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Athlon recaps the Week 6 action in the Big 12.
Thanks to Saturday's 48-45 win in Austin, it's clear West Virginia is ready to challenge for a national title. The Mountaineers are in the thick of the BCS title discussion, while quarterback Geno Smith is the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Not far behind West Virginia is Kansas State, who easily beat Kansas in Week 6. Oklahoma rebounded from losing to the Wildcats with a key road win over Texas Tech, while Iowa State knocked off TCU.
Post-Week 6 Big 12 Power Rankings
1. West Virginia (5-0, 2-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 3
Week 6 Result: Beat Texas 48-45
There’s a new No. 1 in the Big 12 power rankings. The Mountaineers used a balance attack on offense, while the defense made timely stops in the second half to score a huge 48-45 win against Texas. The win over the Longhorns firmly places West Virginia in the mix to play for a national title. Quarterback Geno Smith was sharp once again, throwing for 268 yards and four touchdowns, but running back Andrew Buie was the real surprise, recording 207 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Mountaineers will be on upset alert in Week 7, as they travel to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.
Next Game: at Texas Tech
2. Kansas State (5-0, 2-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 3
Week 6 Result: Beat Kansas 56-16
As expected, the Sunflower Showdown was a one-sided affair. Kansas State got off to a slow start and led only 21-14 at halftime. However, the Wildcats outscored the Jayhawks 35-2 in the second half, which improved coach Bill Snyder to 17-4 against Kansas State’s in-state rival. Quarterback Collin Klein continues to stamp his name as one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy, recording 245 yards and four touchdowns against Kansas. The Wildcats hit the road for the next two weeks, playing at Iowa State in Week 7 and at West Virginia in Week 8.
Next Game: at Iowa State
3. Texas (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 1
Week 6 Result: Lost to West Virginia 48-45
The Longhorns’ Big 12 title hopes took a step back with a 48-45 loss to West Virginia. While the offense came into the season as a concern, it’s the defense the coaching staff has to be worried about. Playing two great offenses (Oklahoma State, West Virginia) certainly hurts the numbers, but the Longhorns are capable of playing better than they have shown so far. Texas has to regroup quickly, as it has a huge showdown against Oklahoma this Saturday.
Next Game: Oklahoma (Dallas)
4. Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 4
Week 6 Result: Beat Texas Tech 41-20
After a disappointing 24-19 loss to Kansas State, the Sooners bounced back with a convincing 41-20 win at Texas Tech. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak in Lubbock and kept Oklahoma’s Big 12 title hopes alive. Quarterback Landry Jones was efficient, completing 25 of 40 throws for 259 yards and two touchdowns. The defense kept Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege in check, while taking an interception for a score in the third quarter. The Sooners need to keep winning to keep the pressure on Kansas State and West Virginia for first place in the Big 12, which raises the intensity for this Saturday’s game against Texas.
Next Game: Texas (Dallas)
5. Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 6
Week 6 Result: Bye Week
The Cowboys are coming off another bye week and will play only their second game in four weeks against Kansas this Saturday. Oklahoma State’s last game was a 41-36 loss to Texas, but this week’s matchup against Kansas should provide a different outcome. The biggest question mark for the Cowboys will be the quarterback position. Will Wes Lunt return from a knee injury or will J.W. Walsh make his second start?
Next Game: at Kansas
6. Iowa State (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 9
Week 6 Result: Beat TCU 37-23
Thanks to a convincing 37-23 win at TCU, the Cyclones make a leap in the power rankings after six weeks of action. Iowa State’s victory was certainly helped by the Horned Frogs losing quarterback Casey Pachall to a suspension, but the Cyclones never trailed and committed only one turnover. The win was a huge boost to Iowa State’s bowl hopes, as it needs to win two more games to get eligible for the postseason. The Cyclones should beat Kansas in late November, but the rest of the schedule has no guaranteed wins. However, as the Big 12 has witnessed since Paul Rhoads took over in Ames, Iowa State should find a way to get to six or seven wins at the end of the year.
Next Game: Kansas State
7. Baylor (3-1, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 8
Week 6 Result: Bye Week
The bye week came at a perfect time for the Bears. After giving up 70 points and 807 yards in a loss to West Virginia, Baylor had some extra time to figure out what went wrong and find some much-needed answers on defense. Through four games, the Bears are allowing 571.3 yards and 39.8 points per game. Baylor hosts TCU in Week 7 and travels to Texas in Week 8.
Next Game: TCU
8. Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 7
Week 6 Result: Lost to Oklahoma 41-20
The Red Raiders missed out on a chance to make a statement in the Big 12 title race, losing 41-20 to Oklahoma in Week 6. Texas Tech cruised through its first three non-conference games and won a tough 24-13 game at Iowa State last week, but it was never able to get on track against the Sooners. Quarterback Seth Doege was held without a touchdown pass, while the Red Raiders’ defense allowed a season-high 41 points and 380 yards. Texas Tech’s No. 1 pass defense ranking will be put to the test against a West Virginia offense that is averaging 406.8 passing yards per game.
Next Game: West Virginia
9. TCU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 5
Week 6 Result: Lost to Iowa State 27-23
It was a week to forget for TCU and head coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs suffered a huge setback on Thursday, as quarterback Casey Pachall was arrested on DWI charges and is suspended indefinitely. With Pachall out, redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin made his first start against Iowa State and finished with 270 passing yards and one score. However, Boykin tossed three picks and the Horned Frogs lost their first Big 12 home game. The schedule doesn’t lighten up any for TCU over the next few weeks, as a trip to Baylor is ahead this Saturday, followed by games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
Next Game: at Baylor
10. Kansas (1-4, 0-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 10
Week 6 Result: Lost to Kansas State 56-16
The Jayhawks got off to a good start, as they jumped out to a 14-7 lead against Kansas State early in the second quarter. However, the Wildcats are simply the better team on both sides of the ball and pulled away for a 56-16 win. Kansas coach Charlie Weis did everything he could to motivate his team, which included expressing his frustration at the school paper. Although the Jayhawks had some initial energy, this team is short on talent and having five turnovers certainly won’t win many games in the Big 12.
Next Game: Oklahoma State
by Steven Lassan
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