EMAW Online: Staff Big 12 Rankings

Origianlly posted on EMAWonline.com

by Mason Voth (@TheRealMasonV)

Most teams in the Big 12 will reach the midway point of their season after Saturday’s completion and the first half of the season has already had its share of ups and downs for the league. The EMAW Online Staff tries to make sense of the chaos with this week’s Big 12 rankings.

1. Oklahoma State – LW: 1?

 

Mason: 1 | Alec: 1 | Gabe: 1

Gabe: Depending on how hard you believe the panic button is being hit in Norman, a case can be made for Oklahoma State’s road win over Baylor being the best win any team in the Big 12 possesses. Spencer Sanders utilized his legs well to compensate for a sub-200-yard performance passing the ball. Oklahoma State has the best marriage of balanced offense and defense to this point of the season.

2. K-State – LW: 4?

Mason: 2 | Alec: 2 | Gabe: 2

Alec: Okay, this is where it gets hard to rank teams. I had Kansas State behind Kansas last week, but I’m bumping them ahead of the Jayhawks this week because of the diverse rushing attack that seems to be emerging. If the Wildcats can find a consistent passing game, they should be viewed as a potential conference championship favorite.

3. Kansas – LW: 5?

Mason: 4 | Alec: 3 | Gabe: 3

Mason: The water to put out the fire on Kansas hype is starting to run dry. It wasn’t pretty, but the Jayhawks found a way to win against Iowa State. Now Kansas is 5-0 for the first time since 2009 (that didn’t end well for the Jayhawks) and have ESPN’s College Gameday coming to town for the 19th ranked Jayhawks against the 17th ranked Horned Frogs of TCU. Kansas deserves their love and praise right now, but I would still advise those to not overdo it quite yet.

4. TCU – LW: 9?

Mason: 3 | Alec: 4 | Gabe: 4

Gabe: Who would’ve thought a Sonny Dykes led offense would turn out to be pretty good? TCU being elite offensively – the Horned Frogs are tied for second in points per game nationally – and Dykes elevating the play of Max Duggan is one of the more “hindsight is 20/20” things to happen in recent memory. While I think Oklahoma has some holes and has a defense that will be exposed repeatedly throughout this season, TCU gets plenty of style points for their early knockout of the Sooners.

5. Baylor – LW: ?

Mason: 5 | Alec: 5 | Gabe: 5

AlecBaylor’s two losses this season are probably two of the more impressive losses in the country – but there’s no such thing as a good loss in college football. The Bears were outclassed against Oklahoma State and Blake Shapen’s two interceptions really cost Baylor as they tried to make a comeback.

6. Texas – LW: 6?

Mason: 6 | Alec: 6 | Gabe: 7

MasonTexas deserves credit for not losing against West Virginia and also taking it to the next level and blowing them out. It would have been very Texas to falter in an important return home and start 0-2 in the Big 12. Instead, they now go to the Cotton Bowl next week looking like the better team than rival OklahomaHudson Card deserves credit for keeping things steady in Quinn Ewers‘ absence.

7. Oklahoma – LW: 2?

Dillon Gabriel's status for the Red River Rivalry game this weekend is up in the air after a late hit against TCU
Dillon Gabriel’s status for the Red River Rivalry game this weekend is up in the air after a late hit against TCU (Imagn)

Mason: 7 | Alec: 7 | Gabe: 6

Mason: I need to eat crow on this one. I voted Oklahoma number one last week even after the home loss to K-State, I thought there was no way they lost two in a row. I was wrong on both and now Oklahoma is on the verge of their first three-game losing streak since 1998 (shout out to Gabe for noting this). It should be noted the last time Oklahoma lost two straight to start Big 12 play was in 2020 and they went on to win the Big 12 Championship still, that isn’t the vibe this team gives off though.

8. Texas Tech – LW: 7?

Mason: 8 | Alec: 8 | Gabe: 8

GabeTexas Tech has played competitive but confusing games against Houston, NC State, Texas and now Kansas State. Having won two of those games and lost two of them feels like the right outcome. Turnovers and a costly missed field goal led the Red Raiders to a 37-28 defeat in Manhattan, and now a trip to Stillwater awaits them.

9. Iowa State – LW: 8?

Mason: 9 | Alec: 9 | Gabe: 9

AlecMatt Campbell was a coaching darling a few years ago, but now his Iowa State Cyclones are on the verge of falling to .500 this weekend if they lose to Kansas State. It’s a great example of how hard it is to make a program like Iowa State a sustained winner. The offense is struggling and Hunter Dekkers isn’t living up to the preseason hype.

10. West Virginia – LW: 10?

CJ Donaldson has emerged as one of the league's best running backs, despite being a TE in high school
CJ Donaldson has emerged as one of the league’s best running backs, despite being a TE in high school (Associated Press)

Mason: 10 | Alec: 10 | Gabe: 10

GabeWest Virginia’s loss to Texas was made even worse when tight end turned running back CJ Donaldson was carted off with a scary injury. Luckily, reports said Donaldson was stable and alert at the hospital Saturday night. On the field, the Mountaineer defense has been unable to stop both Big 12 offenses it’s seen so far, allowing 40 points per game in regulation against Kansas and Texas.

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