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Big 12 Power Rankings Week 6: TCU making waves but the Pokes are on top

October 6, 2022

College GameDay heads to Lawrence for a Top 25 showdown between the unbeaten duo of TCU and Kansas. Just like we all predicted. 

Including those two, four conference teams enter the week ranked in the Top 25, but none are Oklahoma or Texas, as the Red River Rivalry returns to Dallas with the least amount of buzz in ages. 

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

1. OKLAHOMA STATE (W 36-25 @ #16 Baylor) 

The Cowboys rode special teams and Spencer Sanders to a critical road win in Waco. In doing so, OSU established itself as an early contender while firmly putting last year's Big 12 title loss in their rearview. 

The Pokes aren't perfect, and I don't think they're much better than Baylor, but it was still an inspired victory. At 4-0, there's no time for a letdown as a battle-tested Red Raiders squad rolls into Stillwater. 

Up Next: Home vs. Texas Tech // Saturday, 2:30 pm, FS1

2. KANSAS (W 14-11 vs. Iowa State) 

Hosting College GameDay this weekend in Lawrence for TCU is a turn of events no one could have seen coming, and on OU-Texas weekend, no less.

Jalon Daniels and the Jayhawks were fortunate to eke out a win over the Cyclones last Saturday. Now, a prime opportunity in the spotlight, and to the victor goes the spoils of remaining unbeaten and ranked. For KU, a win on Saturday would mean many things, including bowl eligibility for the first time since 2008. 

Up Next: Home vs. #17 TCU // Saturday, 11:00 am, FS1

3. TCU (W 55-24 vs. #18 Oklahoma) 

The Frogs are fresh off an all-time memorable win. Just a stunning blowout of Oklahoma at home that put everyone on notice as Max Duggan led the offense to nearly 700 yards while the defense knocked Dillon Gabriel out of action. 

It was an all-around butt-kicking, plain and simple. The Frogs put the Big 12 on notice and now has another prime opportunity and hit the road as favorites. 

Up Next: @ #19 Kansas // Saturday, 11:00 am, FS1 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

4. KANSAS STATE (W 37-28 @ vs. Texas Tech) 

The Wildcats' rushing combo of Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn ran wild on the Red Raiders to 340 yards on 25 carries — each hitting the 170-yard mark. 

Tech knew what was coming but couldn't stop it as the 'Cats pulled away late. Given their dependence on the run, a road trip to Ames seems like a prime spot for an upset watch. 

Up Next: @ Iowa State // Saturday, 6:30 pm, ESPNU 

5. TEXAS (W 38-20 vs. West Virginia) 

Texas rebounded nicely from the Tech debacle with a thorough whooping of WVU. Now, it's the all-important Red River showdown featuring a battle of unranked rivals for the first time since 1998. 

Ewers or no Ewers, I don't think it matters this weekend. Hudson Card, Bijan, Roschon, and Worthy, seem well-equipped enough to handle business in Dallas against an OU defense that was downright embarrassed the last two weeks. And an offense likely without Dillon Gabriel. But who knows with this series? 

Up Next: Cotton Bowl vs. Oklahoma // Saturday, 11:00 am, ABC

6. BAYLOR (L 36-25 vs. #9 Oklahoma State)

Monaray Baldwin was sensational, but unfortunately, the Bears couldn't capitalize on home field and positive energy from the win in Ames, dropping to 1-1 in Big 12 play. However, the loss was an avoidable missed opportunity, as the team remains a work in progress, which is part of the deal. 

Now, an open weekend to regroup before a Thursday battle in Morgantown. One area in particular in need of attention before the trip? Special teams, which proved highly costly against the Cowboys. 

Up Next: OPEN

7. TEXAS TECH (L 37-28 @ #25 Kansas State) 

Make it five straight Top 25 opponents for the Red Raiders and two consecutive road trips, with Saturday in Stillwater marking Joey McGuire and crew's first Top 10 matchup. 

In the loss last weekend, Tech had four turnovers and allowed six sacks, as rumblings over the QB position continue to grow louder. Donovan Smith appears to be their best weapon, but the mistakes remain costly and have run him out of some favor. Elsewhere, the defense allowed nearly 400 yards rushing at an average of 8.8 yards per clip. Ouch. 

Given the program's schedule and high energy, I'm curious about how hot their battery runs before reaching the midway point. Regardless, another measuring stick for an evolving program. 

Up Next: @ #7 Oklahoma State // Saturday, 2:30 pm, FS1

8. OKLAHOMA (L 55-24 @ TCU) 

Norman, do we have a problem? Losing to K-State was one thing; getting drummed by TCU a week later is another crisis. The defense can't stop the run or really anything for that matter. Dillon Gabriel is hurt and potentially out of action. 

Scary territory for Venables and the Sooners, all while heading into OU-Texas of all weeks. Perhaps rivalry helps right the course, but the Longhorns have the firepower to further the humiliation.

Up Next: Cotton Bowl vs. Texas // Saturday, 11 am, ABC 

9. IOWA STATE (L 14-11 @ Kansas) 

The Cyclones avoided a shootout but couldn't prevent an awful loss at home. RB Jirehl Brock only got one carry before injury took him out, and overall the Cyclones could not run the ball or protect QB Hunter Dekkers, who was inconsistent in his own right. 

Despite the disappointing outcome, hosting K-State this weekend seems like a prime time to stop the run and play spoiler. 

Up Next: Home vs. #20 Kansas State // Saturday, 6:30 pm, ESPNU

10. WEST VIRGINIA (L 38-20 @ Texas) 

The Mountaineers were overwhelmed early in Austin and ultimately outclassed. It was a rough trip, made worse when RB CJ Donaldson got carted off after a hit to the head. An injury that's already ruled him out of next week's game against Baylor. 

Like the Bears, the timing is probably good for a breather. West Virginia is a little beat up after a tough early slate, but a prime opportunity looms at home next Thursday. 

Up Next: OPEN

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Big 12 Power Rankings Week 6: TCU making waves but the Pokes are on top

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