I’ve been following Big 12 football since I was four years old, and never would I have imagined myself creating power rankings that align in the proceeding arrangement.
This is the first and likely the last time I will ever have reason to say this, but, here goes: Iowa State is, for now, the best football team in the Big 12 Conference.
Did that feel as weird for you reading it as it did for me writing it? This is anarchy. I don’t even know who I am anymore. What is the meaning of life?
I’m going to type out these power rankings and then curl up in a ball, asking the universe questions Isaac Newton would be proud of.
Wow, and I just ended a sentence on a preposition. I’m not even going to change it. I don’t care. Iowa State is No. 1 in the conference rankings and the laws of grammar no longer apply.
Alright, let’s get on with it.
1. Iowa State Cyclones (+4)
Let’s look at the facts: I-State has beaten Oklahoma in Norman, Texas Tech in Lubbock and TCU at home. They’re in sole possession of first place in the conference standings and would play TCU again in the Big 12 championship if the season ended today.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (-)
The Cowboys have won four consecutive games heading into Bedlam, and a win there would set them up nicely for a spot in the Big 12 title game.
3. Oklahoma Sooners (-)
Baker Mayfield has his toughest matchup of the season this weekend in Stillwater, going up against a vastly more talented quarterback with infinitely more pro potential in Mason Rudolph. Mayfield has the benefit of a better defense behind him, so Rudolph will have to play exceptionally well to earn the W and keep Oklahoma out of contention for a conference championship.
4. TCU Horned Frogs (-3)
Kenny Hill played awfully against Iowa State and should be embarrassed for his performance.
5. Texas Longhorns (+1)
This week’s game against TCU in Fort Worth will tell us a lot about who Texas really is, but the Longhorn offense has got to play better if it wants to beat the conference’s best defense on the road.
6. West Virginia Mountaineers (-2)
The Mountaineers can knock Iowa State off their comfortable position in first place with a win this week in Morgantown, and I’d be surprised if West Virginia wasn’t the favorite heading into this game.
7. Kansas State Wildcats (-)
K-State hasn’t been able to generate in momentum this season, but if the Wildcats can take down the Red Raiders this weekend in Lubbock, they’ll be on their first two-game win streak since they beat Central Arkansas and Charlotte in the first two weeks of the season.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (-)
Speaking of streaks, the Red Raiders have lost three consecutive and this weekend feels like a must-win if Texas Tech plans on making it to a bowl game. If Tech loses to K-State at home, it will have to win two of three against Baylor, TCU and Texas to become bowl-eligible. I don’t like those odds.
9. Baylor Bears (+1)
Someone is going to get their first conference win this weekend, will it be Baylor or will it be Kansas? Better yet, will anyone care either way?
10. Kansas Jayhawks (-1)
Kansas played K-State pretty close, but this team is just really, really bad at football. Fortunately, the Jayhawks are at home against Baylor, so that raucous crowd of 12,000 fans will surely make it difficult for the Bears offense to communicate with any clarity.