Big 12 Week 9 Rankings
This past Saturday the Big XII gave us a Top-25 matchup that was definitely worth the watch, some close games, and even an upset! This next week there are a couple of interesting matchups in Texas at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma at Texas Tech. With four teams now ranked in the AP, polls expect the Big 12 to get more respect as the season continues. Here are my Big 12 Week 9 Rankings.
10. Kansas (0-5) (0-4 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 10th
Next Opponent: @ 23 Iowa State
Kansas continues to be one of the worst teams in College Football this season coming off of a 55-14 blowout handed to them by their in-state rivals Kansas State. The next three games are probably the worst stretch of games for any Big 12 team as they play 23rd ranked Iowa State, 24th ranked Oklahoma, and unranked Texas. From this point on Kansas, fans should only be watching for the few and far between high points of the football games, such as Pooka Williams Jr.'s kickoff return against WVU. But, if I were a KU fan I'd just wait for Bill Self to lead the Jayhawks to another successful basketball season because the next three games are going to be very hard to watch.
9. Baylor (1-2) (1-2 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 8th
Next Opponent: TCU
Baylor's only win this season was more a result of playing the worst team in the Power 5, Kansas, than any brilliance on their end. They lost to WVU in OT and stayed close with Texas this past weekend but they fall a spot in the rankings due to Texas Tech winning this weekend. Baylor has proven they can stay in games and can cause havoc on the defensive end mostly due to new Head Coach Dave Aranda being a former Defensive Coordinator. Baylor will look to grab another conference win and move to .500 on the season when TCU comes to the birthplace of Dr. Pepper in Waco. I think Baylor has a good chance of moving to 2-2 if they can stop TCU's very underrated QB Max Duggan.
8. TCU (1-3) (1-3 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 7th
Next Opponent: @ Baylor
So far this year, TCU has been playing under expectations with the only exception being a win in Austin against previously ranked Texas. That is their only win and I think they just caught the Longhorns off guard with them looking ahead to their matchup with Oklahoma the following week. TCU fell to Oklahoma 33-14 on Saturday and the defense didn't look very good with Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler throwing for 332 yards on only 13 completions. TCU is a very iffy team and I think they will struggle when they head to Waco this Saturday unless the defense can step up their game.
7. West Virginia (3-2) (2-2 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 6th
Next Opponent: 16 Kansas State
West Virginia looked better this week but fell short against Texas Tech after a drive late in the 4th quarter turned into a scoop-and-score for the Red Raiders defense to seal the game with a score of 34-27. The offense looked very good but most times when they got into TTU territory they were stopped by the Red Raider defense and were forced to punt or kick a FG. The defense, on the other hand, seemed to struggle in the first half, allowing 20 points and almost 250 yards of total offense. Unless the defense can step up big time, you can anticipate the Mountaineers to struggle when the ranked Kansas State Wildcats march into Morgantown on Saturday.
6. Texas Tech (2-3) (1-3 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 9th
Next Opponent: 24 Oklahoma
Texas Tech got the spark they were looking for on Saturday, upsetting West Virginia, 34-27. The defense was very successful stopping RB Leddie Brown, holding him to just 77 yards on the ground and only allowing 91 total rushing yards. The offense looked better than before because of the switch at QB to Henri Colombi who threw for only 169 yards and one touchdown but completed 22 out of 28 pass attempts. Texas Tech has had a rough schedule leading up to this point and has been close in every game they have played. Expect the momentum to continue and make the upcoming game against the Sooners a good one to watch. I'm not saying the Red Raiders will win but they will keep it close.
5. Texas (3-2) (2-2 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 5th
Next Opponent: @ 6 Oklahoma State
Texas showed that they have a lot of weaknesses on both offense and defense this past Saturday during a 27-16 win over a depleted Baylor team. RB Keaontay Ingram rushed for just 57 yards on 16 attempts Saturday proving that the run game is holding back the potential of this team. However, the defense actually stepped up this past game allowing only three points through the first three quarters before letting their guard down and allowing 13 points in the final quarter. This Texas team will need to tighten things up if they want to go into the loudest stadium in the Big 12 and get a win. I think QB Sam Ehlinger will struggle against one of the best pass defenses in the country on Saturday and Ingram will get a lot of touches as the Oklahoma State rush-defense was exposed by Iowa State RB Breece Hall last week. The defense will have a rough time stopping QB Spencer Sanders who loves to scramble. The last time Texas played a scrambling QB was a loss to TCU where QB Max Duggan ran for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
4. Oklahoma (3-2) (2-2 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 4th
Next Opponent: @ Texas Tech
Week after week, the Sooners continue to get better. Their latest win came this past Saturday in Ft. Worth where they beat TCU, 33-14. QB Spencer Rattler did something you don't see every day when he threw for over 300 yards on only 13 completions. The defense was stout and allowed just 14 points and 76 rushing yards. Oklahoma will head into Lubbock needing another confidence boost to try and elevate themselves into the Big 12 Conference Championship game. Expect the Sooners to get tested by the Red Raider defense but ultimately pull out the win by two or three scores.
3. Iowa State (3-2) (3-1 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 2nd
Next Opponent: Kansas
On Saturday Iowa State struggled offensively against one of the best defenses in the country in Oklahoma State, ultimately falling just short of another big conference win with a 24-21 loss. Although close, the score flatters the Cyclones who got a couple of fortunate calls leading to a late touchdown. But in reality, the Cyclones couldn't get anything going with the exception of Breece Hall's long touchdown run in the first half. The Cyclone defense was able to stop the Cowboy offense on some occasions but couldn't stop the run game of RB Chuba Hubbard and QB Spencer Sanders. Expect the Cyclones to bounce back and have a good game against the worst team in the Big 12.
2. Kansas State (4-1) (4-0 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 3rd
Next Opponent: @ West Virginia
Kansas State is proving every week that they are Big 12 Championship contenders with another win in conference play against Kansas for their 12th straight victory in the Sunflower Showdown. The Wildcats used this week to allow QB Will Howard to adjust to being the starter, replacing the injured Skylar Thompson. On Saturday, the Wildcats special teams were electric as a punt returner, Philip Brooks, returned, not one, but two punts for touchdowns. However, the defense was mediocre, allowing over 300 yards of total offense, but did manage to return an interception for a touchdown. Expect the Wildcats to encounter a tough test when they head to "Almost Heaven," West Virginia.
1. Oklahoma State (4-0) (3-0 Conf.)
Previous Rank: 1st
Next Opponent: Texas
Oklahoma State has passed the first of many tests this season as they overcame 17th ranked Iowa State, 24-21. The Cowboys were amazing on defense holding Cyclones' QB Brock Purdy to just 169 yards and one touchdown. And other than one or two mistakes by the Cowboy's secondary, the defense was almost perfect. OSU QB Spencer Sanders returned from his injury a little rusty, throwing two interceptions, but eventually settled down and showed that he can lead this team by throwing for 235 yards and running for another 71. RB Chuba Hubbard and WR Tylan Wallace returned to prime form with outstanding performances in Saturday's game. The Cowboys keep proving they are real threats for the CFP and will continue to prove it through the next four weeks with games against Texas, Kansas State, and Oklahoma. This Saturday expect the Cowboy defense to disrupt anything former Oklahoma State OC Mike Yurcich tries to run and expect the offense to continue to get better and score more points this week.
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