Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 12

Kaitlyn Harmon, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the November 19 Double Coverage flipbook.

1. Baylor Bears

After an astonishing victory over No. 8 Oklahoma, Baylor ruined the Sooners’ chances at a College Football Playoff bid. Ranked fifth in the Big 12 for fewest yards allowed, the Bears arguably have one of the most talented defenses in the conference. At home, Baylor gave the Sooners a final knockout punch with a 13-point defeat and a field goal to claim the Big 12 tiebreaker. On the other side of the ball, the Bears have an exceptional offense, recording the second-most offensive yards within the conference with an average 453 yards per game. And there’s no stopping the Bears anytime soon.

T2. Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Sooners fell far from their Big 12 throne on Saturday in Waco, meeting the Cowboys in a tie for second place. In a post-game interview by Baylor head coach Dave Aranda, Aranda claimed that the field goal with a few seconds left on the clock was for the Big 12 tiebreaker between Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Down went the Sooners to a second-place tie with Oklahoma State, and the two programs will duel it out in Week 13 in Stillwater. Oklahoma dominates the Big 12 in total offensive yards per game at 455.3 yards, comparable to Oklahoma State’s 412.4 yards per game. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys allow the least amount of yards per game at 276.6 yards while the Sooners allow 386.9 yards per game. Week 13’s matchup between the two will surely be a battle on all fronts.

3. Iowa State Cyclones

While the Cyclones are 6–4 on the season with losses to then-No. 10 Iowa and unranked Baylor and Texas Tech, Iowa State could find itself in bowl game contention come early December. With quarterback Brock Purdy at the helm of the Cyclone offense, Iowa State ranks fifth in total offensive yards and second in total yards allowed on defense. The Cyclones will fight for a bowl game against No. 13 Oklahoma and an unranked TCU team to close out the season.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders

With new head coach Joey McGuire moving into Lubbock, McGuire has his new job cut out for him when the Red Raiders match up against No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 11 Baylor in the coming two weeks. Before this Saturday’s matchup, Texas Tech will have only played one ranked opponent –– then-No. 4 Oklahoma –– this season. The Red Raiders have the third-most offensive yards on the season but could struggle against arguably two of the best offenses and defenses in the Big 12

T5. Kansas State Wildcats and Texas Longhorns

The 7–3 Wildcats are equally as talented as a 4–6 Texas team that has struggled this season. The Longhorns dominate the Wildcats in total offensive yards while the Wildcats dominate the Longhorns in the least defensive yards allowed. Texas was arguably dealt one of the hardest schedules within the Big 12, and after losses to an unranked Arkansas team and then-ranked No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 12 Oklahoma State and No. 16 Baylor, the Longhorns are not without talent. The Wildcats have only faced one ranked opponent this season in then-ranked No. 6 Oklahoma and will match up against No. 13 Baylor on Saturday. Both Kansas State and Texas will close out the season against one another in Austin, with both teams likely not finding themselves in a bowl game.

6. West Virginia Mountaineers

For a 4–6 West Virginia team, the Mountaineers have endured one of the easiest Big 12 schedules. The Mountaineers have only faced four ranked opponents in then-ranked No. 15 Virginia Tech, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 22 Iowa State and No. 11 Oklahoma State, winning half of those matchups. West Virginia will close out its season against Texas and Kansas and will more than likely not be bowl eligible, but could win against a Texas team with a Mountaineer defense that allows the fourth-least yards per game.

7. TCU Horned Frogs

With the departure of former longtime head coach Gary Patterson, the Horned Frogs have struggled in recent weeks. With an impressive 2-point win over then-No. 12 Baylor, the Horned Frogs quickly fell to No. 10 Oklahoma State in the following week. TCU ranks second in most defensive yards given up among the Big 12, and ranks sixth in most offensive yards on the season. The Horned Frogs will likely not find themselves in bowl contention in December, and will wrap up the season against Kansas and Iowa State to head into the new year.

8. Kansas Jayhawks

Even with a surprising victory over Texas on the road in Week 11, a singular upset win against a 4–6 Texas team is not enough to warrant anything better than last place. The Jayhawks’ upper hand against the Longhorns may only be temporary as Kansas faces TCU in Fort Worth and West Virginia at home in Weeks 12 and 13.