Week 5 Big 12 Power Rankings

Kaitlyn Harmon, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the October 1 Double Coverage flipbook.

1. Oklahoma

Under head coach Lincoln Riley and an offense led by potential Heisman Trophy quarterback Spencer Rattler, the Sooners are booming in the Big 12. Yet, in a close victory to West Virginia in Week 4, Oklahoma and Riley sealed the deal with a game-winning field goal to advance to 4–0 for the season. Ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll, the Sooners claiming the No. 1 spot within the Big 12 is no surprise with Rattler already claiming 1,000 passing yards heading into Week 5. The Oklahoma defense has accumulated 275 tackles and 14 sacks through four games, clearly making OU a threat to any opponent.


2. Oklahoma State

The Cowboys, ranked 19th in the AP Poll, head into Week 5 with 12 touchdowns and 1,491 total yards. Against easier opponents in Missouri State, Tulsa and Boise State, head coach Mike Gundy and team are 4–0, yet the four losses hardly came without any tribulation. Three of the Cowboys’ last four matchups came within a touchdown, making the case that Oklahoma State might be overrated. Still, a win is a win, and as the Cowboys prepare for Big 12 play, opponents will have to prepare to face a defense that has kept opponents below four touchdowns.


3. Baylor

For the first time since the 2019 season, Baylor is 4–0. The Bears have found success through the air with 871 passing yards to boot as they face Oklahoma State on Saturday. Junior quarterback Gerry Bohanon has created a 73.3% completion rate for himself and seven touchdowns in just his first season as the starting man under center. Senior running back Abram Smith has rushed for 413 yards and five touchdowns in his four games, giving the Baylor offense a viable running option.


4. Texas

With a loss to Arkansas in Week 2, Texas pleads a tougher case, but an impressive 70-point win over Texas Tech last Saturday gives the Longhorns credibility. With 1,950 yards of total offense averaging 487.5 yards per game, head coach Steve Sarkisian’s offensive schemes have clearly made a difference for Texas. The Longhorn defense has accounted for 290 tackles and nine sacks as the Longhorns head into Week 5 to face TCU. A Saturday morning showdown on Oct. 9 against the Sooners will either prove Texas’ legitimacy or Oklahoma’s Big 12 reign.


5. West Virginia

The Mountaineers held the Sooners to just 13 points until the very end of the fourth quarter last Saturday. For an Oklahoma offense that averages 444 yards per game, West Virginia held Riley and Rattler all night long. Starting quarterback Jarret Doege leads the Mountaineers with 889 passing yards and six touchdowns, and the West Virginia defense has carried the Mountaineers to a 2–2 start with 280 tackles and 14 sacks.


6. TCU

Facing their first conference matchup of the season, the Horned Frogs are 2–1 heading into Saturday’s meeting with the Longhorns. Junior quarterback Max Duggan and head coach Gary Patterson have crafted an offense that utilizes the run-pass option. Duggan has connected with 10 different receivers over the course of three games, making the TCU receiving corps stacked and ready to conquer any defense. Yet, the Horned Frog’s wins came against unimpressive teams, and Saturday’s matchup against Texas will either prove or disprove TCU’s identity this season.


7. Iowa State

Winless in conference play, the Cyclones struggled to gather a victory over Baylor in Week 4. With a close matchup to Iowa in Week 2, Iowa State needs to find a consistent source of momentum as the Cyclones head into Big 12 play in the weeks to come. The Cyclones are currently 2–2 with alternating wins and losses up until Week 5.


8. Texas Tech

Any defense that allows an opponent to put up 70 points is one that needs tending to. Allowing 639 yards of total offense last Saturday, the Red Raiders’ loss to the Longhorns is an embarrassing one. On the offensive side of the ball, Texas Tech has a 38% third down conversion rate and struggled to limit Texas’ time of possession.


9. Kansas State

Also winless in conference play, Kansas State struggled in Week 4 to make key plays. The Wildcats produced a 16% third down conversion rate and could not hold Oklahoma State’s time of possession last Saturday. Under head coach Chris Klieman, Kansas State only has 1,382 total yards of offense throughout the span of four games.


10. Kansas

The Jayhawks are lagging in 10th place in Big 12 play with only one win this season. Kansas has averaged 19.8 points per game and barely capped off a win against South Dakota in Week 1. The Jayhawks are currently headed into Week 5 play against Iowa State with a three-streak loss and a defense that has continuously allowed over 250 yards in offense each game.