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Big 12 Power Rankings: Merry-go-round in the middle continues

On3 Staff Report11/21/22
Article written by:On3 imageOn3 Staff Report
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TCU threw quite a scare into those in the Big 12 offices on Saturday, trailing for a good chunk of the game before rallying late in the fourth quarter to beat Baylor and remain atop the Big 12 Power Rankings.

Elsewhere, Oklahoma upended Oklahoma State in a game that had some Big 12 title game implications.

Let’s dive into all the weekend’s action from the Big 12.

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Today we update the Big 12 Power Rankings following Week 12 games.

2022 Big 12 Power Rankings – Week 12

  1. TCU

TCU survived its most nervy test yet, rallying to score twice in the final two minutes and change to beat Baylor 29-28. The Bears went conservative after TCU pulled within two, and the Horned Frogs got the stop they needed. Then they quickly marched into field goal range and rushed on for a game-winning kick as time expired. Playoff hopes: very much alive and well still.

  1. Kansas State

No Adrian Martinez, no problem. Even with West Virginia doing a nice job checking Deuce Vaughn on the ground, Kansas State backup quarterback Will Howard was up to the challenge. He threw for 294 yards and two scores and added a rushing touchdown in a 48-31 win over West Virginia. Kansas State closes the regular seasons against Kansas, with a win clinching a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.

  1. Texas

Texas ran all over Kansas from the opening whistle in a 55-14 win that kept the Longhorns’ chances at reaching the Big 12 title game alive. Bijan Robinson ran for 243 yards and four touchdowns, Texas scored on nine straight possessions at one point and the Longhorns kept the return of Jayhawks starting quarterback Jalon Daniels from mattering much. Texas has to beat Baylor, coupled with a Kansas win over Kansas State, to reach the Big 12 title game.

  1. Oklahoma (+3)

Oklahoma is the big jumper in our Big 12 Power Rankings this week, moving up three spots and jumping narrowly in front of Baylor despite an earlier head-to-head loss. The Sooners jumped out to a 28-0 lead over the Cowboys in the first quarter, then held on for the 28-13 win over Oklahoma State. The Sooners clinched bowl eligibility and will conclude the regular season on the road at Texas Tech.

  1. Baylor

The Bears did everything but seal the deal against the Horned Frogs. The offense might have gotten a little too conservative late, affording TCU the chance for a game-winning field goal after a defensive stop. Baylor managed 501 yards in the game, outgaining TCU, but it wasn’t quite enough.

  1. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders earned every bit of their 14-10 win over the Iowa State Cyclones, outgained in the contest considerably but able to come up with stops in the red zone. A pair of goal-line stands in the third quarter helped preserve a small lead, then Texas Tech managed to punch back after Iowa Sate surged ahead early in the fourth quarter. The win earned the Red Raiders bowl eligibility.

  1. Oklahoma State (-3)

Ranking teams from spots No. 4 to No. 7 wasn’t easy this week, with a reasonable case to be made for just about any of them in any spot. Still, even with seven wins versus the six Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech have, it’s Oklahoma State who’s clearly struggling the most right now. Spencer Sanders threw four interceptions and the offense has averaged just 12.3 points per game the last four outings.

  1. Kansas

The early-season surge up the Big 12 Power Rankings for Kansas is long past, with the Jayhawks having settled into the lower third of the league at this point. The good news is Kansas has already achieved bowl eligibility and quarterback Jalon Daniels returned on Saturday. The bad news is the Jayhawks have now lost five of their last six.

  1. West Virginia

One week after a quarterback change helped spark West Virginia to a win over Oklahoma, the Mountaineers came back to earth a bit. Garrett Greene was decent enough, throwing for three touchdowns. But he also had two interceptions, one that turned into a pick-six. West Virginia can no longer earn bowl eligibility and will finish the season on the road at Oklahoma State.

  1. Iowa State

The Cyclones had their chances against the Red Raiders in a bitingly cold affair, but the defense couldn’t come up with a key stop in the fourth quarter. The loss took away a shot at bowl eligibility, though that was always going to be a tall hurdle to clear anyway with a trip to unbeaten TCU looming in the regular-season finale.

Want to see how this week’s power rankings compare to our previous edition? Check out the 2022 Week 11 Big 12 Power Rankings here!