AUSTIN, Texas – We are now through six weeks of college football, two slates of conference play games, and there are many aspects of each Big 12 team's play that have stood out so far. After only two conference games, it can be difficult to read how a team is going to finish the season based on injuries, strength of schedule and consistency. However, here are a few things that we do know: The Big 12 will run through Oklahoma, Texas can beat just about anyone when they are healthy, Oklahoma State might not be as elite a team as we thought and West Virginia has some serious looking in the mirror to do.
After two weeks of Big 12 matchups, it's no surprise that the No. 1 and 2 teams have remained the same, but that could change after Texas and Oklahoma square off this upcoming weekend. Before we get too far into that, let's take a look at how the Big 12 stacks up after six weeks of play in this week's Big 12 Power Rankings.
1. Oklahoma (5-0, No. 6)
The Sooners toyed around with Kansas a little, but they pulled off an overall dominant 45-20 victory on the road. Jalen Hurts still looks like the best player in college football. Oklahoma had three different players rush for over 50 yards, including Hurts, who had 56 yards and two touchdowns. The Sooners will now head back to Norman to prepare for arguably the biggest game on their schedule thus far, as they will take on the 4-1 Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl.
Next Week: vs. No. 11 Texas
2. Texas (4-1, No. 11)
The opening drive for West Virginia surely had Longhorns fans on their toes, but a new-look Texas defense did a phenomenal job of shutting down a team that lives and dies by the pass. Texas defined the "next-man-up" concept this weekend. Last year, West Virginia put up 578 yards of total offense against Texas. This year, they only had 463, but it was the four interceptions forced by the Texas defense that made the difference in this game. Texas was able to come away with a 42-31 victory, but will have a lot to work on as they get ready to face Oklahoma next Saturday.
Next Week: vs. No. 6 Oklahoma
3. Baylor (5-0, No. 22)
For the first time since the 2016 season, the Baylor Bears are 5-0. There were questions about whether Baylor was "for real" or not because of the difficulty of their schedule. After road wins against Big 12 opponents Iowa State and Kansas State, those critics have been quieted. Baylor also cracked the Top 25 for the first time since the 2016 season mentioned earlier. If the Bears continue to not turn the ball over, exhibit strong defense and act like they're playing with a chip on their shoulder every week, this team could be dangerous.
Next Week: vs. Texas Tech
4. Oklahoma State (4-2)
After finally putting together some wins and sneaking into the Top 25, Oklahoma State was unable to come away with a road win against a struggling Texas Tech team. Chuba Hubbard was fantastic on the ground, but Spencer Sanders' three-interception performance ultimately gave Texas Tech this game by a score of 45-35. If the Oklahoma State Cowboys' offense remains healthy, they should continue to put up plenty of points each week. However, will their defense help them out enough to give them a chance in these shootout games that they're bound to play? I wouldn't look too much into this loss, but if Sanders' and the defense struggles continue, Oklahoma State could have some issues ahead of them.
Next Week: Bye Week
T-5. Iowa State/Texas Tech (3-2)
It was hard for me to separate these two teams. Iowa State absolutely demolished TCU and put up 49 points, while Texas Tech took down one of the best offenses in the country in Oklahoma State. Iowa State has yet to win back-to-back games this year, so consistency is certainly at the top of the list of issues for this team. On the other hand, Texas Tech lost to Arizona and was embarrassed by the Oklahoma Sooners. The two teams square off in a couple weeks as Iowa State will travel to play Texas Tech on Oct. 19.
- Next Week (Texas Tech): @ Baylor
- Next Week (Iowa State): @ West Virginia
Rounding Out the Rest:
7. Kansas State (3-2, Next Week: Bye)
8. TCU (3-2, Next Week: Bye)
9. West Virginia (3-2, Next Week: vs. Iowa St.)
10. Kansas (2-4, Next Week: Bye)
Teams are now starting to get their feet wet, as their young guys are adjusting and learning what it takes to win conference games. While the Top 2 teams in my Power Rankings have remained the same for the first few weeks, Oklahoma and Texas will square off next weekend in Dallas in one of the year's most highly anticipated games.
Iowa State will be tested again as they hit the road and travel to West Virginia to take on a team that just came off a home loss to the Longhorns, so look for the Mountaineers to be hungry. We are now immersed in conference play. For a couple of these teams, they are entering the point of the season where one loss could ruin their chances for the College Football Playoff hopes. For others, it could cost them bowl eligibility. EVERY game counts. The next few weeks of football are bound to bring us a bunch of exciting games, as the battle for the Big 12 trophy has all 10 teams in high gear.