Big 12 football power rankings: Texas is better than we think


Texas rises despite losing, and both Oklahoma State and West Virginia fall despite winning. Am I losing my mind?

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Here’s our Big 12 football power rankings heading into Week 8.

1. Baylor Bears (LW: 1 — Next: at West Virginia)

It’s the best, most complete offense in the nation, and that’s not even a debate. Coming back from a 21-point deficit with 11 minutes to go didn’t look any easier. Skeptics will look at the defense and frown, but give credit to Trevone Boykin and TCU — that offense is a lot better than we all thought it would be.

2. Kansas State Wildcats (LW: 2 — Next: at Oklahoma)

There’s the Wildcats just hiding in the weeds after having another BYE week, but they’ll be back in action with a stiff test in Norman. Last time we saw them, Jake Waters nearly single-handedly routed Texas Tech.

3. TCU Horned Frogs (LW: 3 — Next: vs Oklahoma State)

Oct 11, 2014; Waco, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) leaps over Baylor Bears cornerback Ryan Reid (9) during the first quarter at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This team is for real, and that’s why they don’t move down despite giving up over 700 yards and 61 points on defense. It’s better than that, and I think it’ll show against the Cowboys who are looking a tad overrated.

4. Oklahoma Sooners (LW: 4 — Next: vs Kansas State)

It’s a good win against a Texas team who is starting to figure it out. More talk could surround the Sooners if they knock off a solid Wildcats team at home.

5. Texas Longhorns (LW: 7 — Next: vs Iowa State)

Yes, Texas lost and actually moves up two spots. But there’s been a lot of improvement in this team each week and let’s not kid ourselves — their 2-4 record is a lot better than Iowa State’s. There’s going to be more wins on the backside of the Longhorn’s schedule if their offense gets some consistency. That defense is clearly legit.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (LW: 5 — Next: at TCU)

We are halfway through the season and I still don’t know where I stand on Oklahoma State after they nearly gave Kansas a victory. I assume it’s going to be a season of up-and-downs for the Cowboys, but a brutal schedule lays ahead. They might be starting on the decline.

7. West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: 6 — Next: vs Baylor)

Early surge from both Okie State and West Virginia is starting to plummet. The Mountaineers are lucky to survive a near-upset from Texas Tech, but it might be a long day in Morgantown if that defense can’t find a way to shut down Baylor. WVU’s only help will be that Baylor’s offensive attack is not as potent on the road, but they also faced some decent defenses against Iowa State and especially against Texas.

8. Iowa State Cyclones (LW: 9 — Next: at Texas)

Oct 11, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Allen Lazard (5) hauls in a pass against the Toledo Rockets at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State defeated Toledo 37-30. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, Iowa State’s offense surges in the second half for four touchdowns and the big playmakers did their job. That must continue, and if it does, their stock will continue to rise as they face the easier opponents in the schedule. However, back-to-back football-rich Big 12 schools are up next, and the Longhorns are looking much stronger than they did a few weeks ago.

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (LW: 8 — Next: vs Kansas)

There’s improvement in the Red Raiders’ best game of the season, but the defense ultimately let them down again. All of a sudden, a gimmie at home against Kansas may not be as easy as we though because…

10. Kansas Jayhawks (LW: 10 — Next: at Texas Tech)

The Jayhawks got rid of the trash. No more Charlie Weis. No more Montell Cozart. A quarterback change brought some life into this offense and they looked like a much different team on Saturday. Maybe they won’t be the Big 12 bottomfeeders after all.