Baylor's next opponent won't just be the best on our schedule to date, it could be the best left on our schedule, period. After a week that saw Oklahoma State rise to the top (of the non-Baylor part of the conference, anyway), the Sooners, owners of a shiny new #10 ranking in the BCS and coming off a home win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders, have now displaced them. The lead is small, and the two teams might switch again soon, but I feel confident in that arrangement. Texas Tech, the former #3, drops to #6 following the loss, making way for the hardest-charging team on the list: the Texas Longhorns. Their victory over the TCU Horned Frogs moved them to #5 in the conference, up from #7.
So here's the chart. Again, all numbers are courtesy of the metrics at FootballOutsiders.com
||Oklahoma State||Kansas State||Texas||Texas Tech||TCU||Iowa State||West Virginia||Kansas|
F+/ S&P+ /FEI
|5 / 2 / 7||29 / 29 / 32||31 / 24 / 21
||34 / 31 / 39||37 / 50 / 31||40 / 41 / 38
||50 / 44 / 55||65 / 67 / 64
||78 / 84 / 72||96 / 104 / 93|
|F/+ Special Teams
|O/D Categories||BU O||BU D||OU O||OU D||OSU O||OSU D||KSU O||KSU D||UT O||UT D||TT O||TT D||TCU O||TCU D||ISU O||ISU D||WVU O||WVU D||KU O||KU D|
|Std. Downs S&P+ Rk||3||39||21
|Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk||1||26||51||45
|Rushing S&P+ Rk||16||57
|Passing S&P+ Rk||1||37||33
All of the standard disclaimers and explanations apply. If I need to elaborate on anything in the chart, I'm more than happy to do so. You can also refer to the descriptions for each stat listed at FO in the link above.
Just like last week, I'll start by ranking the teams by F/+ to give us a conference lineup from top to bottom.
Big 12 Conference by F/+
(Last week's rank in parenthesis)
1. Baylor (1)
2. Oklahoma (4)
3. Oklahoma State (2)
4. Kansas State (5)
5. Texas (7)
6. Texas Tech (3)
7. TCU (6)
8. Iowa State (9)
9. West Virginia (8)
10. Kansas (10)
Generally, I have a pretty good idea how things are going to turn out when I start writing this post. That's how I knew OU would rise to second. What I didn't know is that between Baylor at #1 and Kansas at #10, every single team in the conference moved. Texas was the biggest positive mover, taking advantage of Tech's tumble. I'm somewhat surprised to see Kansas State in the 4 spot over the Longhorns, but it's really close. That whole section between OU at 29 in F/+ and Texas Tech at 40 is very tightly bunched. You could see more movement in that group this week, even with the #1 and #2 teams in the conference not playing. With Texas getting the Jayhawks, I could see them making another big jump upward.
Big 12 Offenses by F/+ (the combination of S&P+ and FEI)
2. Texas Tech
5. Kansas State
6. Oklahoma State
7. Iowa State
8. West Virginia
This list is almost identical to last week with the exception of ISU and WVU flipping spots. Again, we see 4 teams in TT, OU, UT, and KSU that are all very close to each other on offense (according to F/+), followed by Oklahoma State a little ways off and 4 more teams that would almost rather not have the ball.
Big 12 Defenses by F/+ (same)
1. Oklahoma State
5. Kansas State
7. West Virginia
9. Texas Tech
10. Iowa State
The first four in the list were all the same; the last 6 were not. At all. This is where Texas Tech took the biggest hit from the OU game, falling from 5th to 9th. They gave up too many explosive plays to OU, an offense that wasn't getting all that many previously, while simultaneously allowing the Sooners to sustain drives on their defense. OU put up 277 yards rushing out of their 526 total, and Tech may have been exposed a bit.
At the top, we have the same two teams in Oklahoma State and TCU that are basically all defense, no offense. That's particularly true in TCU, who is basically the anti-A&M this season in terms of how their team has played. If I wanted to make a poorly-reasoned argument, I might use the fact that A&M has two losses and TCU five as support for the idea that maybe defense isn't as important as everyone says to simply winning games. But that would be crazy.
Baylor: Another week, another incremental rise in defensive efficiency, albeit against the worst offense in the conference. Baylor is now ranked 11th in defensive S&P+, our highest ranking since this blog has existed without a doubt and probably our highest ranking ever. With OU, who may have found itself a bit on offense this past week, coming into town in 10 days, this may be our zenith. Still, Baylor is clearly the best team in the conference with the #1 offense and #3 defense and matches up fairly well with everyone we play the rest of the way.
Oklahoma: Speaking of Oklahoma, the Sooners are now the #2 team in the conference by a very small margin after their win over Texas Tech this week. They are fairly well balanced on offense and defense by FEI, slightly less so by S&P+, which likes their offense more than the defense. The number that jumps out at me from this is their defensive rating against the rush. That could be a problem for them against each of their last 4 opponents, particularly Baylor and OSU.
Oklahoma State: Gets rewarded for its win in Ames by moving down one spot in the conference F/+ rankings. They're still close, though, as I've said repeatedly. They'll get the chance against Texas Tech in Lubbock this weekend to try to earn that spot back, and I expect them to take it. They probably won't pass on the Red Raiders, but I bet they run to at least moderate success. Texas Tech, in turn, probably won't run against OSU's surprisingly stout defense and will have to rely on whichever freshman QB starts to beat the Cowboys. The good news for Tech is that you can sustain methodical drives through the air on OSU, and that's Tech's bread and butter.
Kansas State: You don't go into Manhattan expecting to play your game, West Virginia. You'll play Snyder's game and like it. Their defense is marching up the ranks, the offense is much more balanced (in terms of what it does well, not what it does) than I expected, and the Wildcats will get their chance to jump up and bite both Texas Tech and Oklahoma in coming weeks. They play ISU this weekend.
Texas: Throttled TCU's lifeless offense and rose as a result. Still not getting a ton of love by F/+, mostly because S&P+ is extremely skeptical of that defense. Texas will get its chance to prove them wrong with both of the best offenses in the conference still on the schedule.
Texas Tech: I'm sorry. You didn't deserve to fall that far, even if I thought OU was clearly the better team Saturday. That pass defense is a problem, Red Raiders, and you still haven't played 3 of the top 4 non-Tech offenses in the conference.
TCU: I predicted a week ago that Texas would absolutely kill TCU, and they did. TCU is less offensive than an auditorium full of Canadians.
Iowa State: Jumped up a spot for reasons I don't entirely understand. Probably loses to Kansas State this weekend, because it's in Manhattan and see Kansas State.
West Virginia: Really falling apart in Morgantown these days. Your defense isn't bad at all, but the offense is almost TCUian.
Kansas: Basketball is coming.