Big 12 power rankings: Oklahoma’s grip on conference grows tighter

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1) No. 4 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0) (Last week: 1), 45-33 win at West Virginia

Taking on their first true road test of the season, the Sooners managed to shake off a rough start to take down the Mountaineers in one of the toughest places to play in the conference.

In the first half, it looked like the Sooners could be heading toward a repeat of the game in Morgantown, West Virginia two seasons ago, in which had they scored the go-ahead touchdown with seconds left in the game.

With sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight having one of the worst games of his career, Samaje Perine looked unstoppable out of the backfield. The true freshman gained 242 yards on 34 carries, while tallying four touchdowns. He is on his way to being one of the premier running backs in the conference.

2) No. 7 Baylor (3-0) (Last week: 2), Bye week

3) No. 20 K-State (2-1, 1-0) (Last week: 3), 20-14 loss vs. No. 5 Auburn

In what was one of the biggest games in program history, the Wildcats threw away too many opportunities as they had three turnovers and three missed kicks.

Junior place kicker Jack Cantele had easily the worst game of his short career. Even though the snaps and holds on his missed opportunities didn’t give him the best shot at making the attempts, the blame for those misses falls on his shoulders.

The offense also seemed to be allergic to scoring within the red zone. The Tigers’ SEC style of defense came together when the Wildcats approached the goal line.

The defense played their best defensive half of the season during the first half and kept the game winnable throughout all 60 minutes.

4) No. 24 Oklahoma State (2-1) (Last week: 4), Bye week

5) TCU (2-0) (Last week: 6), Bye week

6) West Virginia (2-2, 0-1) (Last week: 5), 45-33 loss vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

In what could’ve been a huge win for an upstart Mountaineer team, almost all momentum disappeared as the fourth quarter began in their home stadium. Dating back to last season, West Virginia has lost four straight Big 12 games.

What their record doesn’t allude to is that their senior play-caller, Clint Trickett, is one of the few elite passers in college football. Trickett has passed for 1,600 yards this season, a mark that is second in the nation. Sitting at a 72 percent completion average, he is also sixth in the nation in that category.

Trickett’s ability to sling the ball into tight windows keeps the Mountaineers competitive, but when he has an off game – like the two interceptions he threw against the Sooners – his team barely has a shot to survive.

7) Texas Tech (2-1) (Last week: 7), Bye week

8) Iowa State (1-2, 0-1) (Last week: 8), Bye week

9) Kansas (2-1) (Last week: 10), 24-10 win vs. Central Michigan

After a humiliating 41-3 loss at Duke on Sept. 13, the Jayhawks answered back with a much-needed win against the Chippewas. This win marked the second-straight season that head coach Charlie Weis’ team has started the season 2-1.

Their win against Central Michigan, who has been bowl eligible for the last two seasons, is a step in the right direction for Weis and his team. They start their Big 12 slate in a very winnable game against the Longhorns in Lawrence this weekend.

10) Texas (1-2) (Last week: 9), Bye week

After junior quarterback David Ash had to give up his shoulder pads for good with yet another concussion, the Longhorns’ season looks clouded with doubt and uncertainty. Sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoops is 0-2 while at the helm of his offense, but has put up decent memories. He has been sacked five times in only two games, which could indicate issues with his meshing with the offensive line.

Emilio Rivera is a sophomore in journalism.

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