Tramel: OSU remains No. 1 in Big 12 rankings
Kansas State’s 21-14 victory at TCU on Saturday created a clear tier in Big 12 football 2020.
Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Kansas State have a major edge on the rest of the conference in terms of making the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington.
Iowa State and Kansas State have two-game leads on OU, TCU and Texas, and both the Cyclones and Wildcats already have swept all but the Longhorns off that list.
Oklahoma State, which has been playing in a four-team pod that also includes Kansas, West Virginia and Baylor, has a much more difficult schedule upcoming but also doesn’t have the ignominy of losing to a Sun Belt Conference.
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So for now, OSU still ranks ahead of ISU and KSU. But we began this season believing the Cowboys had to go through OU and Texas to make the Big 12 title game for the first time ever. We now know that Iowa State and Kansas State are the chief competitors for the Cowboys to finish in the top of the league.
Here are the rankings:
1. Oklahoma State (3-0, 2-0): The Cowboys have navigated the early part of the season in the best possible manner, winning with defense and with freshman quarterback Shane Illingworth, while Spencer Sanders heals.
2. Iowa State (3-1, 3-0): If the Cyclones had just beaten Louisiana-Lafayette, ISU would be ranked about sixth in the nation. The highest the Cyclones ever have been ranked was ninth, for one week in 2003.
3. Kansas State (3-1, 3-0): Great win for K-State in Fort Worth, with quarterback Skylar Thompson injured. Freshman Will Howard quarterbacked the ‘Cats, and he was good enough, despite 8-of-19 passing for just 117 yards and an interception.
4. Oklahoma (2-2, 1-2): The Sooners are nothing if not entertaining. Three straight down-to-the-wire games.
5. TCU (1-2, 1-2): Horned Frog quarterback Max Duggan lit up Iowa State (in his only half) and Texas but was mostly pedestrian against Kansas State, completing 19 of 31 passes for 154 yards.
6. Texas (2-2, 1-2): Was anyone else alarmed at how few playmakers the Longhorns seemed to have against OU, other than quarterback Sam Ehlinger? UT had two plays. Throw the ball up and hope for a penalty, or let Ehlinger scramble.
7. West Virginia (2-1, 1-1): The Mountaineers get Kansas this week, so they should spend some time in the upper division. But can WVU stay?
8. Baylor (1-1, 1-1): Sure hope the Bears can get in their game against OSU on Saturday. Baylor stopped all football activities last week, due to COVID issues.
9. Texas Tech (1-3, 0-3): The Red Raiders are better. Overtime loss to Texas. Tight loss to Kansas State. Competitive loss to Iowa State. But still losses.
10. Kansas (0-3, 0-2): Playing the Jayhawks against appears to be a virtual bye.