, that game could play a large factor in the Big 12 Championship stakes.

Next Game: @ Oklahoma State – Oct. 24 | 2:30 PM | FOX

2) Kansas State Wildcats | 3-1 (3-0) | Last Week: #2

Image Credit: Matthew Pearce | Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last Game: @ TCU, 21-14 W

True freshman Will Howard is the very first K-State FR QB to win their first away start in school history. K-State was also led by true-freshman RB Deuce Vaughn as he ran for 43 yards and caught one pass for 45 yards. Throughout the game, the K-State offense looked pretty ineffective as they constantly struggled to move the ball down the field. Will Howard’s 80 yard run was one of the exceptions to this on the day. The story of the day though was the Kansas State defense which time and time again stifled the TCU offense. K-State’s defensive line put constant pressure on the Horned Frog backfield forcing poor throws throughout the day. AJ Parker picked off Matthew Downing in the 3rd quarter and returned it for a touchdown to extend the K-State lead to 21-7. Once again, the Wildcats’ special teams squad made a big difference in the game as a field goal attempt to end the first half was blocked by Wyatt Hubert. That brings K-State to now 4 blocked kicks on the season through 4 games. Blake Lynch also played well, kicking 2 for 3 with both makes coming from past 50 yards. K-State hosts Kansas in their next game before traveling to Morgantown. If Will Howard can find his footing (pun intended thanks to the turf monster at TCU) as K-State’s new starting quarterback, K-State could enter November 7 against Oklahoma State 5-0 in Big 12 play.

Next Game: vs. Kansas – Oct. 24 | 11:00 AM | FS1

1) Oklahoma State Cowboys | 2-0 (1-0) | Last Week: #1

Image Credit: Jay Biggerstaff | USA Today Sports

Last Game: @ Kansas, 47-7 W

Our top-ranked Cowboys had a BYE last week, and they do again this week after Baylor had to postpone to December due to a lack of available players. Oklahoma State now as two weeks of rest and preparation to prepare for hosting the Cyclones. With still no guarantee of Spencer Sanders’ return, Oklahoma State will continue to look to freshman quarterback Shane Illingworth as their guy for the time being. Illingworth has played well with his opportunities so far this season, throwing for 483 yards and 3 touchdowns this season. He doesn’t really have the legs, but that can have a pass when you have Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown in your backfield with you. Something not talked about as much as it probably should be with this team is the defense. So far, the Oklahoma State defense has only allowed 27 points through three games while forcing 3 turnovers and 12 sacks. Oklahoma State hopes to protect their unblemished record as they head into likely the toughest stretch of the season. The next four games for the Cowboys see them host Iowa State and Texas and then travel on the road to K-State and Oklahoma.

Next Game: vs. Iowa State – Oct. 24 | 2:30 PM | FOX

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