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Baylor Football

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 13: Everything is Almost Sorted

November 24, 2022

TCU is one step away from regular season perfection, Kansas State is one step away from a rematch in Arlington, and Texas is one win and an upset away from sneaking into the title picture. Elsewhere, eight of ten conference teams will officially go bowling this season. In contrast, the year comes to a close for both Iowa State and West Virginia. 

Here are my Big 12 Power Rankings entering the final week of the regular season. 

1. TCU (11-0, 8-0)

W 29-28 @ Baylor 

The Frogs weren’t the best team in Waco for most of last Saturday, but they were the better team when it mattered the most. Their win over rival Baylor was an instant classic, and amidst a sea of opportunities, TCU is now one win away from a perfect regular season. Max Duggan deserves a seat at the Heisman ceremony in New York. But, they need to be careful against a Cyclones team that stinks on offense but can muck a game up and keep it low scoring with their top ten nationally ranked defense. 

Up Next: Home vs. Iowa State // Saturday, 3:00 pm, FOX

2. KANSAS STATE (8-3, 6-2) 

W 48-31 @ West Virginia

K-State survived the uncertain challenge that can be a trip to Morgantown, WV, although the game wasn’t without some wackiness. The Wildcats led 28-19 after a points explosion in the first quarter, where both teams nabbed pick sixes. By halftime, it was 41-25 K-State. And then the brakes slammed on the points train, with the ‘Cats outscoring the ‘Eers in the second half 7-6, and both team’s touchdowns occurring in the 4th quarter. The next step is clear, a 14th straight win over rival Kansas at home on Saturday, and they’ll face TCU in the Big 12 Championship game next week in Arlington. 

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

3. TEXAS (7-4, 5-3) 

W 55-14 @ Kansas 

The Longhorns ran all over a porous Jayhawks defense and gave Kansas no hope of another historic upset or stereotypical second-half UT collapse. Bijan Robinson was sensational with a 200+ yard, four touchdown career day that saw him resting almost the entire second half, and young back Jonathon Brooks also hit career-highs with 100+ yards and two touchdowns. The defense continues to have some decisive moments. Getting to 8-4 with a win over Baylor and a chance at nine would mark a successful step up in results under Sark in year three. Texas is a heavy favorite heading into Black Friday against the Bears. 

Up Next: Home vs. Baylor // Friday, 11:00 am, ESPN


4. BAYLOR (6-5, 4-4) 

L 29-28 vs. #4 TCU 

The Bears had the game plan and opportunities but not the execution needed to pull off the epic upset of rival TCU. The agony of defeat was in full view on Senior Day, and many are wondering how this team will again respond to a fresh coat of adversity. Previously, they’ve proven resilient and capable of winning fights on the road. The Bears could use a win in the worst way and the difference in 7-5 by beating Texas and what comes with that versus 6-6, losing to Texas, etc., feels massive for the spirits of the program’s faithful. 

Up Next: @ #23 Texas // Friday, 11:00 am, ESPN

5. OKLAHOMA STATE (7-4, 4-4) 

L 28-13 @ Oklahoma 

To their credit, the Pokes didn’t surrender a point after getting overwhelmed 28-0 in the first quarter. But they also only scored 13 points off one touchdown on the night, as Spencer Sanders racked up tons of yards but threw four interceptions. Over the last month, his injury did a number on their conference title hopes. The Cowboys are 6-0 at home this season. Yeah, they lost to OU, but it was a tale of the first quarter, and there’s a good shot to finish 8-4.  

Up Next: Home vs. West Virginia // Saturday, 11:00 am, ESPN2

6. TEXAS TECH (6-5, 4-4)

W 14-10 @ Iowa State

Joey McGuire and the Red Raiders are going bowling in year number one, a significant accomplishment and selling tool for the new program. In another milestone, Tech notched their first road win of the year as QB Tyler Shough’s fourth-quarter touchdown toss proved enough to earn an ugly defensive win in Ames. In other news, soon-to-be first-round NFL pick Tyree Wilson’s career in Lubbock is over due to injury and pro prep. Now, the Red Raiders host an average-at-best Oklahoma team for a night game and perhaps win number seven. It hasn’t been a stress-free first season for McGuire, but lots of things have broken well for them to sell and build on. 

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

7. OKLAHOMA (6-5, 3-5)  

W 28-13 vs. #22 Oklahoma State

The Sooners overwhelmed their Bedlam rival in the first quarter thanks to turnovers. However, they scored zero points for the remainder of the game, although they still managed to hold off the Cowboys for a much-needed win and bowl eligibility. Brent Venables and staff will certainly take it, but that victory was not without plenty of frustrations over the final three quarters. With a comfortable lead, OU’s offense couldn’t run the ball and churn clock, much to the disappointment of their fanbase. 

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


8. KANSAS (6-5, 3-5) 

L 55-14 vs. Texas 

Quarterback Jalon Daniels made his much-anticipated return against UT, but he doesn’t play defense nor stop the run. And unfortunately, he didn’t spark the offense much either in his first action six weeks removed from a shoulder injury. The Jayhawks were down 31-0 at the half and never stood much chance, but they shouldn’t need to look far for motivation in the upcoming Sunflower Showdown. An opportunity to ruin rival K-State’s Big 12 title dreams. 

Up Next: @ #12 Kansas State // Saturday, 7:00 pm, FOX 

9. WEST VIRGINIA (4-7, 2-6) 

L 48-31 vs. #15 Kansas State

The Mountaineers gave sophomore Garrett Greene the start over JT Daniels with a top-15 opportunity at home. In his first career start, Greene showed some good and bad, as expected, but the ‘Eers needed more than 14 points from the second quarter onward to pose any real challenge. With the loss, any hopes of a bowl game are officially kaput, so this week’s trip to Stillwater is this team’s swan song. The big questions now surround who the AD hires and how that person approaches Neal Brown’s head coaching status. 

Up Next: @ Oklahoma State // Saturday, 11:00 am, ESPN2

10. IOWA STATE (4-7, 1-7)  

L 14-10 vs. Texas Tech 

A season of frustration continues as Matt Campbell’s defensively-superb Cyclones can’t overcome their offensive deficiencies. This team has a Top 15 defense in the country entering the final week of the regular season but won’t make a bowl game. However, beating #4 TCU might be more significant than some random bowl win. Six of their seven losses are by one score so ISU can frustrate Duggan and company in Fort Worth, but can they score enough? Probably not. 

Up Next: @ #4 TCU // Saturday, 3:00 pm, FOX

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