Big 12 football power rankings: Oklahoma solidifies top spot in conference


Once again, with just a handful of games last week, there isn’t much movement. But Oklahoma throws an anchor on their top ranking while TCU and West Virginia switch spots. Here are the Big 12 football power rankings after Week 4.

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1. (4)Oklahoma Sooners (LW: 1 — Next: BYE)

After a first half shootout, a backup running back steps up to fill the void for Oklahoma and they cruise to a great first conference victory. Winning at West Virginia will be tough this year, and the Sooners survived their first test to reach the College Football Playoff.

2. (7)Baylor Bears (LW: 2 — Next: at Iowa St)

Three of their four injured wide receivers will be back, but no road game will be a cake walk in the Big 12 this season. Notably last year, the defense struggled away from Waco.

3. (25)Kansas State Wildcats (LW: 3 — Next: vs UTEP)

Losing to Auburn holds no shame, but giving so many chances to defeat the Tigers will haunt Kansas State. They could have potentially put themselves on the fringe of the CFB race if any more dominoes fell at the top. Their defense is rock solid, though, and they should be considered legitimate contenders for the crown if the Sooners are Bears start to leak.

4. (24)Oklahoma State Cowboys (LW: 4 — Next: vs TTU)

I’m still a bit skeptical on the Cowboys with how they looked after Florida State, but perhaps there was some letdown after the tough loss. Again, it wouldn’t surprise me if OSU has mediocre season with the rebuilding they have to do.

Oct 26, 2013; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (32) is tackled by the TCU Horned Frogs defense in the first quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

5. TCU Horned Frogs (LW: 6 — Next: at SMU)

They didn’t play, but they moved up a spot. The reason is because even though West Virginia has the far better quarterback and better offense, TCU’s defense looks rock solid in the first two games. Stats may get a little inflated with the incredibly bad SMU team coming up.

6. West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: 5 — Next: BYE)

Defensively, there are some problems that could keep the team from reaching a bowl game, but the offense is good enough to win some shootouts this year. Clint Trickett is incredibly fun to watch.

7. Texas Longhorns (LW: 7 — Next: at Kansas)

Last year, everybody thought the Longhorns were done after starting out 1-2. They then rattled off six straight wins and could have won the Big 12 had they defeated Baylor in the regular season finale. Looking at the schedule this year….they could definitely score a victory, but then they’ll have Baylor and Oklahoma back-to-back. Could the Longhorns actually be 2-4 before hosting Iowa State?

8. Iowa State Cyclones (LW: 8 — Next: vs Baylor)

Getting demolished in Waco last year still stings, but don’t expect that kind of result this Saturday. This team is better in all three phases of the game from a season ago, and even if they don’t get one of the Paul Rhoads-patented upset victories, they should prove to the conference that they will be competing every week and improving.

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (LW: 9 — Next: at Okie St)

Hopefully the defense got better during their time away from the field, or else their conference opener in Stillwater could be really ugly on Thursday night.

10. Kansas Jayhawks (LW: 10 — Next: vs Texas)

They could have been Purdue and got smacked by Central Michigan, so kudos for the Jayhawks for pulling away in the fourth quarter to get their second win of the season. But it’s hard to imagine they’ll be finding many more in a tough conference.