Story Poster
Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Football

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 5: Kansas and Baylor at the Top

September 29, 2022

As the calendar flips to October, the heart of the conference schedule settles in across the country. No different in Big 12 territory as we approach the first full weekend of conference games. Last week’s teaser, plus WVU vs. KU in week two, would indicate the league’s craziness is only getting started.

Here are my latest Big 12 Power Rankings, entering week five.

1. KANSAS (W 35-27 vs. Duke)

Why not? Yes, part of me thinks reality soon sets in for these Jayhawks. But right now, there’s no denying their resume, explosive offense, and game-changer at quarterback.

I don’t necessarily think they’re better than Baylor or some others, but I’m giving them their flowers while I can because I think it’s cool to see this early success after so many seasons as a laughingstock. Now, they win this weekend, and the conversation starts to get a bit more serious.

Up Next: Home vs. Iowa State // Saturday, 2:30 pm, ESPN2

2. BAYLOR (W 31-24 @ Iowa State)

The Bears impressed in Iowa and left Ames with a confidence-building road win. Blake Shapen was fantastic, the defense a wall against the run, and many players contributed key moments. Mostly, it felt like Baylor playing to their potential and playing green.

Now back at home, there’s a golden opportunity to grab a crucial 2-0 conference start if they can replicate their reliable, violent ways on offense, defense, and special teams.

Up Next : Home vs. #9 Oklahoma State // Saturday, 2:30 am, FOX


The Cowboys have had two weeks to rest and nine months to think about the Big 12 Championship loss. Last we saw the Pokes, they beat up Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Gundy was getting into Bedlam PR battles. You know the drill with Spencer Sanders.

The trip to Waco is easily the Cowboys’ biggest test to date. Whether OSU is Baylor’s biggest test remains to be seen. We should have a much better feel for their standing after Saturday.

Up Next: @ #16 Baylor // Saturday, 2:30 am, FOX

4. KANSAS STATE (W 41-34 @ #6 Oklahoma)

The Wildcats fully unleashed Adrian Martinez and were rewarded with a memorable performance that will go down in K-State history. Oh yeah, and another win over the Sooners.

Deuce Vaughn was also back over the 100-yard mark. The Tulane loss was deflating, but the win in Norman keeps a lot of hopes alive and, if anything, raises expectations if Martinez can maintain that level of confidence and explosiveness. This weekend, a good test against a team that will be fired up to stop the run at all costs.

Up Next: Home vs. Texas Tech // Saturday, 11:00 am, BIG 12/ESPN+

5. TEXAS TECH (W 37-34 vs. #22 Texas in OT)

After a program-building win last week vs. Texas, the first month of the McGuire era in-season truly feels like a dream. The best kind for Red Raiders fans, minus the NC State loss. Still, belief is powerful, and they’re at full capacity.

Make it four straight Top 25 opponents for the Red Raiders in the last four weeks, which is pretty wild.To earn their second-ranked win in 2022, Tech played keep away from Texas, converting multiple fourth downs, as Donovan Smith had one of his better performances. He’s a good player and limited the mistakes compared to recent turnover-prone outings. They also got timely stops.

Last weekend, these two combined to slay the SEC turncoats. Now, only one may prevail in the Little Apple. I’m intrigued.

Up Next: @ Kansas State // Saturday, 11:00 am, BIG 12/ESPN+

6. OKLAHOMA (L 41-34 @ vs. Kansas State)

The first stumble under Brent Venables somehow felt unexpected. I don’t know why though because the result is far from stunning at this point. I wrongly assumed having an #EMAW guy in charge would mean OU no longer getting outplayed or outcoached in this game. But that’s exactly what happened in some cases, especially defensively, as Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn ran all over the Sooners' defense.

Now, a trip to Fort Worth, which means squaring off with Frogs OC Garrett Riley, brother of you-know-who.

Up Next: @ TCU, Saturday, 11 am, ABC

7. TCU (W 42-34 @ SMU)

On the opposite sideline in the Battle for the Iron Skillet for the first time, Sonny Dykes and the Frogs got a satisfying measure of revenge against his friends turned foes from The Hilltop.

OU has owned this series the last few years, but coming off a loss is susceptible. I’m not sure how good TCU is yet, but they have enough talent and promise to give the Sooners problems this weekend.

Up Next: Home vs. #18 Oklahoma // Saturday, 11:00 am, ABC

8. IOWA STATE (L 31-24 vs. #17 Baylor)

I take back what I said about the defense being elite, although it's still good. I was unimpressed with the offense ultimately, but see the upside as the season goes along, especially against lesser defenses than the Bears. A good enough team, but not sure getting pulled into a shootout this weekend is in their best interest.

Up Next: @ Kansas // Saturday, 2:30 pm, ESPN2

9. TEXAS  (L 37-34 vs. Texas Tech in OT)

That was an awful loss for the Longhorns in Lubbock. Not a season-derailing defeat this early in Big 12 play or a Fire Sark offense, but a bad loss given the numerous opportunities to seal the game.

Bijan Robinson, uncharacteristically fumbling to start overtime, was the perfect final gut punch. Texas is a fine team, and Ewers’ injury alters expectations, whether valid or a convenient excuse. Still, back in Austin this weekend, a loss to WVU doesn’t seem like it’d be acceptable under any circumstance.

Up Next: Home vs. West Virginia  // Saturday, 6:30 pm, FS1

10. WEST VIRGINIA (W 33-10 @ Virginia Tech)

The Mountaineers won a Thursday night road contest against an ACC regional rival to claim the Black Diamond Trophy for the final time, at least for now. That’s a clean sweep of prizes for Neal Brown.

That rival, Virginia Tech, doesn’t appear to be very good at the moment, but after losses at Pitt and Kansas, wins are wins for the ‘Eers, and much needed. A win in Austin will be tough, but I wouldn’t put it past Daniels, those backs, and that defense.

Up Next: @ Texas  // Saturday, 6:30 pm, FS1

Discussion from...

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 5: Kansas and Baylor at the Top

2,866 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 11 mo ago by historian
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Thankfully, Baylor's game is at 2:30 in the afternoon instead of 2:30 in the morning!
“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”
Psalm 119:36
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Pete Munro at Heartland has a different take, putting us at #3 & Texas last:

Curious comparison.
“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”
Psalm 119:36
Page 1 of 1
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.