Big 12 Power Rankings week 8: Defensive

Senior running back DeMarcus Robinson attempts to evade Oklahoma linebacker Dominique Alexander as he gains a few yards during the first quarter of the Wildcats' 31-30 upset of the Sooners on Oct. 18, 2014, at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

It was not a very good week for defensive performances as we see a new player crack the top ten.

1. Emmanuel Ogbah, defensive end, Oklahoma State (1)

Ogbah stays at number one after an eight-tackle performance with six of those being solo against West Virginia on Oct. 17. He was the only person in the top five who had a very good game, so he stays at one for yet another week.

2. Dominique Alexander, linebacker, Oklahoma (2)

It is hard to penalize the Oklahoma defense for not playing most of the second half against K-State; they simply weren’t needed in the 55-0 blowout win in Manhattan. When reading their stats, multiply them by at least two for a real reading on their performance. Alexander had two tackles on Oct. 17 and kept the Wildcat running game in check.

3. Eric Striker, linebacker, Oklahoma (3)

Striker also didn’t have much time to prove why he should stay up in the top 10, but I won’t penalize him for that. He had three tackles against K-State and will look to have more on Saturday against Texas Tech.

4. Dakota Allen, linebacker, Texas Tech (5)

Allen had a good game in Lawrence against Kansas on Oct. 17, securing four tackles in the win. Allen is very young and talented, and I won’t be surprised to see him move up the ranks in the next few weeks.

5. Andrew Billings, defensive tackle, Baylor (6)

Billings moves up one spot for the second straight week because of a great outing on Oct. 17 versus West Virginia. He had six tackles with five of them coming solo in the 24-point win.

6. Dale Pierson, defensive end, Iowa State (4)

Pierson dropped two spots this week after a lackluster losing effort against TCU with only three tackles, two of which were assisted. He will need a good performance this week to stay on the defensive leaderboard.

7. Fish Smithson, safety, Kansas (NR)

Smithson had 10 tackles on Oct. 17, but he is fourth in the Big 12 in total tackles on the season. He also had one interception in the loss to Texas Tech. Although Kansas has no wins this year, he is one bright spot on the team.

8. Shawn Oakman, defensive end, Baylor (7)

Oakman was not on his “A” game on Oct. 17, and he has not been at his best over the last three weeks. He had two tackles against West Virginia, which makes only six in that span. He needs to step up or he will be pushed off the board.

9. Nick Kwiatkoski, linebacker, West Virginia (9)

If Kwiatkoski has another good week he will probably jump into the top five of the leaderboard. He had six tackles on Oct. 17 and keeps playing better each week. He will be moving up quickly very soon.

10. Jordan Sterns, safety, Oklahoma State (10)

Oklahoma State had the week off, so Sterns will stay
at No. 10 on the leaderboard. I expect big things out of him on Saturday
when the Cowboys host Kansas inside Boone Pickens Stadium.