Big 12 football rankings: Texas ranks No. 1
Conference play is doing exactly what conference play is supposed to do in the Big 12. Tell us who the best teams are. Saturday was a great example.
Baylor is for real – or Iowa State is not. Or both. The Bears’ 23-21 victory over the Cyclones on Saturday in Waco, after Iowa State rallied from a 20-0 fourth-quarter deficit, gives Baylor a 4-0 record but its first win over a Power 5 Conference foe.
OSU is for real – or Kansas State is not, though the former is much more likely, since the Cowboys played tough in Austin, losing 36-30 a week earlier, and the Wildcats won at Mississippi State.
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So my Big 12 rankings have more clarity than when going strictly by non-conference (and often non-competitive) results. Remember, these rankings are based on who you played, where you played and how you did.
1. Texas 3-1: Why the Longhorns ahead of the Sooners? Because Texas has the better win (beating OSU trumps beating Texas Tech, Houston or UCLA), and the ‘Horns’ defeat, 45-38 at home against LSU, is impressive itself.
2. Oklahoma 4-0: The Sooners’ schedule doesn’t get any tougher – at Kansas this Saturday. That means OU will go into the Cotton Bowl having played the apparent two worst teams in the Big 12, one of the worst teams in the Pac-12, a disappointing team in Houston and a Division I-AA team in South Dakota.
3. Oklahoma State 4-1: The Cowboys looked good against K-State. Real good.
4. Baylor 4-0: What a game in Waco. Quarterback Charlie Brewer was great in the Bears’ game-winning drive to a field goal, converting three first downs – one with a pass, two with runs
5. Kansas State 3-1: In Stillwater, K-State didn’t look like the same team that pushed around Mississippi State in Starkville.
6. TCU 3-1: The Horned Frogs are becoming a Jekyll & Hyde team. Looked really good at Purdue, really bad against SMU, really good against Kansas.
7. West Virginia 3-1: The Mountaineers didn’t play this weekend but are about to step up in class. Texas comes to Morgantown.
8. Iowa State 2-2: The Cyclones still have the makings of a good team, and they have the gumption of a winner, rallying from that 20-0 deficit. But they better start winning, else this will turn into a lost season.
9. Kansas 2-3: Hmm. The old Jayhawks were back in Fort Worth, where it was 38-0 at halftime.
10. Texas Tech 2-2: The Red Raiders pretty clearly seem like the Big 12’s worst team. Non-competitive against OU, but also despondent against Arizona.