By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 10 Big 12 Power Rankings
Check out all of our college football rankings.
1. Oklahoma State (9-0) – The march to New Orleans continued with a 52-45 victory over Kansas State on Saturday. The 45 points allowed was the most given up by the Cowboys this season. However, the defense did force two turnovers, and the offense had little trouble moving the ball against the Wildcats. Oklahoma State now has three obstacles standing in its way of a shot to play for the national title. And the Cowboys hit the road the next two weeks, taking on Texas Tech and Iowa State, before hosting Oklahoma in the season finale. Although Oklahoma State will be a big favorite the next two weeks, it can’t overlook any team.
2. Oklahoma (8-1) – The Sooners pulled away from Texas A&M in the second half for a 41-25 victory, but it came at a heavy price. Receiver Ryan Broyles suffered a torn ACL and is lost for the year. Although Oklahoma has a lot of weapons at receiver (Kenny Stills, Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Dejuan Miller), there’s simply no way to replace Broyles’ production. The Sooners have now lost their top rusher (Dominique Whaley) and receiver (Broyles) over the last two weeks. Oklahoma has a bye next Saturday, before playing at Baylor on Nov. 19.
3. Kansas State (7-2) – Moral victories aren’t what coach Bill Snyder wants to see, but the Wildcats went toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in college football and came up just short. Kansas State had three shots at the endzone in the final seconds, but quarterback Collin Klein’s passes all fell to the turf. The Wildcats have been torched on defense the last two weeks, allowing 58 points to Oklahoma and 52 to Oklahoma State. Although this unit has made strides since last season, Kansas State still needs more depth and speed. The Wildcats host Texas A&M this Saturday.
4. Texas (6-2) – After last season’s disappointing 5-7 record, it’s noteworthy the Longhorns are bowl eligible with four games remaining. Sure, Texas wants to compete for national titles (as it should), but this is a small step in the rebuilding process. In the 52-20 win over Texas Tech, the Longhorns’ rushing attack posted 439 yards and six touchdowns. With Malcolm Brown sidelined, freshman Joe Bergeron carried the ground game with 191 yards, while quarterback David Ash had to throw only seven times. Texas plays at Missouri this Saturday.
5. Baylor (5-3) – The Bears snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive 42-39 win over Missouri. The offense recorded 702 yards and was in complete control of this game in the fourth quarter, but Missouri tacked on two late touchdowns to close the gap. Quarterback Robert Griffin had another huge performance, completing 27 of 41 throws for 401 yards and three scores. The Bears had two receivers go over 100 yards (Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese), while running back Terrance Ganaway gashed the Tigers’ defense for 191 yards on 15 attempts. Baylor hopes to get bowl eligible with a win over Kansas next Saturday.
6. Missouri (4-5) – One week after scoring an impressive win in College Station, the Tigers took a step back with a 42-39 loss to Baylor. The defense apparently missed the flight from Columbia to Waco, allowing 702 yards to Baylor. Missouri’s offense had no trouble moving the ball, but fell behind 35-17 and the deficit was simply too much to overcome. The loss dropped the Tigers under .500 and put a damper on bowl hopes. Missouri needs two wins to return to the postseason and faces Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas over its final three games.
7. Texas A&M (5-4) – The Aggies’ disappointing 2011 season continued with a 41-25 loss against Oklahoma. Texas A&M managed to hang around in the first half, but turnovers eventually allowed the Sooners to pull away for a blowout win. For a team that had preseason top-10 hype, the Aggies are going to close out their time in the Big 12 with a whimper. Texas A&M plays at Kansas State this Saturday, before finishing the year with Kansas and Texas in College Station. The Aggies will easily make a bowl appearance, but winning six or seven games is not what most expected with the talent returning this season.
8. Iowa State (5-4) – Saturday’s 13-10 win over Kansas certainly won’t earn the Cyclones any style points. However, Iowa State has earned back-to-back Big 12 victories and is one win away from getting bowl eligible. Jared Barnett has provided a spark under center for the Cyclones, posting three consecutive games of at least 230 yards of total offense. Iowa State’s defense has also come up big the last two weeks, holding Texas Tech to only seven points and allowing Kansas only 301 yards of total offense. The Cyclones are off next Saturday and will return to action on Nov. 18 against Oklahoma State.
9. Texas Tech (5-4) – Hopes were high in Lubbock after beating Oklahoma two weeks ago, but the Red Raiders have taken a step back. Back-to-back losses to Iowa State and Texas have clouded Texas Tech’s bowl chances. With three games remaining, the Red Raiders need to win one more to reach the postseason, but there’s no guaranteed victory with Oklahoma State, Missouri and Baylor remaining. The main culprit in Saturday’s loss to Texas? The rush defense. The Red Raiders allowed the Longhorns to easily collect 439 yards on the ground. Texas Tech hosts Oklahoma State next Saturday.
10. Kansas (2-7) – A sign of progress? Saturday’s 13-10 loss to Iowa State was the Jayhawks’ first Big 12 defeat under 10 points this year. A defense that has been awful all year showed some signs of life, holding the Cyclones to only one touchdown and running back James White to only 36 yards. Despite a better defensive effort, Kansas didn’t get much help from its offense and lost its seventh game in a row. With only three contests left, will the Jayhawks win a Big 12 game? With Baylor, Texas A&M and Missouri remaining, it appears Kansas will finishes winless in conference play.