Week 5 provided plenty of excitement in the Big 12. West Virginia and Baylor met for a 70-63 shootout in Morgantown, while Texas and Oklahoma State matched up for a thriller in Stillwater. The Longhorns rank as Athlon's No. 1 team, but the top three aren't separated by much.
Post-Week 5 Big 12 Power Rankings
1. Texas (4-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 1
Week 5 Result: Beat Oklahoma State 41-36
After throwing for 304 yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma State, David Ash appears to be one of the most-improved quarterbacks in the nation. The sophomore’s poise and timely throws were crucial to beating the Cowboys, as Texas remained unbeaten and rank as Athlon’s No. 1 Big 12 team for another week. The Longhorns’ defense gave up 576 yards to Oklahoma State, but the offense was able to match each score by the Cowboys, with the game-winning touchdown coming with less than 30 seconds left. Texas has a difficult two-game stretch coming up, as West Virginia visits Austin this Saturday, and the Longhorns meet Oklahoma in Dallas on Oct. 13.
Next Game: West Virginia
2. Kansas State (4-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 2
Week 5 Result: Bye Week
The Wildcats had a bye in Week 5 and return to action against Kansas on Saturday. Kansas State should be ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation, especially after beating Oklahoma 24-19 in Norman. The Wildcats have won three in a row against their in-state rival and will be heavy favorites once again this week.
Next Week: Kansas
3. West Virginia (4-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 3
Week 5 Result: Beat Baylor 70-63
The first Big 12 game in West Virginia history was a success. The Mountaineers scored 70 points, while quarterback Geno Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns to outlast Baylor. While the offense clicked on all cylinders on Saturday, the defense showed there is major work to be done. New co-coordinators Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson have their work cut out for them over the next few weeks. Although Baylor’s offense is one of the best in the Big 12, West Virginia’s secondary did not cover or tackle well, and the defense needs to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Next Week: at Texas
4. Oklahoma (2-1, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 4
Week 5 Result: Bye Week
An early bye week probably isn’t a coach’s favorite idea, but the off date came at a good time for Oklahoma. After a 24-19 loss to Kansas State, the Sooners needed to regroup and find the right answers to contend in the Big 12. Atop the priority list for Bob Stoops has to be getting quarterback Landry Jones comfortable, while stopping the run on defense. The offense clearly misses receiver Ryan Broyles, but Oklahoma has capable targets in Trey Metoyer, Kenny Stills and Sterling Shepard. The good news for the Sooners? It’s early, so there is plenty of time to rebound.
Next Week: at Texas Tech
5. TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 5
Week 5 Result: Beat SMU 24-16
Thanks to a 24-16 win over SMU, the Iron Skillet is headed back to Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs got revenge on the Mustangs for last season’s 40-33 win at TCU. Thanks to a downpour, the playing conditions on Saturday night were less than ideal. The Horned Frogs had only 156 yards of offense, but their defense limited SMU to just 12 first downs and forced six turnovers. Despite the victory, TCU coach Gary Patterson isn't happy, as his team has blown a few opportunities and ranks ninth in the Big 12 in penalties committed. The schedule will only get tougher over the next few weeks for the Horned Frogs, starting with a home date against Iowa State on Saturday.
Next Week: Iowa State
6. Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 6
Week 5 Result: Lost to Texas 41-36
Even though the Cowboys have a 2-2 record, it’s hard to place this team any lower in the Big 12 power rankings. Despite not having starting quarterback Wes Lunt, Oklahoma State gave Texas all it could handle last Saturday. Backup J.W. Walsh was solid in his first start, completing 18 of 27 passes for 301 yards and two scores, while adding 57 yards on the ground. Running back Joseph Randle gashed Texas for 199 yards and two scores, but the defense was unable to come up with a key stop late in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys have a bye week in Week 6, before returning to action against Kansas on Oct. 13.
Next Game: Bye Week
7. Texas Tech (4-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 9
Week 5 Result: Beat Iowa State 24-13
With a weak schedule to open the season, no one was quite sure how much Texas Tech had improved since last year. After beating Iowa State 24-13 in Week 5, it’s pretty clear the Red Raiders are significantly better on defense. Good enough to win the Big 12? We'll see about that, but new coordinator Art Kaufman has at least made this unit respectable. The Cyclones managed only 189 yards, while Texas Tech’s defense helped its offense by forcing four turnovers. Quarterback Seth Doege tossed two picks but threw for 331 yards and three scores. Just how high can the Red Raiders climb in the Big 12? With matchups against Oklahoma and West Virginia the next two weeks, Texas Tech has a chance to make a big statement in conference play.
Next Game: Oklahoma
8. Baylor (3-1, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 7
Week 5 Result: Lost to West Virginia 70-63
It’s not often a team scores 63 points and comes out on the losing end. However, that’s what happened to Baylor on Saturday afternoon, as the Bears dropped a 70-63 shootout in Morgantown against West Virginia. Quarterback Nick Florence set a school record with 581 passing yards, with receiver Terrance Williams as his favorite target (17 catches, 314 yards, two touchdowns). While the Bears moved the ball with ease, they struggled to get stops on defense. Allowing over 800 yards is never a good thing, regardless of the opponent. The bye week comes at a good time for Baylor, as the off date should allow coordinator Phil Bennett a chance to figure out what went wrong in Morgantown.
Next Game: Bye Week
9. Iowa State (3-1, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 8
Week 5 Result: Lost to Texas Tech 24-13
The Cyclones were dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 24-13 loss to Texas Tech in Ames. Iowa State’s defense did enough to win the game, as it limited the Red Raiders to 63 rushing yards and scored on an interception return in the first quarter. However, the offense was awful, starting with quarterback Steele Jantz. The senior threw for 73 yards and tossed three picks, while Iowa State’s ground attack managed only 116 yards. The Cyclones won’t have much time to think about this loss, as they travel to TCU in Week 6.
Next Game: at TCU
10. Kansas (1-3, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 10
Week 5 Result: Bye Week
The Jayhawks had their first bye of the season in Week 5. Kansas is clearly the Big 12’s worst team and would be a shock if it gets bowl eligible. The Jayhawks have issues on both sides of the ball, as the passing offense ranks 100th nationally and the defense is giving up 439 yards per game. Kansas’ defense is doing a good job of forcing turnovers, but the offense needs to be more opportunistic when provided opportunities.
Next Game: at Kansas State
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