By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 9 Big 12 Power Rankings
Check out all of our college football rankings.
1. Oklahoma State (8-0) – The stakes are high for the Cowboys and so far, they continue to answer the bell. If Oklahoma State can win out, it will likely play in the national title game. The Cowboys took another step towards an undefeated season, defeating Baylor 59-24 last Saturday. Quarterback Brandon Weeden had another steady performance, throwing for 274 yards and three scores. The rushing attack also shined, getting 152 yards from Joseph Randle and 104 from freshman Herschel Sims. The Cowboys look to improve their record to 9-0 this Saturday, as 7-1 Kansas State travels to Stillwater.
2. Oklahoma (7-1) – Don’t count out the Sooners from the national title race just yet. Oklahoma demolished Kansas State 58-17 on Saturday, moving it back to No. 6 in the BCS standings. Quarterback Landry Jones thrashed the Wildcats’ secondary for 505 yards, while receiver Ryan Broyles posted 14 receptions for 171 yards and one touchdown. The news out of Saturday’s game wasn’t all positive. Running back Dominique Whaley was lost for the year due to an ankle injury, which means Roy Finch, Brandon Williams, and Brennan Clay will need to shoulder the workload in the Oklahoma backfield the rest of the year.
3. Kansas State (7-1) – The Wildcats’ national title hopes are finished, but a 7-1 record entering November is better than most expected. Kansas State was unable to keep its undefeated season alive, losing 58-17 to Oklahoma last Saturday. The Wildcats simply don’t have the athletes or passing attack to keep up with the Sooners right now. Kansas State is still in good shape to finish in the top three of the Big 12, but the schedule is going to be difficult over the next three weeks. The Wildcats are at Oklahoma State this week, then face Texas A&M and Texas.
4. Texas (5-2) – How’s this for a surprising stat: Texas’ win over Kansas on Saturday was its first home Big 12 win since Nov. 21, 2009. The Longhorns easily dispatched the Jayhawks with a powerful rushing attack, getting 136 yards from Joe Bergeron and 119 from Malcolm Brown. Quarterback David Ash turned in an efficient performance, throwing for 145 yards on 14 completions. The Longhorns need just one win to get bowl eligible and that victory could come on Saturday against Texas Tech.
5. Texas A&M (5-3) – The Aggies had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 38-31 overtime loss to Missouri. Texas A&M’s offense had no trouble moving the ball against the Tigers, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill passing for 317 yards, while running back Christine Michael totaled 104 on the ground. However, the Aggies had three turnovers and struggled to contain Missouri quarterback James Franklin. Any outside hopes Texas A&M had of earning an at-large appearance in the BCS went out the window with the loss to the Tigers, and the schedule won’t get any easier this Saturday with a road trip to Oklahoma.
6. Missouri (4-4) – The Tigers evened their record at 4-4 with a big win in overtime against Texas A&M. Missouri quarterback James Franklin bounced back after a disappointing performance in Week 8, totaling 295 yards and four touchdowns against the Aggies. Although the Tigers have four losses, there’s really no shame in any of their defeats. Missouri’s defeats have come at the hands of Arizona State, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. The Tigers return to Texas this Saturday, as they travel to Waco to take on Baylor.
7. Texas Tech (5-3) – Flat. That’s really the only way to describe the Red Raiders’ performance on Saturday night. After beating Oklahoma last week, it’s pretty clear Texas Tech did not have the same energy level against Iowa State and the results showed. The Red Raiders lost 41-7, and quarterback Seth Doege turned in his worst performance of the year with only 171 passing yards. Texas Tech looks to get back on track against Texas this Saturday. The Red Raiders still need one win to get bowl eligible and the road to getting another victory won’t be easy with Texas, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Baylor remaining on the schedule.
8. Baylor (4-3) – The Bears have been sliding down the power rankings over the last few weeks. Baylor has lost three out of its last four games, including a 59-24 defeat to Oklahoma State last Saturday. The Bears moved the ball throughout the first half, but were unable to convert those opportunities into points. Quarterback Robert Griffin’s Heisman hopes have taken a hit with the losses, but the junior hasn’t been the problem. The Bears are struggling on defense, allowing 36.4 points a game and ranking 108th nationally in total defense. Baylor looks to get back into the win column this Saturday against Missouri.
9. Iowa State (4-4) – The Cyclones posted their first Big 12 victory of 2011, ambushing Texas Tech 41-7 in Lubbock. The Red Raiders were coming off a big win against Oklahoma, so there was certainly a letdown effect involved. However, Iowa State was impressive, getting key performances from quarterback Jared Barnett and running back James White. The Cyclones have won back-to-back games against Texas Tech by a combined score of 93 to 45. Iowa State should have a chance to win its second conference game of the season, as it hosts Kansas this Saturday.
10. Kansas (2-6) – Not much has gone right for the Jayhawks over the last few weeks, and they may have hit rock bottom in Saturday’s 43-0 loss to Texas. Kansas’ offense was atrocious, managing only three first downs and 46 total yards. Although it’s unfair to judge to coach Turner Gill after one-plus season, the losses are taking a toll on the fanbase. Unless the Jayhawks pull off an upset, they appear headed for a 2-10 finish and without a victory in Big 12 play.