Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 9

Kaitlyn Harmon, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the October 29 Double Coverage flipbook.

1. Oklahoma Sooners

The Oklahoma Sooners are ranked No. 4 in the nation, behind SEC powerhouses Georgia and Alabama. Heading into Week 9, the Sooners are 8–0 on the season and are well on their way to a potential playoff run. After benching starting quarterback Spencer Rattler, freshman Caleb Williams has taken the reins of the Oklahoma offense, tallying 787 yards and eight touchdowns in just five games. The Sooners offense is averaging 41.5 points per game and has a 70% fourth down conversion rate. Oklahoma has struggled on the defensive side of the ball and could face a major shakeup in its hopeful playoff run with future opponents in ranked Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State programs to close out the season.

2. Baylor Bears

Ranked 16th nationally, a 6–1 Baylor team is making an impressive case for itself as the Big 12’s No. 2. The Bears have collected 418 total tackles and 17 sacks on the season. Heading into Week 9, Baylor has secured four victories with a more than 10-point finish. Starting quarterback Gerry Bohanon has accounted for 1,563 yards over the course of five games and a completed passing rating of 65.9%. The Baylor running game has a combined 1,675 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. The Bears are in search of being bowl eligible for consecutive seasons for the first time since 2015 and 2016.

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Oklahoma State Cowboys find themselves entering Week 9 with a 6–1 record with one loss coming to Iowa State in Week 8. The Pokes are ranked No. 15 in the nation and have accounted for 1,499 total passing yards and 1,123 total rushing yards. Under head coach Mike Gundy, the Cowboys have 440 total tackles on the season and are in a comfortable position for a bowl game with remaining opponents in Kansas, West Virginia, TCU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

4. Texas Longhorns

Ranked third in the nation for total rushing yards, sophomore running back Bijan Robinson is a defining piece of the Texas team. The 4–3 Longhorns have faced a heavier schedule than other Big 12 opponents with a tough matchup against Arkansas in Week 2 and have endured a change at the quarterback position. The Texas defense has 512 total tackles on the season — almost 100 more than ranked Baylor and Oklahoma State. Texas is putting up numbers and showcasing talent but is having a hard time getting the job done. The Longhorns will finish the season fighting for a bowl game.

5. Iowa State Cyclones

With senior quarterback Brock Purdy under center, the Cyclones have a collective 1,812 total passing yards on the season, the fourth-most comparable to the Sooners’ 2,188 total passing yards. With the run-pass option, the Cyclones are 5–2 on the season and have 1,190 yards on the ground — fifth in the Big 12. The Iowa State defense has accounted for 439 total tackles on the season, and faces future opponents in West Virginia, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and TCU.

6. Texas Tech Red Raiders

News released Monday relayed the firing of Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells, calling the rest of the Red Raiders’ 5–3 season into question. The Texas Tech offense has favored the air over the ground, and quarterbacks Henry Colombi and Tyler Shough have combined for 2,156 total passing yards. Tech has allotted the fourth-most yards on defense and has struggled with the secondary. What happens next to the Red Raiders is unknown with remaining opponents in ranked Oklahoma, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Baylor teams.

7. TCU Horned Frogs

The Horned Frogs are searching for just their second conference win come Saturday against Kansas State. With a 1–3 conference record and a 3–4 overall record, head coach Gary Patterson and team rank fourth in total offensive yards but fifth in receiving yards. The Horned Frogs have struggled closing out wins at home and on the road, and have struggled covering the run-pass option against other Big 12 opponents.

8. West Virginia Mountaineers

With a win over the Horned Frogs on the road, the Mountaineers are 3–4 overall and 1–3 in conference play. In the Big 12, West Virginia ranks seventh in total offensive yards with 2,753 yards on the season. Senior quarterback Jarret Doege has accounted for 1,701 of West Virginia’s offensive yards and ties 38th nationally in passing yards.

9. Kansas Jayhawks

The Kansas Jayhawks are 0–4 in Big 12 play and 1–6 on the season. Kansas was almost convincing in pulling off an upset against Oklahoma in Week 8, but ultimately lost 23-35. The Jayhawks defense has 441 total tackles on the season, but has struggled to keep opponents within a touchdown or two, giving up the most yards on defense of any Big 12 team.

10. Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State is 1–3 in conference play and 4–3 overall on the season, but have only allocated 22 touchdowns and 1,465 passing yards. While the Wildcats utilize the run-pass option and are fourth in the Big 12 for total defensive yards given up, Kansas State simply has not been able to provide convincing enough performances to be worthy of a better position.