Big 12 power rankings: TCU locks in top position


1) No. 4 TCU (10-1, 7-1) 48-10 win at Texas

(Last ranking: 1)

The Horned Frogs, barring a historic upset against the Cyclones in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, will have a shot at being in the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Horned Frogs are the Big 12’s best hope of reaching the championship and the hope falls squarely on the shoulders of junior quarterback Trevone Boykin.

Coming into the season he took criticism on his passing skill, but he has shown that he can be lethal in his passing attack. Boykin is averaging 295.8 passing yards per game and has gained over 3,000 total yards.

2) No. 5 Baylor (10-1, 7-1) 48-46 win vs. Texas Tech

(Last ranking: 2)

Baylor is on the outside looking in for the College Football Playoff, however, a win over K-State on Saturday in Waco, Texas would put the Bears in position if an upset were to take place. The Bears will need the victory to share the conference title with TCU, while also needing a top-four team, or a few, to lose in order to advance.

Coming into the final week of the regular season, senior quarterback Bryce Petty is the talk of the team. Having suffered a concussion in the shootout win against Texas Tech, Petty said he will most likely play in his final home game.

He is the play caller in the top-scoring offense in the conference, which averages 49.8 points per game. With the weapons the senior has around and behind him, the offense has all the firepower it needs to pour on the points.

3) No. 9 K-State (9-2, 7-1) 51-13 win vs. Kansas

(Last ranking: 3)

Coming off the throttling it put on the Jayhawks to win the Governors Cup, K-State has an opportunity to claim a share of the Big 12 title with a win against Baylor on Saturday.

With a deadly combination of quarterback Jake Waters and wide receiver Tyler Lockett, the Wildcats have all of the firepower they need to air it out when needed. Add in senior receiver Curry Sexton and the offense has some serious weapons to go up against the power offense of the Bears.

The defense is also key for the Wildcats and they will need to stay on their assignments if they hope to hang with Petty and company. The Wildcats are ranked first in the conference in total defense, allowing 341 yards per game.

4) No. 18 Oklahoma (8-3, 5-3) bye

(Last ranking: 6)

5) Texas (6-6, 5-4) 48-10 loss vs. TCU

(Last ranking: 4)

In Charlie Strong’s first season, the Longhorns finished the regular season bowl eligible. While the .500 record isn’t amazing, what they did with a re-worked roster was impressive. Strong has started to mold the roster into exactly what he wants and likes in a team. The team does have questions to answer, but that’ll come as they continue to form an identity. Their pass defense sets the tone, but the rest of the team needs to find a passion in order to win games.

6) West Virginia (7-5, 5-4) 37-24 win at Iowa State

(Last ranking: 5)

After stepping in for quarterback Clint Trickett in their loss to K-State, sophomore Skyler Howard has filled in admirably for the senior. With Trickett’s health in question for the bowl game, it’ll be interesting to see which direction head coach Dana Holgorsen turns for postseason competition. The offense has largely relied on a potent Trickett as he sits second in the Big 12 in total passing yards with 298.6 per game.

Senior wide receivers Kevin White and Mario Alford are a deadly combination, combining for 2,206 receiving yards. Alford has begun to pick up the slack that White has dropped. White has been the target of increased defensive presence since he exploded at the beginning of the season. Both receivers will need to have a big game in whichever bowl they get.

7) Texas Tech (4-8, 2-7) 48-46 loss vs. Baylor

(Last ranking: 7)

For the first time since the 2011 season, the Red Raiders finished the season outside of bowl eligibility. In his second season, head coach Kliff Kingsbury had a rocky road, losing multiple players to injuries and having to play a third-string quarterback.

Other than the injuries, their issues are on his shoulders. The way his team committed penalties was atrocious and the way it affected how his team performed was even worse. It directly reflected what kind of a coach he is.

8) Oklahoma State (5-6, 3-5) bye

(Last ranking: 8)

9) Kansas (3-9, 1-8) 51-13 loss at K-State

(Last ranking: 9)

The Jayhawks must find a coach before hitting its full offseason mode. Players have rallied around interim coach Clint Bowen, but with other star coaches getting let go within the last few weeks, options are open for Kansas to find a bigger name.

10) Iowa State (2-9, 0-8) 37-24 loss vs. West Virginia

(Last ranking: 10)

Again, the Cyclones lost in close fashion. This season has not gone anywhere close to what they wanted. With their season finished, this team will need to re-focus in order to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Emilio Rivera is a sophomore in mass communications.