This rankings post got a lot more difficult this weekend. Unfortunately, both of the undefeated teams in the Big 12 lost. Texas Tech upset TCU. Oklahoma crushed Kansas. People watched Farmageddon. I was tempted to just put the Big 12 Refs at number one this week, but we all know they really belong in last place. Anyway, here’s some rankings of teams that can all beat each other (except you, Kansas).
10. Kansas Jayhawks
They couldn’t even muster a touchdown against OU. And their one win lost by 70-something points this weekend.
9. Iowa St. Cyclones
They petered along through the first three quarters and, counter to ISU’s #brand this year, came roaring back in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Clones, it was too little too late and they lost 31-26.
So the Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, TCU Horned Frogs, and Kansas State Wildcats are all in a mid-tier group of teams that can easily beat each other and can, on occasion, beat the better teams in the Big 12. Recency bias would have the Longhorns on top, though I hesitate to put them there because they have been poor most of the year. The Red Raiders won in overtime (at TCU!) and TCU did nearly lose to Kansas... Kansas State has been sneaky competent this year. At risk of giving TCU bulletin board material, I’m going to put the order as:
8. TCU Horned Frogs
7. Texas Longhorns
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (because Mahomes is fun and no one likes Texas and these rankings don’t matter)
5. Kansas State Wildcats
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Many people wrote off the Cowboys at the beginning of the year because of their loss-that-shouldn’t-have-been-a-loss to Central Michigan. As Baylor fans well know, this team is good in Stillwater, and it showed on Saturday when the Cowboys took down the Mountaineers. The Pokes have 75% of their remaining games on the road and they lost their only road game (Kansas doesn’t count), so we shall see how this team responds to the atmosphere outside of Boone Pickens. With only one conference loss, OSU is certainly in the hunt for the Big 12 title.
3. Baylor Bears
<lets out a very Peter-esque sigh>
That game sucked. It was like the 2014 West Virginia game and the Cotton Bowl all rolled in to one. I could sit here and type out an essay’s worth of words breaking down what went wrong, how awful the refereeing was, how Texas fans calling Baylor players and fans “rapists” is reprehensible... It wouldn’t do any good. Baylor lost, now they need to respond. The Bears have another rivalry game, this time at home, against a reeling team. Go beat TCU and remain in control of your Big 12 destiny.
2. West Virginia Mountaineers
I won’t lie, this game shocked me. The Mountaineers, who had been excellent on defense all year, let up 37 points. I had my concerns about their offense not being able to keep up against a better offense and it seems those concerns were somewhat validated; the ‘Eers actually outgained OSU by a healthy margin yet lost by 17 points. I think the three WVU turnovers did them in, especially since they could not force a single OSU turnover. The Mountaineers still get the best teams in the conference at home and still control their destiny.
1. Oklahoma Sooners
After a horrendous out-of-conference slate, the Sooners have been somewhat quietly fielding one of the best offenses in the country. Naturally, their game against Tech stands out as proof positive that their defense may not be able to handle spread offenses. That being said, if the Sooners can keep just a bit ahead in the horse race, a win is a win. They’ll face Baylor, WVU, and Oklahoma State within a four-week span to close the season, which certainly will not be easy. However, with zero conference losses, the Sooners have to be the favorites to win the Big 12 right now.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Michigan Wolverines
3. Clemson Tigers
4. Washington Huskies