Baylor Football

Big 12 Power Rankings through week nine of the 2021 season

November 4, 2021

Plenty of fireworks filled the Big 12 news cycle this week. One high-profile coach is out, two coaching searches are on, three teams are in the College Football Playoff rankings, and four games are on tap this weekend. 

Heading into what should be another exciting weekend, here are my latest Big 12 power rankings. 

1. OKLAHOMA — W 52-21 vs. Texas Tech

The Sooners took care of Texas Tech and now enter the bye week as the only remaining unbeaten in the Big 12 and #8 in the CFB Playoff rankings. OU will have the extra time to prepare for a potential College GameDay-type atmosphere in Waco if Baylor takes care of business against TCU. Their defense is getting healthier, and the offense is just scratching the surface with quarterback Caleb Williams, which is frightening. 

Up Next: Open  

2. OKLAHOMA STATE — W 55-3 vs. Kansas

With Patterson out in Fort Worth, Gundy is now the third longest-tenured coach in the country behind Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham. This year’s Cowboys team has the makings to finish as one of his best. The WVU game looked a lot less daunting a couple of weeks ago, but the Pokes defense seems like an impenetrable force, and the offense is now starting to operate at full strength. 

Up Next: @ West Virginia, 2:30 pm 

3. BAYLOR — W 31-24 vs. Texas

The Bears showed composure in a physical come from behind win against Texas. Now they hit the road for the first time in over a month. This team is operating at a high level, but Aranda has mentioned the need to improve their play outside of McLane Stadium. Baylor should be ready for a back against the wall, fueled by emotions TCU team. Pass this next test, and the stage is set for an all-timer the following week. 

Up Next: @ TCU, 2:30 pm 

4. IOWA STATE — L 38-31 @ West Virginia

The loss to West Virginia was stunning. The Cyclones played a lousy game in Morgantown against an improving team. The potential dream season is long dead and buried, but I’d expect a much sharper performance this week against Texas in front of what should be a hostile home crowd. 

Up Next: Home vs. Texas, 6:30 pm

5. KANSAS STATE — W 31-12 vs. TCU

The Wildcats pummeled an ailing TCU team in what turned out to be Gary Patterson’s final game as head coach. QB Skylar Thompson is still not 100% since returning but remains the difference in K-State’s overall competitiveness. Sophomore defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah put on an incredible performance against the Frogs, registering four sacks and two forced fumbles in the win. The Wildcats should be riding a three-game win streak after the rivalry road trip on Saturday. 

Up Next: @ Kansas, 11:00 am 

6. WEST VIRGINIA — W 38-31 vs. #22 Iowa State

The Mountaineers are starting to rally, and quarterback Jarret Doege is playing better football, which is no coincidence. Beating TCU was one thing, but knocking off Iowa State, another achievement entirely. Neal Brown is a good coach, and a bowl game is now within sight. Another ample opportunity at home this weekend, but it’ll take their best all-around effort this season and an all-timer from Doege.  

Up Next: Home vs. #11 Oklahoma State, 2:30 pm 

7. TEXAS — L 31-24 @ #16 Baylor

The loss to Baylor cut deep, but it almost seems like a distant memory thanks to this week’s news cycle in Austin. To put it simply, assistant coach Jeff Banks’ stripper(?) girlfriend’s emotional support monkey bit a trick or treater on Halloween, which had the Longhorns trending nationwide. Elsewhere, the debate about Casey Thompson and Hudson Card continues to sizzle, and WR Joshua Moore got into a heated exchange with Sarkisian at practice on Wednesday. And now the .500 Horns head to Ames, with pride on the line more than anything else. 

Up Next: @ Iowa State, 6:30 pm 

8. TCU — L 31-12 @ Kansas State

Every recruit signs up to play for a specific coach but has to know there’s always the chance things can change. Baylor’s biggest stars have certainly learned that lesson. But there is no way any current TCU player could have imagined a scenario where Gary Patterson wasn’t their head coach from start to finish, and yet here we are. Jerry Kill is now serving as interim, but Patterson has been around practice this week and seems to be helping out some in advance of rival Baylor. The Frogs have deficiencies but will be supercharged by emotion this weekend, and how better to honor their former head coach than to spoil the Bears’ season. So another intriguing coaching search is now underway.

Up Next: Home vs. Baylor, 2:30 pm 

9. TEXAS TECH — L 52-21 @ #4 Oklahoma

Sonny Cumbie’s interim era started with an unsurprising beatdown, courtesy of the Sooners. So now the Red Raiders get a much-needed pause and a chance to collect themselves after a lot of turbulence. After the break, they’ll need a win against either Iowa State, Oklahoma State, or Baylor for a bowl appearance. But the most critical storyline in Lubbock right now is the ongoing coaching search.

Up Next: Open 

10. KANSAS — L 55-3 vs. #15 Oklahoma State

The Jayhawks are trying to improve slowly and yet quickly get to the offseason. They stood no chance last week against Oklahoma State and now in walks in-state rival Kansas State. Let the pain continue. 

Up Next: Home vs. Kansas State, 11:00 am

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Big 12 Power Rankings through week nine of the 2021 season

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