Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 14

Nick Cremona

1. Oklahoma State
There was no game for the Cowboys this week, instead in was spent in preparation for what may pan out to be one of the biggest games in school history. At No. 3 in the BCS rankings, the Cowboys are on the precipice of a national title berth. It’s a likely scenario that if LSU were to lose to Georgia that the Cowboys could slide to No. 2, or even if they can pull off a convincing victory against the Sooners this week. Bedlam is a must-watch.

2. Oklahoma
The Sooners were able to fend off upset-minded Iowa State in their last game and remain in the BCS top-10. With a win against the rival Cowboys, the Sooners would get an at-large bid to a BCS bowl to cap off an up-and-down year. Junior quarterback Landry Jones and the rest of the Sooners have every right to believe they can win this week’s game against the Cowboys. It will be a de facto conference championship game although bragging rights will be on the line as well.

3. Baylor
Quarterback Robert Griffin III and a number of other Bears, as well as Red Raiders, were injured when their heads slammed the questionably hard turf at Cowboys Stadium last weekend. Even after their star quarterback and then starting running back Terrance Ganaway went down with concussions, the Bears were in good hands. Senior wide receiver Kendall Wright hauled in two touchdown passes, one from Griffin and another from junior backup Nick Florence.

4. Kansas State
The Wildcats had the week off after squeezing out a win in Austin a week ago but now they’re gearing up for their final regular season game against Iowa State. The Cyclones have shown that they can stick around if they want to so the Wildcats should be wary of the upset bug. If the Wildcats win and the Sooners lose in Bedlam they could be selected as a BCS at-large so there’s definitely still something to play for. A big game from junior quarterback Collin Klein could be a nice little introduction to NFL scouts.

5. Texas
Say what you want about the offensive ineptitude of the Longhorns at various points this year, but they have had some gutsy wins that need to be credited. Last week’s temporary series finale of the Lonestar Showdown was another one of such wins. Last year’s Longhorns probably wouldn’t have won that game. Currently at .500 in Big 12 play, Texas has an outside shot at a Cotton Bowl bid. However, they’ll have to get past Baylor this weekend for that to be possible.

6. Missouri
The Tigers wrapped their regular season up with last Saturday’s 24-10 win over Kansas. The game was the 120th edition of the Border War between the two schools. Like the game between Texas and Texas A&M, this annual rivalry will end with the Aggies and Tigers moving to the SEC next year. The Tigers won four out of their last five games to finish the year and are looking at a probable New Era Pinstripe Bowl appearance.

7. Texas A&M
The final game in the UT/A&M rivalry until at least 2018 could not have been scripted any more perfectly. After an early lead that even held over to halftime, the Aggies practically threw the game away as senior quarterback Tannehill threw two costly picks in the second half. Texas didn’t necessarily expose the Aggies’ weak secondary, but it’s still there and any team they face in the postseason has the opportunity to beat the Aggies through the air.

8. Texas Tech
Well, the Red Raiders almost left Jerry World with a win. After it seemed as if they caught a break with RGIII not returning to the field in the second half, Nick Florence decided to make an appearance. The junior was under the impression he was redshirting this season, but his redshirt was burned after the Bears felt the heat from the Red Raiders quick-scoring offense. It proved to be an effective choice as the Red Raiders didn’t have an answer for him or running back Terrance Ganaway, who rushed for 246 yards.

9. Iowa State
The Cyclones forced four turnovers against the Sooners last week, but they also coughed up the ball four times as well. Not a good recipe for a win. The Cyclones just aren’t talented enough on offense this year to be contenders in the Big 12. Give freshman quarterback Jared Barnett some time, and maybe add a couple more skill players around him and this offense will be much better off. Head coach Paul Rhoads seems to have guys buying into his philosophy and is on the right track. They’re still bowl eligible, too.

10. Kansas
It’s safe to say the Jayhawks were just glad to get this season over with last week. They capped off their year with a 24-10 loss to long-time rival Missouri. There just didn’t appear to be much pride or hard work surrounding the Kansas program this year. The defense was atrocious while the offense showed many bright spots, just not enough to make up for the other side of the ball. Head coach Turner Gill was fired this week after just his second year at the helm. Now the search for the next victim, I mean coach, begins.