Big 12 Power Rankings

Nick Cremona

1. Oklahoma– While Landry Jones was able to connect with receiver Ryan Broyles for three touchdowns against Missouri last week, he also threw two interceptions. The Sooners were down by 11 points early in the game but were able to regain control and win by 10 points. The Sooners still remain the toast of the conference and should handle Ball State this week before the Red River Rivalry on Oct. 8 in Dallas.

2. Oklahoma State– The Cowboys were able to come back from a 17-point deficit at the half to defeat the SEC-bound Aggies. Three receivers hauled in 10 or more catches from Brandon Weeden, who threw a school-record 60 passes. The Cowboys are scary good on offense and even flashed some defense to move up to fifth in this week’s AP poll. Weeden and company will welcome Kansas to Stillwater this week.

3. Baylor– Robert Griffin has cemented his name among the serious Heisman candidates and has thrown more touchdowns than incompletions. Let that one sink in for a minute — he is red hot and so are the Bears. While their defense may not be the best, the Bears are scoring more than 50 points a game on offense and have the firepower to stay in any game. The Bears will open conference play this week in Manhattan, Kan.

4. Texas A&M– The Aggies weren’t able to win their big matchup against Oklahoma State but with much of the season left to be played they are still in contention for the Big 12 crown. The Cowboys were able to move the ball with ease against the Aggies in the second half and quarterback Ryan Tannehill was a completely different player for Texas A&M after halftime. The Aggies will have a shot at redemption against a good Arkansas team this week.

5. Texas– After a bye week the Longhorns will travel to Ames, Iowa, to play Iowa State. Texas is still very young and this will be another road test for the Longhorns. Cyclones quarterback Steele Jantz simply gets the job done and will have to be contained if Texas expects to win. How the Longhorns respond throughout this game could be very telling of how they will fare the rest of the season.

6. Kansas State– The Wildcats pulled out a tough road win against Miami last week to stay undefeated on the season. Quarterback Colin Klein is the team’s leading passer and rusher so the keys to their continued success remain in his hands- and feet. Baylor awaits this week in what is sure to be an exciting game as the Wildcat defense is giving up the seventh lowest points-per-game in the nation at 10.3.

7. Iowa State– Running back Shontrelle Johnson and receiver Darius Reynolds have helped take some of the pressure off of Steele Jantz and have turned in a surprisingly good season thus far. Jantz will rely on both Johnson and Reynolds once again this week with the Longhorns coming to town. The Longhorns will test the offensive line of the Cyclones as well as their depth on defense. This game has upset potential and the Cyclones will be ready to turn in their fourth-straight victory this season.

8. Missouri– The Tigers showed some moxie in staying with Oklahoma for a good portion of last week’s game, but couldn’t get it done when the game was on the line. Their defense continues to take hits with injuries and doesn’t look strong at the moment. Freshman quarterback James Franklin has played well despite his inexperience, but he isn’t getting much help from the rest of the offense. The Tigers face a tough road test this week against Kansas State.

9. Texas Tech– Nevada nearly left Lubbock with a victory, but a late touchdown pass by Seth Doege kept the Red Raiders undefeated for at least another week. It’s pretty clear that the Red Raider defense will struggle throughout this season. Offensively, Doege has tossed 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. He may be the lone bright spot on a team that is still trying to find its identity. They are still undefeated, but their wins haven’t come against the best teams. The Red Raiders play Kansas this week in a battle of the conference bottom-feeders.

10. Kansas– Opposing teams are hanging 44 points a game on the Jayhawks, and that number could rise this week against Texas Tech. The Jayhawks had a week to let their 66-24 defeat against Georgia Tech settle in and should be rested from all the running they did in that game. As far as offense goes, the Jayhawks can put up points as is evidenced by two consecutive 40-point performances to start the season. If nothing else, this week’s game against the Red Raiders will be interesting to watch.

Printed on September 30, 2011 as: Big 12 Power Rankings