By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 7 Big 12 Power Rankings
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1. Oklahoma (6-0) – After last week’s big victory over Texas, the Sooners may have had a slight letdown against Kansas. However, Oklahoma eventually pulled away in the second half, finishing with a 47-17 victory. Quarterback Landry Jones threw for 363 yards and three scores, with receiver Ryan Broyles his favorite target, catching 13 passes for 217 yards and two scores. Broyles became the NCAA’s career leader in receptions in Saturday’s win over Kansas. The Sooners host Texas Tech this Saturday, before a key Big 12 game at Kansas State on Oct. 29.
2. Oklahoma State (6-0) – The Texas defense held Cowboys’ quarterback Brandon Weeden to his lowest passing total of 2011, but it wasn’t enough. Oklahoma State used solid efforts from running backs Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith, along with a key kickoff return for a touchdown by Justin Gilbert to earn the 38-26 victory. Thanks to Saturday’s win, the Cowboys have now won back-to-back games against Texas for the first time in school history. Oklahoma State looks to remain unbeaten this Saturday, as it hits the road for a trip to Missouri.
3. Kansas State (6-0) – The Wildcats continued their surprising run with a 41-34 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. Kansas State has had plenty of doubters this year and entered the matchup as an underdog. However, the Wildcats used a steady diet of quarterback Collin Klein and running back John Hubert on the ground, which helped to control time of possession. Kansas State’s defense also came up big, picking off Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege three times. The Wildcats travel to Lawrence to take on in-state rival Kansas.
4. Texas A&M (4-2) – After losing back-to-back games in early October, the Aggies have bounced back with two wins in a row. Texas A&M’s defense gave up some yards to Baylor in Saturday’s win, but also did a good job of getting pressure on quarterback Robert Griffin. The Aggies rushing attack gashed the Bears for 266 yards, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill was the player of the game, throwing for 415 yards and six touchdowns. Receiver Ryan Swope also had a huge performance, catching 11 passes for 206 yards and four scores. The Aggies hit the road to play Iowa State this Saturday.
5. Texas (4-2) – The state of Oklahoma completed the sweep over the Longhorns this season, as Oklahoma State beat Texas 38-26 on Saturday. After trading snaps with Case McCoy, David Ash started and went the full distance at quarterback. The freshman completed 22 of 40 throws for 139 yards and threw two interceptions. One bright spot was the play of running back Malcolm Brown, who registered 135 yards and two touchdowns. Texas is off this Saturday and its next game will be on Oct. 29 against Kansas.
6. Baylor (4-2) – The Bears can score with anyone in the Big 12, but in order to compete for a conference title, the defense has to get better. New coordinator Phil Bennett will get the defense turned around eventually, but it’s going to cost Baylor a few games this season. In Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M, the Bears allowed a season-high 55 points and 681 yards. Baylor is off this Saturday and returns to action on Oct. 29 at Oklahoma State.
7. Missouri (3-3) – Saturday’s 52-17 win over Iowa State snapped a two-game losing streak and moved the Tigers back to .500 on the season. Quarterback James Franklin had a huge performance against the Cyclones, throwing for 283 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 84 yards and two scores on the ground. Although Missouri has three losses, all of the defeats have been by 10 points or less and there’s no shame in losing to Oklahoma, Kansas State and Arizona State. The Tigers host Oklahoma State this Saturday.
8. Texas Tech (4-2) – The Red Raiders dropped their second consecutive game, losing 41-34 to Kansas State on Saturday. Quarterback Seth Doege ranks second nationally in total offense, but threw three costly interceptions against the Wildcats. Aaron Crawford stepped in as the No. 1 running back for Eric Stephens (out for year with knee injury) and rushed for 91 yards and one score on 21 carries. Texas Tech is unlikely to snap its losing streak this week, as a date with Oklahoma awaits this Saturday.
9. Iowa State (3-3) – The Cyclones had a promising start to 2011, but have dropped three consecutive games. Iowa State lost 52-17 to Missouri on Saturday and was never really close to making it a game. Reaching a bowl is going to be an uphill battle for Iowa State, as Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas State remain on the schedule.
10. Kansas (2-4) – The Jayhawks hung tough in the first half against Oklahoma, but didn’t have the firepower to make a run at the upset in the final two quarters. A bright spot for Kansas this year has been the rushing attack, which compiled 144 yards and two touchdowns against the Sooners. The Jayhawks are unlikely to make a bowl game this season, but will look to spoil rival Kansas State’s undefeated run this Saturday.