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Baylor Football

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 4: Jayhawks Continue Rise, Raiders Fall

September 22, 2022

Week 3 saw the Big 12 mostly take care of business, finishing with a 7-2 record. The two blemishes saw Texas Tech falling to a Top 25 team on the road and Kansas State suffering a tough pill to swallow at home.

Elsewhere, there were blowout wins galore, as intended, not to mention KU's whooping of a future Big 12 conference mate at their place, plus OU's trouncing of an old rival out of the Big Ten. 

And now, we really get into the good stuff as this week's schedule features a fun mixture of conference openers and more notable non-cons. 

So, ahead of the action, beginning on Thursday night with WVU, here are my latest Big 12 Power Rankings. 

1. OKLAHOMA (W 49-14 @ Nebraska) 

The Sooners destroyed a frazzled and broken Huskers team, bulldozing their way to 49 unanswered points after an initial 7-0 deficit. 

Oklahoma still 'ain't played nobody,' but they're playing with a lot of belief and confidence. The Nebraska game lost some luster with NU's 1-2 start and Frost's firing, while K-State's loss to Tulane has taken some sizzle off this weekend's game. So this week's biggest story for fans and media in Norman might be Mike Gundy's Bedlam comments instead of the Wildcats. 

However, Venables is facing his alma mater, where he played and coached for the first time as the head of his own program. So, I'd expect no lack of respect just because the 'Cats faltered last week.

Up Next: Home vs. Kansas State // Saturday, 7:00 pm, FOX 

2. TEXAS (W 41-20 vs. UTSA) 

With the game knotted up at halftime, we all wondered and hoped for the same thing: LOL, Texas. But, there would be no miracle win for the Roadrunners, or new embarrassment in Austin, as Bijan Robinson's second and third scores and a Jahdae Barron pick-six helped the Longhorns pull away in the second half.  

Hudson Card remains the guy in Quinn Ewers' absence, however long that lasts. He helped lead Texas to an excellent actual victory following the moral victory. At 3-0, this is Texas' first road game this season, and Lubbock should be rocking. 

Up Next: @ Texas Tech // Saturday, 2:30 pm, ESPN

3. OKLAHOMA STATE (W 63-7 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff) 

The Pine Bluff game was a glorified exhibition as the Pokes built a 28-0 first quarter lead, and Spencer Sanders threw 4 TD before exiting early in the 2nd quarter. He continues to look sharp. Elsewhere, former Connally HS star Korie Black had a 38-yard TD return off a missed Pine Bluff FG. 

Their win over Arizona State hits differently with Herm Edwards' firing in the two weeks since, but I don't doubt they're a good team. The Pokes head into the bye week with a Top 10 ranking and two weeks to prepare for a road trip to Waco. 

Bedlam has occupied most OSU media space during the open week. 

Up Next: Open 

Nathan J. Fish-USA TODAY Sports

4. BAYLOR (W 42-7 vs. Texas State)

The Bears overcame self-inflicted adversity to pull away from Texas State in the second half. Ultimately, rebounding nicely from disappointment the week prior. Richard Reese's emergence was a significant development that will bleed heavily into facing the Cyclones. But, many questions remain on offense, and playing Iowa State's defense on the road will be among their more formidable challenges. Overall, this will be a battle. 

Up Next : @ Iowa State // Saturday, 11:00 am, ESPN 2 

5. IOWA STATE (W 43-10 vs. Ohio) 

The Cyclones' defense remains elite, and their special teams remain an Achilles heel. The jury is still out on the offense overall, but WR Xavier Hutchinson presents a real issue for Baylor. A win here could be a launching pad for them, expectations-wise, and home field has played a significant role in this series recently. 

Up Next: Home vs. #17 Baylor // Saturday, 11:00 am, ESPN 2  

6. KANSAS (W 48-30 @ Houston) 

Kansas went into H-Town and embarrassed Dana Holgorsen's Big 12-bound Cougars, moving to 3-0 in the process. Jalon Daniels is a natural talent at QB. Mike Elko's Duke Blue Devils will play tough, but KU remains favored at home. A 4-0 start, perhaps? 

For the team's sake, I hope the rumors surrounding Lance Leipold and Nebraska don't become too much of a distraction. Although, this early carousel means there are at least two more months of talk, which is not a good trend in college football. 

Up Next: Home vs. Duke // Saturday, 11:00 am, FS1 

7. KANSAS STATE (L 17-10 vs. Tulane) 

Well, at least the retro uniforms were cool. There should be a giant red flag when Deuce Vaughn can't even meet his usual standards. Vaughn not reaching 100 total yards is a problem for him, the offense, and the team. And this offense has many right now, entirely on display in the stunning home loss to the Green Wave. 

After a deflating loss at home, it's hard to see them avoiding a second straight defeat in Norman. 

Up Next: @ #6 Oklahoma // Saturday, 7:00 pm, FOX

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

8. TEXAS TECH (L 27-14 @ #16 NC State) 

The first month of Joey McGuire's college head coaching career has already featured several highs, lows, and of course, firsts of all kinds. Unfortunately for the Red Raiders, their first road trip coincided with their first loss and only added to talk about the quarterback position. 

Tyler Shough's injury opened the door of opportunity for Donovan Smith early in the season. But, the turnover issues finally caught up to the talented sophomore, who had two more interceptions, including an 84-yard pick-six in the loss. His walk-off OT score against Houston the week prior overshadowed some of those issues. But in total, Smith's thrown five picks to 3 TD in the last two games while rushing for two scores. Of course, it didn't help he was sacked ten times in those two contests, as the OL remains a work in progress.

UT makes three straight Top 25 opponents in the first month of McGuire's tenure. Sheesh. We all know the opportunity ahead, hosting a ranked Texas team at home. 

Up Next: Home vs. #22 Texas // Saturday, 2:30 pm, ESPN

9. TCU (W 59-17 vs. Tarleton) 

The Frogs are fresh off an early open week ahead of the Battle for the Iron Skillet. An already heated rivalry is extra spicy this time, thanks to Sonny Dykes’ departure from Dallas to Fort Worth this off-season. 

There's some legit bad blood in this one, which makes it fun. The Frogs are slight road underdogs as they head to the Hilltop. TCU may be way better than 9th, but I need to see some more first. This weekend should provide a solid measuring stick. 

Up Next: @ SMU // Saturday, 11:00 am, ESPNU 

10. WEST VIRGINIA (W 65-7 vs. Towson) 

I still believe in the Mountaineers, who finally caught a break on the schedule last weekend. They deserved a 65-7 blowout victory after a rough couple of weeks. But now, it's back to old rivalries on the road: this time, the Hokies in Blacksburg. 

Despite some struggles, with JT Daniels at the helm, WVU enters the away contest as slight favorites. The Thursday night slot makes this game even more unique and potentially weird. For various reasons, a win here would be massive for Neal Brown's program. 

Up Next: @ Virginia Tech // Thursday, 6:30 pm, ESPN 

Discussion from...

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 4: Jayhawks Continue Rise, Raiders Fall

2,020 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by daniolmu
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Texas is 2-1
Moral victories don't count
“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”
Psalm 119:36
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amazing article
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