There is certainly a lot to unpack in this week’s Big 12 Football Power Rankings Week 11. Unfortunately, it was one riddled with injuries and coaching moves we all saw coming. There’s a lot to get through, so without further ado, here’s how Big 12 Football teams stack up through 11 weeks of play.
3-27 loss against Iowa State
Kansas is now 3-6 following its 3-27 loss against No. 24 ranked Iowa State, and that’s not even bad part. Athletics director Jeff Long announced on Sunday that head coach David Beaty was OUT as head coach for the Jayhawks, but he will continue his role throughout the rest of the season. Kansas would need to defeat Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Texas in order to be Bowl eligible, but that’s unlikely at this point.
It’s hard to find a silver lining in this. And scoring just three points isn’t a highlight to write home about, which paved the foundation for social media to erupt with calls to cancel the program in its entirety. While nobody knows exactly what the future has in store for Kansas Football, there’s already chatter that Beaty could have a home as an assistant receivers’ coach in the Big 12. Stay tuned.
9. Kansas State
13-14 loss at TCU
With all that TCU has been experiencing in all three phases of the game this season, this was the game everyone thought could be the game Kansas State would win to get momentum into the final stretch. Unfortunately, in a battle between beleaguered teams, Kansas State came up short on a missed extra point to fall to 3-6 on the season. The Wildcats lost quarterback Skylar Thompson to an injury early in the game, but it didn’t take backup Alex Delton long to take command of the offense. Delton finished the day 15-25 for 155 yards and a touchdown. But defensively, the Wildcats just couldn’t hang on and allowed a third-quarter touchdown they couldn’t make up for.
Could this season mark the end for head coach Bill Snyder, who signed an extension this year? Perhaps, but Kansas State will have to win out just to become Bowl eligible, and with Texas Tech and Iowa State still on the schedule, it’s certainly anyone’s guess as to how the Snyder Legacy ends.
14-13 win against Kansas State
The TCU Horned Frogs finally got a win on account of defense and preventing a PAT following a fourth-quarter touchdown. Who knows, maybe if the Wildcats had gone for a 2-point conversion, these frames would look different, but in any event, it was a good “bounce back” win for TCU and certainly should give them some confidence as they prepare for West Virginia this weekend. The end of the season will decide whether a Gary Patterson coached team will make a 16th consecutive Bowl bid. But at 4-5 on the season, it’s going to be a tough uphill climb for the Horned Frogs, although, it is attainable.
One bright spot is quarterback Michael Collins’ cannon of an arm. He connected on a 67 yard touchdown pass to Jalen Reagor, so if TCU can improve on the consistency of throws, they should at least present a fight moving forward, but the key term here is “consistency,” which is kind of hit or miss in Big 12 Football, especially as injuries pile up.
7. Oklahoma State
31-35 loss at Baylor
Like TCU and Kansas State this season, things just aren’t going well for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State is now 5-4 on the season following its loss to a progressively improving Baylor team, and with Oklahoma next, followed by West Virginia and TCU, it’s still possible to become Bowl eligible, but Mike Gundy’s team has to become a more disciplined team and fast.
Against Baylor, the Cowboys amassed 12 penalties for 133 yards. Don’t expect to beat teams if you’re beating yourself up first. This cost them critical yardage in an already close game, where the Cowboys limited Baylor to just 158 passing yards. With Bedlam on Saturday against Oklahoma, it doesn’t give Oklahoma State much time to fix special teams issues, but Gundy has to adjust the game plan to more aggressive plays if they want a shot at another upset.
6. Baylor Bears
35-31 win against Oklahoma State
Having won just one game in Matt Rhule’s first season with Baylor, the Bears are now just one game away from Bowl eligibility following their win over Oklahoma State over the weekend. But the Bears did receive some assists from an undisciplined Oklahoma State team, so it minimized the interception and missed field goals to start the game.
Against a team like Iowa State this weekend, those mistakes will be costly, so it’s important for quarterbacks Jalan McClendon and Charlie Brewer to get in a rhythm early, regardless of who starts or finishes. Remember that Brewer was in concussion protocol last week. Thankfully for the Bears, Brewer was able to come in late and manage two touchdown drives for the win, but if Rhule goes with it again, a two-quarterback set should make things interesting against Iowa State this weekend.
5. Texas Tech
46-51 loss against Oklahoma
It’s unfortunate that Texas Tech lost starting quarterback Alan Bowman at the half to a re-aggravated collapsed lung. The Red Raiders were rolling, and winning several key battles against Oklahoma on defense, which included a record night from Vaughnte Dorsey where he intercepted two passes in the first quarter. Texas Tech would score touchdowns on both of those turnovers. Texas Tech’s defense has shown tremendous resiliency in the last few weeks, which shows that David Gibbs’ unit should be in business next season, as several backups have seen game time this season. It really makes you wonder what would have happened if Bowman had stayed healthy.
Texas Tech was pretty successful throughout the night on screen passes. However, lack of success on third-down conversions (Tech was 3-13 on the night) hurt. The run game, in particular, wasn’t up to par. Tech finished with just 107 to the Sooners’ 323 total rushing yards. If they can make that adjustment, they’ll have a big advantage over Texas this weekend. And it goes without saying that the Red Raiders are hoping to have some good news on the Bowman and Dakota Allen injuries this week. They need a few days to get the offense back in sync before Tech closes out the season in Lubbock on Saturday against the Longhorns.
41-42 loss against West Virginia
Texas dropped a nail-biter against–arguably–one of the most improved and dynamic teams in the Big 12: West Virginia. Although the game did come down to a 2-point conversion on a keeper by Will Grier, it wasn’t without its share of built-up drama. There was even a polarizing unsportsmanlike call, where David Sills flashed “Horns Down” after a touchdown.
Texas sustained some injuries, including the loss of Davante Davis (neck sprain), and Breckyn Hager with a dislocated radius. UT isn’t providing further information on those injuries, but giving up 578 total yards of offense doesn’t look good for a team that still has to get through a tough Iowa State team for a shot at the Big 12 Football title game.
3. Iowa State
27-3 win at Kansas
The Iowa State Cyclones keep rolling, and are now on a four-game win streak, and currently sit at 5-3 on the season. This team has had the biggest turnaround of all the Big 12 Football teams, and with weapons like quarterback Brock Purdy throwing for 263 yards and three touchdowns against a team that’s the best in college football in takeaways is impressive. Of course, the progressive improvement isn’t without continued speculation that head coach Matt Campbell could leave. Especially with his name being thrown around for head coaching jobs elsewhere. Iowa State still has a Baylor team that’s also improving, Texas, and Kansas State still on the schedule. The Cyclones need to stay focused on crashing the Big 12 Football Championship party.
51-46 win at Texas Tech
Oklahoma wasn’t as aggressive against a Texas Tech team the Sooners were projected to defeat by double-digits in Lubbock. Instead, the Red Raiders held a halftime lead. Few Oklahoma fans will argue that if it hadn’t been for Tech quarterback Alan Bowman missing the second half of play, we might be discussing a very different position.
Running back Trey Sermon picked up where Rodney Anderson left off. He racked up 206 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. That was an area of the play-calling where head coach Lincoln Riley knew they’d have an advantage, especially with Tech linebacker Dakota Allen out with an injury. As I’ve said all season, Oklahoma has been the top team in the Big 12 Conference. But, with the way West Virginia is playing, the Big 12 Football Championship game might be a repeat of the Sooners’ finale on Nov. 23.
1. West Virginia
42-41 win at Texas
With West Virginia’s win over the Texas Longhorns in Austin last weekend, it pretty much elevated their shot at facing the Sooners’ in the Big 12 Football Championship game. Quarterback Will Grier threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns and was responsible for the keeper on the Mountaineers’ 2-point conversion attempt, which not only helped his Heisman credentials but also padded his abilities enough to have NFL people discussing which offense he’d plug into on Sundays.
Texas is always a tough opponent, but the WVU Defense allowing 520 total yards of offense is something they have to work on.
Want more? Check out: Unafraid Show’s College Football Top 10 Rankings Week 11: No Margin for Error