By Jake Meltzer/Contributor
We are officially through the fifth week of the season and while there were good games all across the board, the inconsistency in the performances amongst many of the Big 12 teams lead me to think that the Longhorns and Sooners are going to end up bumping heads again in the Big 12 Championship Game.
But hey…it's not even October yet. The Longhorns had the week off, Hurts and Oklahoma tore apart the Red Raiders of Texas Tech, Oklahoma State had a solid bounce back win, and the Kansas Jayhawks appeared to be back to their old form, but not in the good way. Will Baylor make a jump into the Top 5 with four straight wins to open the season after their 4th straight win?
Let's take a look at the third edition of the 2019 Big 12 Power Rankings.
1. Oklahoma (4-0, #6)
In a 55-15 route over Texas Tech, the Sooners again showed that they are one of the best teams in not only the Big 12, but all of college football. Jalen Hurts continues to look like a men amongst boys on the field. Not only are his 1,295 passing yards good for 2nd in the conference, but his running ability is truly what makes him look like a video game character against opposing defenses. Hurts' QBR (quarterback rating) of 249.9 is 68.9 points higher than the next best (Ehlinger, 181.0). The Sooners will travel to Kansas next weekend to take on a struggling Jayhawks team.
Next Week: @ Kansas
2. Texas (3-1, #11)
Texas had a much-needed bye week to rest their banged-up roster. The 3-1 Texas Longhorns are coming off a win against Oklahoma State, a team that has impressed their opponents with their ability to move the ball and score. Texas struggled to stop them at times, but tightened up their defense to finish off the Cowboys in the end. The big question for the Longhorns will be whether the "next man up" for injured defensive players Caden Sterns, Jalen Green, and Josh Thompson, will succeed in their new role. The ‘Horns will hit the road as they travel to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers. West Virginia has not beaten anyone of great significance yet, but the first Big 12 road game of the season will always be a test, no matter the opponent.
Next Week: @ West Virginia
3. Oklahoma State (4-1, #21)
Oklahoma State is finally getting some national attention after starting the season 4-1 as they made their 2019 AP Top 25 debut this week. Their offense sports arguably the best running back and wide receiver in all of college football. They took a game against a very good Texas team down to the wire, bounced back after that tough loss, and beat Kansas State. This Cowboys offense is as good as any in the Big 12 and is certainly up there with some of the best in the country. They travel to Texas Tech next weekend to take on the Red Raiders, where they should have no problem coming out with a win.
Next Week: @ Texas Tech
4. Baylor (4-0)
After an impressive 4-0 start, which included a win against in-conference opponent Iowa State, the Baylor Bears have earned their rights in the Top 5 of this week's power rankings. Although Baylor showed some concerning sloppiness in their game against Rice a couple weeks ago, they have managed to hang on and win each of their first four games. They will have an even bigger challenge next Saturday when they hit the road to take on a talented Kansas State team that is coming fresh off a frustrating loss. Let's see if this mentally tough Baylor team can stay undefeated as they hit the road next weekend.
Next Week: @ Kansas State
5. TCU (3-1)
The Horned Frogs are doing their best to keep up the pace with the best of the Big 12 after their loss at home to SMU, who is now ranked in the Top 25. TCU picked up a dominant 51-14 road win this past weekend against Kansas. Max Duggan completed 8 of 11 passes for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. He and running back Darius Anderson, who eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground, will be the keys to this TCU team having a shot at the Big 12 crown.
Next Week: @ Iowa State
Rounding Out the Rest:
6. Kansas State (3-1, Next Week: vs. Baylor)
7. West Virginia (3-1, Next Week: vs. Texas)
8. Iowa State (2-2, Next Week: vs. TCU)
9. Texas Tech (2-2, Next Week: vs. Oklahoma State
10. Kansas (2-3, Next Week: vs. Oklahoma)
The top three teams in this week's rankings have stayed consistent throughout the season, but none of these teams are immaculate.
As we begin to dive head first into conference play, teams will begin to expose their weaknesses, especially against such familiar foes.
Traveling on the road to play a Big 12 conference game is never a piece of cake. For the teams that hope to have their names being tossed around when it comes time for the College Football Playoff rankings, there are no room for off weeks. As we head into Week 6, let us see which teams prevail and which teams fold as the schedule will begin to toughen up throughout the conference.
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