Big 12 Week Eight Power Rankings

Big 12 Week Eight Power Rankings

One more week in the books, and one more week with 80% of the league still in the hunt to earn a spot in the Big 12 title game. There are a few teams that appear to be better positioned to finish near the top of the standings, but the fact remains that this conference still is wide open. The Big 12 week eight power rankings saw quite a bit of movement as all but one team has a new spot in the rankings.

Big 12 Week Eight Power Rankings

10. Iowa State (Last Week: 9)

Poor, poor Cyclones. They are the only team in the conference winless in Big 12 play. After starting 3-0, they have lost four straight games by a combined 14 points. There must be something in the water running through the state of Iowa this year. It is supercharging defensive units, as Iowa State has not only one of the best defenses in the Big 12 but one of the best in the nation. Coming into last week’s game against Texas, Iowa State ranked 9th nationally in stop rate. What is a stop rate you ask? According to The Atheltic, “It’s a basic measurement of success: the percentage of a defense’s drives that end in punts, turnovers, or a turnover on downs.” Too bad their offense stinks (again a trait running amuck in the state of Iowa).

9. Oklahoma (Last Week: 10)

Congratulation Oklahoma! You remembered how to football! At least offensively. The return of Dillion Gabriel at quarterback brought back an offense that could compete for a Big 12 title. But Brent Venables has the exact opposite problem Iowa State’s Matt Campbell has. The defensive unit of the Sooners needs to strike a great NIL deal with a sieve manufacturer. Surely, more drastic changes will be made after the year. But surrendering a minimum of 40 points in four straight games is not a recipe for sustained success.

8. Baylor (Last Week: 5)

The defending Big 12 champs are the biggest dropper in the Big 12 week eight power rankings. Losing to Oklahoma State was not any reason to panic, but getting torched by West Virginia on a Thursday night has the alarms going off. Coming into this season, the Bears had some of the best returning talent on both the defensive and offensive lines. Quarterback Blake Shapen was going to take this offense to a new level. And the offense has seemed to reach those levels in recent weeks. However, the defense has struggled. With Shapen suffering a concussion against West Virginia, his status against Kansas is still unknown. Will head coach Dave Arranda be able to turn this ship around before any chance of defending their title is out of reach?

7. West Virginia (Last Week: 8)

At least for one week, the hot seat Neal Brown has been coaching on has cooled slightly. The Mountaineers’ thrilling 43-40 victory over the Baylor Bears last Thursday has looked like many of their games all season. The offense, spearheaded by quarterback JT Daniels and offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, has one of the highest-scoring offenses in the country (20th nationally). And that 104th-ranked scoring defense made sure they had to keep scoring for all four quarters. But nonetheless, a home victory is just that; a sweet stroll down that victory country road.

6. Kansas (Last Week: 4)

Is this what happens when a Jayhawk flies too close to the sun? Can a Jayhawk actually fly? Kansas has lost back-to-back games for the first time since…2021. Backup quarterback Jason Bean did just about all he could to give Kansas a chance to win on the road in Norman. This Kansas offense, no matter who is the quarterback, demonstrated they will still be one of the most fun to watch in the country. Kansas’ remaining schedule is tough enough that a sixth win isn’t a guarantee, especially given their history. Odds are that if the offense continues to hum, they will outscore at least one more Big 12 opponent.

5. Texas Tech (Last Week: 7)

Texas Tech was on a bye week in week seven. They take on West Virginia in week eight and might play three quarterbacks.

4. Texas (Last Week: 6)

If one late fourth-quarter Iowa State pass attempt doesn’t see a wide receiver dive for a ball he should have just run under for a sure touchdown, Texas might have taken the biggest dive in the Big 12 week eight power rankings. But as the saying goes, “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.” So credit to the Longhorns for avoiding the absolute perfect trap they could have stepped in. Sure, Texas still walked right up to the trap like they had never seen a bear trap before and nearly set it off. But they didn’t, and that is a sign of growth. Steve Sarkisian’s team embarks on back-to-back road contests with the current top two teams of these power rankings.

3. Kansas State (Last Week: 3)

Kansas State was on a bye week in week eight. The Wildcats travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU.

2. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 1)

Oklahoma State was 15 minutes away from being the clear-cut favorite to win the Big 12 conference for the rest of the season. And just like that, the Cowboys stopped playing football (he said in his best Forest Gump voice), and they were ambushed by a bunch of Horned Frogs. This is a very seasoned and experienced team, so it was a pretty big shock to see them play their worse quarter of football in this spot. This loss stings, but everything they want to achieve is still ahead of them. Of course, the team has to get right at home against a surging Texas squad.

1. TCU (Last Week: 2)

The lone remaining perfect team in the Big 12 will sit in the top spot until someone takes it from them, just like how TCU took it from Oklahoma State. TCU’s offense was limited for most of the game, but as they caught fire, so did wide receiver Quentin Johnston. He has absolutely torched his last two opponents, combining for 22 receptions, 386 yards, and two touchdowns. TCU is far from a perfect team, but their record is just that currently. Just how far can this team, which was picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches poll, climb? We should have a pretty good idea after the royal rumble of purple against Kansas State this Saturday takes place.

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