It was a big week for the Big 12. As first reported by the Sports Business Journal, the Big 12 conference secured an extension on its current media rights deal that will last until 2030-31. The deal, which Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark always knew was one of the top of his priorities, brings tremendous security and flexibility to the Big 12. It also was a week of major routes put on by a few teams to establish a clear dividing line between the top and bottom half of the conference. So which side of the line do all ten teams fall in the Big 12 week ten power rankings?
Big 12 Week Ten Power Rankings
10. Iowa State (Last Week: 10)
Elite defense, stinky offense, and zero wins in the Big 12. One of these Big 12 games will break for Iowa State. But as the only team without a conference win, they will occupy the basement of the Big 12 week ten power rankings and continue to renew their lease of this dwelling until they can break through with a victory.
9. West Virginia (Last Week: 8)
The Mountaineers acquitted themselves well against TCU. Offensively, they stressed TCU for one half of football, and West Virginia was poised to spring an upset. Instead, head coach Neal Brown watched the offense stall and quarterback JT Daniels was inaccurate for many of his pass attempts in the second half. Now, in order to make a bowl game, West Virginia will have to (at a minimum) spring an upset against either Kansas State or Oklahoma state in the last two weeks of the season. That is assuming they beat Iowa State and Oklahoma in the coming weeks. Brown’s buyout certainly is substantial, but if this team nose-dives to end the season, urgency could rule the day.
8. Kansas (Last Week: 7)
The Jayhawks were off last week. Kansas is getting to host a wounded Oklahoma State this team.
7. Oklahoma (Last Week: 9)
For the Sooners, the biggest thing that could have happened to them was simply to look good. Turns out the cure for an atrocious defense is the Iowa State offense. In their 27-13 victory in Ames, the defense played competently and the Sooners were in control of the game throughout. The offense wasn’t explosive, but that is more of a credit to Iowa State’s defense than any glaring issues with the Oklahoma offense. A home game against Baylor will give this defense its first real test since its bye week. At this point, Sooner’s head coach Brent Venables needs to continue building momentum heading into the offseason as he builds back the program in his vision.
6. Texas Tech (Last Week: 5)
In a word; ‘OOF’. The Red Raiders represent the end of the pretenders’ section of the Big 12 week ten power rankings. Texas Tech was trending upwards and the whispers started of “you know, this team is getting hot and has a manageable end of schedule…” But then Baylor showed and gave them a heavy dose of reality. There is zero doubt that head coach Joey McGuire has flipped the sails and has this program sailing in the right direction now. But for this season, the Red Raiders still have a decent amount of work to do in order to wrap up bowl eligibility. It won’t be easy this week as they travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU. Although there will likely be plenty of red and cactuses to support the road team in Amon G. Carter stadium.
5. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 2)
So, like, will someone explain to me like I’m five just what exactly happened Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas? *pauses waiting for an adult to tell me* No one? Ok, I’ll give it a shot. This was a battered and bruised Oklahoma State team that had played three extremely taxing Big 12 football games that finally just caught up to them. So a wounded duck team flew into a Wildcat pit that was chomping at the bit to strike.
And strike they did to the tune of 48-0. It was the worst loss by Oklahoma State in the Mike Gundy era. This game is going to be the trivia answer for anything tied to the worst loss in Poke’s history. It isn’t impossible for Oklahoma State to get to the Big 12 title game, but they will need some help as they have losses to the top two teams in the standings.
4. Texas (Last Week: 6)
The Longhorns had the week off. Texas starts its own playoff-style push against a scorching-hot Kansas State this week. A loss will officially rule out any hope of playing in the Big 12 championship.
3. Baylor (Last Week: 4)
The Bears’ impressive result against Texas Tech looked like the Baylor team many envisioned heading into this Big 12 season. They physically dominated the Red Raiders on both lines of scrimmage. Head Coach Dave Arranda saw his defense force five interceptions from three different Texas Tech quarterbacks. It’s a pretty simple path for Baylor at this point if they want to repeat. Even for the slow start this season, if the Bears go 4-0 to close out the season, they will get their shot to defend their Big 12 title.
2. Kansas State (Last Week: 3)
We all can collectively come together and officially burn off the dark horse label for this Kansas State team. This Wildcat team, at this point in the season, remains one of the favorites to win the Big 12. Apparently, missing their starting quarterback Adrian Martinez has zero impact on this team. And that isn’t to take a dig at Martinez who has been great this year. It speaks more to Chris Klieman and his staff that they keep this team playing at a high level, regardless of who the quarterback is. If they can take down a Texas team coming off its bye week, the Wildcats would just about clinch a spot in the conference championship game. There would be something oddly appropriate if Kansas State wins the Big 12 this year, but has a loss to Tulane on its record.
1. TCU (Last Week: 1)
The Horned Frogs are the least dominant, but possibly the most fun, 8-0 team in college football this year. At this point, TCU is going to be firmly in all college football playoff talk as long as they keep winning. Simply put, if TCU goes 13-0, they will be in the playoff. Full stop. But in a wacky and wild Big 12, winning five more games is an entirely new mountain to climb. Regardless of if TCU makes the playoff or not, it appears the Horned Frogs are going to make the first bid to be the next flag bearer of a new-look Big 12.