Coming into the last week of the season, most of the teams had entrenched their position in the Big 12 weekly power rankings. Now, with all 12 games in the books, the power rankings remain almost the exact same as last week. And while Kansas State and TCU prep this week to play for the conference title, what final lessons did we take away in the Big 12 end-of-season power rankings?
Big 12 End Of Season Power Rankings
10. Iowa State (Last Week: 10)
All season, the Cyclones have been able to hang their hat on their elite defense. So to have their season end in such a blowout fashion was a bit surprising. Granted the defense only allowed 48 of the 62 points TCU finished the game with. However, that is 17 more points than the second-highest total they allowed all year. Now, the 4-8 Cyclones will enter another off-season with their head coach Matt Campbell as a name that will circulate for many of the job openings around the country. Has Campbell’s name lost some of its luster that it had just two seasons ago?
9. West Virginia (Last Week: 9)
In nothing short of a monsoon in Stillwater, West Virginia closed out its season on a high note with a 24-19 road win over Oklahoma State. However, the Mountaineers join Iowa State as the only two Big 12 teams this year who will not go bowling. West Virginia is in the process of finding a new athletic director. They have gone 22-25 over the last four seasons, never eclipsing four Big 12 wins in a single season. So while it was a high note to close out their season, was it enough to save Neal Brown’s job? Apparently, it was as it was announced on Tuesday that Brown will be back for the 2023 season.
8. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 8)
There has not been a team that has fallen farther in the Big 12 end-of-season power rankings than Oklahoma State. At one point, this team was sitting at the very top of these rankings after a month of the season. But injuries derailed this team and the wheels fell off this Cowboy wagon. They lost their last four of five, and their last five of seven games after starting 5-0. Mike Gundy still will have bowl practices to end try to end the season on a positive note. But it will be curious to see what changes come from this program whose last (non-Covid restricted) regular season ended with only seven wins was 2012.
7. Kansas (Last Week: 7)
It was a fun ride Jayhawks. They had a firm grip on the college football hearts and minds coast-to-coast. They exceeded all expectations heading into the season, qualifying for their first bowl game since 2008. Head coach Lance Leipold has done a tremendous job in season two. However, after starting 5-0, Kansas came crashing back down to earth. The Jayhawks finished 1-6 over the last seven games of the season.
6. Oklahoma (Last Week: 6)
Any rational Sooners fan would have anticipated a slight step back from being a team that had won six straight Big 12 championships until last year. But Brent Venables’ first season in Norman turned out to be rougher than anyone expected. Losing to Texas Tech to close out the season stings. But how they lost is the ultimate cherry on top of a 6-6 campaign. Oklahoma out-rushed and out-passed Texas Tech, scored first, lead at halftime, and won the turnover margin. According to Football Scoop, teams had been 284-0 in the past two seasons when checking all of those boxes, until the Sooners fell in Lubbock. So be sure to store that away for your weekly trivia competitions.
5. Baylor (Last Week: 4)
Baylor’s season was a well-defined roller coaster. The Bears’ season went like this: won one, lost one, won two, lost two, won three, and lost three to close out the season. Quarterback Blake Shapen had flashes of what he was supposed to elevate this offense to this year. But he, much like the rest of the offense, was inconsistent all year. Baylor is another quality bowl team in the Big 12 that took more steps backward than many thought in Dave Arranda’s third season.
4. Texas Tech (Last Week: 5)
This 7-5 team gave its fans must-see tv just about every week. Certainly, last week’s win over Oklahoma and the history they made was a thrilling achievement. Head coach Joey Mcguire’s first season has built a ton of positive momentum for the future of this program. It will be interesting to see how the quarterback situation shakes out after bowl season and into the spring. But, in the meantime, Red Raider fans are looking forward to seeing their team play in the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time in 10 years.
3. Texas (Last Week: 3)
Listen up Texas fans; Steve Sarkisian had a successful season. 8-4 coming off of 5-7 is significant growth in year two for any program. Don’t look out to the west coast. We know you don’t care much for California anyway, so let’s bring your attention back to the Austin city limits. When Texas was at its best this year, it looked like a top-10 caliber program. The problem, which has been the case since Mack Brown left, has been consistency. Replacing Bijan Robinson next year will be a tall task, but this was a good step in the right direction. Enjoy it Longhorn nation.
2. Kansas State (Last Week: 2)
Everyone’s favorite darkhorse pick was able to run this race neck-and-neck with plenty of talented Big 12 teams and finish above the rest of the contenders down the stretch. Whether it was Adrian Martinez or Will Howard, this Wildcat offense kept on trucking. Now, they get their shot to avenge their loss to TCU and take home a Big 12 title for the first time since 2012. Remember, Kansas State was winning in Fort Worth 28-17 at halftime in their first meeting. Chris Klieman’s squad will be ready for the opportunity to put the exclamation point on his fourth season.
1. TCU (Last Week: 1)
Let’s start here; the national coach of the year is Sonny Dykes. No one, not even the most irrational TCU fan, would have predicted that TCU would be first in the Big 12 end-of-season power rankings before this season started. But here are the undefeated Hypnotoads standing unscathed after Big 12 play. They should be a playoff lock, regardless of a win or loss. Regardless of how the rest of this season plays out, TCU was the biggest surprise of this college football season.