Here is a wild scenario; Texas Tech could still play for the Big 12 title. The cliff notes version; Tech wins its remaining two games and needs seven specific results to all happen. None of those seven would be considered a major upset. The fact that mathematically five teams are still alive for one remaining spot in the conference championship game highlights just little separation there is in the middle Big 12 week 12 power rankings.
Big 12 Week 12 Power Rankings
10. Iowa State (Last Week: 9)
It’s hard to win committing five turnovers in a game. But, in quintessential 2022 Iowa State fashion, they almost pulled it off. Even more incredible, they all came in the first three quarters of the game. Not to mention, Matt Campbell’s Cyclones held a lead (14-10) when the fourth quarter started. And yet, they allowed two Oklahoma State scores in the fourth quarter to fall by a score of 20-14. Winning out to become bowl-eligible seems like too tall of a task with TCU being one of those opponents.
9. Oklahoma (Last Week: 8)
Whatever changes Sooners’ head coach Brent Venables makes this off-season better include a shift to being more offensive. And that isn’t directed specifically toward offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. Venables’ first season has a lot of the same undertones Baylor’s Dave Arranda had. Arranda, also a long-time defensive coordinator before becoming a first-time head coach, approached many of his games with a philosophy like a defensive coordinator. Specifically speaking, his philosophy was reactionary in his decision-making, and not taking the game to the opponent. And it resulted in a two-win season. Of course, Arranda made a major shift and we all know how season two went for the Bears.
There is still a considerable amount of talent on this roster, but Oklahoma has played games all season where it has appeared they are looking for the other team to make the first move. In a slogfest against West Virginia, the Sooners were unable to pull away and it eventually nipped the Sooners. Oklahoma should win one of its last two (Bedlam and Texas Tech) to become bowl eligible, but that’s far from a certainty.
8. West Virginia (Last Week: 10)
The Mountaineers were left for dead to rot at the bottom of the power rankings for the rest of the season. But thanks to their victory over the Sooners, the Big 12 week 12 power ranking finds the Mountaineers looking back at not one, but two teams. Is it enough to help Neal Brown to keep his job? Probably not. But that doesn’t diminish the moment for the players on this team. Two currently ranked teams remain on the schedule so bowl season looks like it will escape West Virginia. But, for one week, Mountaineer fans have something to feel good about.
7. Kansas (Last Week: 5)
Lance Leipold and the Kansas Jayhawks have been playing with house money since week five. They have already overachieved even the most optimistic preseason expectations. That said, in their loss last week to Texas Tech, Kansas couldn’t get the offense really going. Running back Devin Neal had a great game, but that was about it. However, they have a great chance to close out the season with some cherry on top of this sundae-like season. Next up is a visit from the Texas Longhorns.
6. Texas Tech (Last Week: 7)
And now we enter the area of the Big 12 week 12 power rankings where everyone still is alive. No matter how small the percentage might be. It was a welcome sight for Red Raider fans to see their team lead wire-to-wire in their 43-28 victory over the Jayhawks. The offense found its tempo and rhythm that had been lost in the last two weeks. The defense suffered a major blow as Tyree Wilson left the game with an ankle injury. Wilson has already been ruled out this week against Iowa State, and in all likelihood, has played his last game as a Red Raider.
5. Baylor (Last Week: 2)
So much for all that momentum-building. The tires on the Baylor ride of the last three weeks all were slashed and left on the side of I-35 in Waco by the Kansas Wildcats. A 31-3 beatdown at home left the Bears with plenty of questions. This offense was supposed to take off to a new level with Blake Shapen at quarterback. And while it has had its moments, there has been too much inconsistency all year. But, in pure Big 12 fashion, don’t sleep on the Bears making it very interesting in a rivalry game this week. Baylor would love to play spoiler to TCU’s playoff hopes by knocking them off this week in Waco.
4. Texas (Last Week: 3)
It was an ugly offensive showing against TCU in Austin. The defense rose to the occasion and locked up a potent Horned Frog offense. But it’s a pretty clear problem with running back Bijan Robinson only has 12 carries and didn’t get injured in the game. It would be easy to say the Longhorns struggled again in the second half. However, in this game, the offense never got going. It wasn’t a second-half collapse that doomed Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns this week. This time, it was just a better team who made more winning plays.
3. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 6)
This Cowboys team has been in shambles the last two weeks. Oklahoma State still is dealing with its own rash of injuries. And for as bad as things had looked the previous two weeks, they found a way to survive against Iowa State. They are still only one of three teams in this conference with seven wins and find themselves within striking distance of another Big 12 championship appearance. The Pokes haven’t won consecutive games in Bedlam since the 1997 and 1998 seasons. But that’s exactly what they will have to do to keep hopes alive.
2. Kansas State (Last Week: 4)
When it comes to a team’s ceiling, the Wildcats have proven that theirs is as good as TCU’s. The problem is Kansas State has proven its floor can be the same as the rest of the Big 12. They have the easiest remaining schedule to close out the season with West Virginia and rival Kansas on tap in the next two weeks. The Wildcats cannot get caught looking ahead to their rivalry game as the Mountaineers are more than capable of defeating them. It will be a tricky obstacle to navigate in Morgantown. But if they want a chance to avenge their loss to TCU and bring home its first Big 12 championship since 2012, the Wildcats have to be dialed in. Make no mistake though, the last Dr. Pepper-soaked ticket to Arlington, Texas is Kansas State’s to lose.
1. TCU (Last Week: 1)
Coach of the year candidate Sonny Dykes has to feel confident about his Horned Frog squad. The team demonstrated against Texas that they can find different ways to win games, not just by leaning on their offense. At this point, the only question for TCU is can they handle the mounting pressure to make the college football playoff? They already have a spot locked up to play for the Big 12 title. No matter how TCU’s season ends, it is a resounding success. This is the type of season that can propel the Horned Frogs as a potential flag bearer program in the new-look Big 12.