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The LGG 2016 Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 10

With just four weeks left in the season, week 9 upsets have shaken up the power rankings.

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After three weeks of very little movement in the power rankings, three upsets in week 9 have provided a shake up. TCU is in a free fall, Texas Tech made a decent jump, and is there a new number one following West Virginia’s loss? Let’s look at week 10’s power rankings!

—– The Basement —–

10. KANSAS JAYHAWKS

PREV RANK: 10
RECORD: 1-7 (0-5)
WEEK 9: Lost to Oklahoma, 3-56

Kansas is clearly a different team at home than they are on the road. They were run out of the stadium in Norman. When they play in Lawrence though, their defense can send opposing fans to the liquor cabinet. They just lack the killer instinct needed to actually pull off an upset. However, the Jayhawks still have Iowa State on the schedule and they get the Cyclones on home turf, so a second win isn’t out of the question just yet.

9. IOWA STATE CYCLONES

PREV RANK: 9
RECORD: 1-7 (0-5)
WEEK 9: Lost to K-State, 26-31

Iowa State has now played Baylor, Oklahoma State and Kansas State close. Their offense took until the fourth quarter to get going against the Wildcats, but when it did, they were able to make some things happen. however, lose by five or lose by 55, it doesn’t matter. Losing is losing.

—– Tier 3 —–

8. TCU HORNED FROGS

PREV RANK: 5
RECORD: 4-4 (2-3)
WEEK 9: Lost to Texas Tech, 27-24

TCU is the biggest loser of the week, and not in a let’s-celebrate-them-getting-skinny kind of way. This season has been a disaster for the Horned Frogs. It’s time to roll with quarterback Foster Sawyer, get him some experience and at least get something out of this lost year.

7. TEXAS LONGHORNS

PREV RANK: 7
RECORD: 4-4 (2-3)
WEEK 9: Beat Baylor, 35-34

Last week I said that the Longhorns were more in danger of moving down the rankings than they were in moving up. A big win over Baylor doesn’t change that. Mostly because we were never sure just who the Bears were this year, and if you’re Texas, does it really matter where you’re ranked if you aren’t a contender?

6. TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS

PREV RANK: 8
RECORD: 4-4 (2-3)
WEEK 9: Beat TCU, 27-24

In a surprising twist, the Red Raiders got a much-needed win over the Horned Frogs by the help of their defense. When was the last time an opposing team benched their starting quarterback against the Texas Tech? Now, TCU’s offense isn’t nearly as good as the yardage would have you believe, but while coach Kliff Kingsbury’s seat isn’t as hot as coach Charlie Strong’s, it can’t be comfortable. So, any sign of improvement is welcomed in Lubbock.

—– Tier 2 —–

5. KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

PREV RANK: 6
RECORD: 5-3 (3-2)
WEEK 9: Beat Iowa St, 31-26

After leading the Cyclones 31-10 to start the fourth quarter, the game ended a little too close for comfort for the Wildcats. But a win is a win, and Coach Bill Snyder is now just two away from 200, while the Wildcats are just one win away from becoming bowl eligible. With Kansas still on the schedule, there’s a good chance K-State picks up that needed win, and if this is the Purple Wizard’s final ride, what better way to end it than with a chance at number 200?

4. BAYLOR BEARS

PREV RANK: 2
RECORD: 6-1 (3-1)
WEEK 9: Lost to Texas, 34-35

The Longhorns took a page from Oklahoma State and went right after Baylor’s lack of depth. It worked. The bears were exposed by Longhorn running back D’Onta Foreman, and their schedule isn’t going to get any easier with Oklahoma, Kansas State and West Virginia left to play. All of which can run the ball. I’m not sure if they lose their final six games like I boldly predicted before the season, but it looks like there is at least a couple of losses in there.

—– The Contenders —–

3. OKLAHOMA SOONERS

PREV RANK: 4
RECORD: 6-2 (5-0)
WEEK 9: Beat Kansas, 56-3

The Big 12 is now a three-way race, and many have the Sooners out in front. I’m not saying they can’t win the conference, they clearly can, but I can’t make them the favorite just yet. The Oklahoma defense has looked respectable against two teams, UL Monroe and Kansas, neither of which have an offense worth a lick. Moving forward, not only does the secondary have to show they aren’t complete garbage, the defensive line has to figure out a way to make it work after being decimated by injuries and player suspensions. They say defense win championships. If that’s true, Oklahoma is in real trouble in the Big 12. No matter how ridiculously good their offense is.

2. OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS

PREV RANK: 3
RECORD: 6-2 (4-1)
WEEK 9: Beat West Virginia, 37-20

The Cowboys beat the Mountaineers, and they should be favored the rest of the way up until the final game of the season in Norman. So why aren’t they favored? Because, while they beat WVU, and deserved to beat WVU, turnovers changed the game. The Cowboys offense struggled against the Mountaineer defense, and if it weren’t for only needing 21 yards to pick up 17 points, I doubt OSU wins that game. Let’s also not forget that the Pokes already have two losses, and will have to get by Oklahoma in Norman. For those reasons they aren’t the favorite just yet. However, should OSU get by OU, and WVU win out, the Cowboys would win the tie break and the conference.

1. WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS

PREV RANK: 1
RECORD: 6-1 (3-1)
WEEK 8: Lost to OK State, 20-37

The Mountaineers retain their number one ranking following a loss. Crazy right? No. What’s crazy is the backwards logic that says because a team recently fell from the unbeatens they are now somehow worse than teams that already have two losses. West Virginia is still the most complete team in the Big 12. And while the road to win the conference now goes through Norman, the Sooner’s road goes through Morgantown. Skyler Howard needs to put a bad game behind him, but the Mountaineers still have a solid resume, still have the best Big 12 defense and still are the most likely Big 12 champion at this point.

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