1. Oklahoma (2-2) (Last Week: 2) (Next: Texas)
Despite a 1-2 start to the season, Oklahoma is not going to go away easy. The Sooners rebounded on Saturday with a solid 52-46 win over TCU to start off their Big 12 slate. The defense did allow the Horned Frogs to throw for five touchdowns, so there are still holes to patch. But the Sooners are back in the driver’s seat.
2. Oklahoma State (3-2) (Last Week: 4) (Next: Iowa State)
The Cowboys seem to be jumping all around the power rankings right now. But after a 49-31 win over a talented Texas team, they might be here to stay. Junior quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for three touchdowns against the Longhorns and will likely have another solid outing this weekend against Iowa State.
3. Texas (2-2) (Last Week: 1) (Next: Oklahoma)
Texas is a tough team to gauge through four games. After an impressive win over Notre Dame to start the season, it seemed like the Longhorns were back to the Texas-of-old. Time will tell, as the Longhorns are 0-1 in the Big 12 and have a huge rivalry game this week against Oklahoma to avoid falling to 0-2.
4. West Virginia (4-0) (Last Week: 6) (Next: BYE)
West Virginia had its doubters after not being very tested throughout the nonconference schedule. The Mountaineers didn’t play fantastic in their 17-16 win over Kansas State, but 4-0 is 4-0. And until they drop one, they deserve some love in the power rankings.
5. Baylor (5-0) (Last Week: 3) (Next: BYE)
It’s true that a win is a win. But a 45-42 win over Iowa State on a last-second field goal is a win with an asterisk next to it. Iowa State is a bad football team. Really bad. And the Baylor Bears couldn’t blow the Cyclones out of the water on their own turf. The Bears might be 5-0, but they could face some big problems against the tougher teams in this conference.
6. Kansas State (2-2) (Last Week: 5) (Next: Texas Tech)
K-State looked like it might go into Morgantown, West Virginia, and steal a Big 12 win on the road. But conservative play in the second half and the inability to run an effective offense led to a blown 13-point lead and a 0-1 start in the Big 12. The Texas Tech defense on Saturday should give the Wildcats a chance to work out some of their offensive flaws.
7. TCU (3-2) (Last Week: 7) (Next: at Kansas)
The Horned Frogs, while losing to Oklahoma, showed they still have some offensive firepower this season. Junior quarterback Kenny Hill threw for 449 yards and five touchdowns. Very impressive. But even with that offense, you can’t give up 52 points and expect to win. TCU, much like some other teams in the Big 12, needs a defense.
8. Texas Tech (3-1) (Last Week: 8) (Next: at Kansas State)
Just pump the breaks on the Red Raiders. Sure, they are 3-1 and had a nice 55-19 win over Kansas. And sure, junior quarterback Patrick Mahomes II threw for four touchdowns. But it was against Kansas. Nobody out there should be buying stock in the Red Raiders unless they can win on Saturday in Manhattan.
9. Iowa State (1-4) (Last Week: 10) (Next: at Oklahoma State)
Just to clear the air, Iowa State is still not a good football team. The Cyclones might have taken Baylor down to the wire and even led the Bears for the majority of the game, but they are not good. The performance was likely just a flash-in-the-pan, so we’ll see how the Cyclones stack up against the Cowboys in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
10. Kansas (1-3) (Last Week: 9) (Next: TCU)
Has there ever been an easier scoring drive than what Texas Tech did for its first touchdown against the Jayhawks Thursday? Probably not. Fans were probably still filing into their seats when the Red Raiders reached the end zone. The Jayhawks have more than a few problems and fixing them is going to be tough.