There’s nothing left to be said about the Big 12’s top two teams. They face off in Norman on December 3 for the Big 12 championship and an outside shot at a spot in the college football playoff.
While the winner would have two losses on their record, Oklahoma State’s loss to Central Michigan could be overlooked by the committee given the strange circumstances surrounding the officiating on the final play. Both of Oklahoma’s losses were to good programs (Houston and Ohio State) early in the season, so the committee could very well say they’re one of the best four teams as it stands right now.
I think it will still require some chaos for either team to make it in, but it’s possible. I don’t think either one should go to the playoff ahead of any other one loss Power 5 team, conference champion or not.
1. Oklahoma State [9-2]: W @ TCU (LW: 1)
2. Oklahoma [9-2]: W @ West Virginia (LW: 2)
3. West Virginia [8-2]: L vs. Oklahoma (LW: 3)
The Mountaineers suffered a tough loss to Oklahoma, making many crucial mistakes that ultimately did them in. They’re eliminated from the Big 12 championship discussion, but could still rack up 10 wins in the regular season and go to a good bowl game.
4. Kansas State [6-4]: W @ Baylor (LW: 6)
The Wildcats have Kansas (a rivalry game) and TCU (who could be fighting for bowl eligibility) left on the schedule. While both opponents should be motivated, they are winnable games for Kansas State, who is setting itself up for a great season.
5. Iowa State [3-8]: W vs. Texas Tech (LW: 9)
I wouldn’t blame any of you for laughing at the idea of the Cyclones being No. 5. But in the “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” world of power rankings, Iowa State has some credentials. They have steadily improved all season. They are better than their record indicates. They played very good opponents down to the wire and probably should have come away with the victory in at least one instance. While Texas Tech is clearly struggling, beating anyone by 56 points in such dominating fashion is impressive. I would take the Cyclones over any team below them in this week’s power rankings at a neutral site tomorrow.
6. TCU [5-5]: L vs. Oklahoma State (LW: 5)
TCU did not play well against Oklahoma State on Saturday. Not at all. But they didn’t lose to Kansas nor Iowa State by 56. So congrats, you keep the No. 6 slot for now.
7. Texas [5-6]: L @ Kansas (LW: 4)
There’s drama in Austin. The Longhorns are playing for bowl eligibility against TCU on Friday, and whether they win or not, Charlie Strong is probably toast. It’s unfortunate, because Texas has a lot of young talent that I think Strong could mold into a great team, and they showed flashes this season. He’s a good man and Texas will be worse off without him.
8. Baylor [6-4]: L vs. Kansas State (LW: 8)
The entire rankings this week were a struggle, but especially this bottom half. Baylor is banged up and has lost four in a row. Their 6-4 record is better than the three teams directly above them, but they’ve also lost to the two teams directly above them and probably shouldn’t have beaten, and wouldn’t beat if they played tomorrow, the third team above them.
9. Kansas [2-9]: W vs. Texas (LW: 10)
I have to tip my hat to Kansas. Even though Texas is having a down season, the Jayhawks found a way to win over the Longhorns for the first time since 1938. What a huge win for David Beaty and that program.
10. Texas Tech [4-7]: L @ Iowa State (LW: 7)
How do you justify putting the Red Raiders anywhere else after what we saw on Saturday? Horrendous in all phases of the game and zero fight when they were fighting to keep their hopes of making a bowl game alive. I would not bet on the Red Raiders to beat anyone else in the Big 12 except for Kansas at a neutral site tomorrow, but the last few weeks Kansas has played Iowa State close (Tech didn’t) and beat Texas (Tech didn’t).