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Week 4 Big 12 Power Poll: Oklahoma, Texas sit at the top

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By Jake Meltzer/Contributor

The fourth week of the 2019 college football season is officially in the books.

It was a wild week across the board as the race to Arlington for the Big 12 Championship has kicked off. We saw a nail biter in Austin, Iowa State dominate on the road, and TCU fall to an unranked opponent. 

It is still early in the season, but let's see where the Big 12 stacks up after the first weekend of conference play in our second weekly Big 12 Power Rankings.

1. Oklahoma (#6, 3-0)

The Sooners had a bye this week, but the other contenders know that Oklahoma will be waiting at the end of the road if they want a shot at the conference title. Quarterback Jalen Hurts is a defender's worst nightmare and is arguably the best running back on the team as well. The defense has been solid and unfortunately for the rest of the Big 12, the Sooners step it up against conference teams. Expect the Sooners to be looking down on the conference for at least a few more weeks.

Next Game: vs. Texas Tech

2. Texas (#11, 3-1)

In a battle that certainly wasn't their best performance, the Texas Longhorns pulled out a 36-30 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday night. The Texas secondary was getting burned all night-something that won't fly at the Cotton Bowl. Texas also suffered a multitude of injuries from key players last night including starting cornerback Jalen Green and standout safety Caden Sterns. The last thing these Longhorns need is a longer injury report.

Don't get me wrong, the Longhorns played an excellent game in many different categories against a very tough team. The big question is whether they can improve on the weaker aspects of their game. 

Next Week: Bye
Next Game: vs. West Virginia

3. Oklahoma State (3-1)

In a turnover-filled game against the Texas Longhorns in Austin, the Cowboys came up six points short to a team that has not beat them since the 2014 season. Quarterback Spencer Sanders struggled and although Chuba Hubbard's stats looked good on paper, Texas essentially made him a non-factor. Regardless, this team has a bright future ahead of them. An offense led by a growing quarterback and two other top-notch offense players in Sanders and Tylan Wallace will give many opponents some serious challenges.

Next Game: vs. #24 Kansas State 

4. Kansas State (#24, 3-0)

The Wildcats had a bye this week, but their road-win last week was impressive enough to keep them in the Top 5. However, this team will be put to the test this weekend, as they face their biggest challenge yet as they will travel to Oklahoma State to take on the Cowboys.  

Next Game: @ Oklahoma State

5. TCU (2-1)

Following two straight road wins to open the season, TCU dropped a 41-38 heartbreaker on the road at SMU. Former Longhorn quarterback Shane Buechele led the way for SMU. I will always stick by the saying that road games are never easy. Darius Anderson's ability to be a top-tier back should be something that brings confidence to this TCU team and frightens their opponents. However, they will certainly have to keep teams under 40 points per game if they want to have a shot at winning this conference.

Next Game: vs. Kansas

Rounding out the Rest

6. Iowa State (2-1)
Next Game: @ Baylor

7. Baylor (3-0)
Next Game: vs Iowa St.

8. West Virginia (3-1)
Next Week: Bye
Next Game: vs. #11 Texas

9. Texas Tech (2-1)
Next Game: @ Oklahoma
    
10. Kansas (2-2)
Next Game: @ TCU

Final thought

Texas has a bye next week, a necessity for a team dealing with a plethora of injuries. The domination the Oklahoma Sooners and their leader, Jalen Huts, is likely to increase the sense of urgency amongs the other Big 12 contenders. Will Kansas State and Baylor keep up their hot start? These questions will be answered we creep towards October.