Big 12 Power Rankings: 2nd Edition 10/24/2010

Missouri didn’t fizzle under the national spotlight, taking down BCS No. 1 Oklahoma in Columbia;  Nebraska bounced from last weeks loss to Texas with a big win in Stillwater;  Baylor became bowl eligible for the first time in 16 years by outlasting K-State; and Iowa State give coach Paul Rhoads another chance for youtube stardom with an upset win over Texas in Austin.

1. Missouri – The Tigers still had a lot to prove heading into Saturday’s match-up with BCS No. 1 Oklahoma, and Gary Pinkel’s squad didn’t disappoint, handing the Sooners their first loss of the season.  Mizzou is now 7-0 (3-0), the lone remaining undefeated team in the Big 12 and one of only 7 remaining unbeatens in the country.  The Tigers defense stepped up holding Oklahoma to just 99 yards rushing and forced three OU turnovers in the 36-27 victory.  It’s tough at the top and the Tigers become the hunted with a trip to Nebraska looming next week that should decide the Big 12 North champion.

2. Oklahoma – Mistakes cost the Sooners dearly in a 27-36 loss to the then BCS No. 11 Missouri Tigers, but has shown enough on the season including wins over Florida St., Air Force and Texas to warrant the second slot in this weeks power rankings.  The Sooners now 6-1 (2-1) should cruise to three easy victories over Colorado, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech before a bout against upstart Baylor in Waco and then finishing off the regular season in Stillwater against rival Oklahoma St. in a game that should decide the Big 12 South.

3. Nebraska – It was road-sweet-road for the Cornhuskers as Bo Pelini’s team bounced back from last weeks home loss to Texas and outlasted high-powered Oklahoma St. (then BCS No. 14) in a 51-41 shootout with the Cowboys in Stillwater. QB Taylor Martinez had his best passing day of the season (23-35 323 yds, 5 tds) and WR Niles Paul regained his hands (9 rec, 131 yds) in the win. Nebraska now 6-1 (2-1) hosts Missouri in what looks to be the deciding game in the Big 12 North on Saturday.

4. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys move up this week despite the home-loss to then BCS No. 16 Nebraska.  OSU’s offense was solid against the Blackshirts but the Cowboys were unable to corral QB Taylor Martinez and the Cornhusker passing game in the 41-51 home-loss to NU.  The Cowboys should be favored in every game leading up to the season finally with former BCS No. 1 Oklahoma in Stillwater.

5. Baylor – The Bears offense was nearly unstoppable in a 47-42 home-win over former BCS No. 22 Kansas St. on Saturday.  With the win Art Briles has lead Baylor into bowl-eligiblity for the first time since 1994.  QB Robert Griffin III threw for 404 yards and 4 scores, but if the Bears hope to break into the top four their defense will have to stiffen up as the BU has games with Oklahoma St., Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma remaining on the schedule.

6. Texas – Mack Brown’s Longhorns have been an enigma in 2010, losing to at home to UCLA and Iowa St. but beating then BCS No. 5 in Nebraska in Lincoln.  UT’s offense has been stagnant all season and it bit them again in the 21-28 loss to the Cyclones on Saturday.  They will have to improve to keep pace as the high-octane Baylor Bears come to Austin next week.

7. Kansas State – The Wildcats defense failed them once again as K-State fell to 42-47 to Baylor in Waco Saturday.  Kansas St. now 5-2 (2-2) will need improved defense to slow-down Oklahoma St. this Saturday in Manhattan.  That game is followed by a visit from Texas and then rough trip to Missouri.  Bill Snyder could still be looking to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2003 when he takes his Wildcats to road games at Colorado and North Texas to finish out the season.

8. Iowa State – The Cyclones, who now faced five top 25 teams finally came out on top Saturday with a tough 28-21 win over Texas in Austin.  Iowa State 4-4 (2-2) forced four Longhorn turnovers en route to the victory.  Paul Rhoads’ team should be able to post a win over hapless Kansas on Saturday to move within one game of bowl eligibility.  With home dates with Nebraska and Missouri bookending a road trip to Colorado the Cyclones have limited opportunities to find their sixth win.

9. Texas A&M – The Aggies get jumped this week despite their 45-10 drubbing of Kansas in Lawrence.  A&M 4-4 (1-3) broke a three game skid with the win over the Jayhawks but wins should be hard to come by the rest of the way for Mike Sherman’s squad.  Texas Tech comes to town Saturday but after that the Aggies face a gauntlet featuring former BCS No. 1 Oklahoma, a tough road trip to Baylor, Nebraska and a trip to Austin to face the Longhorns to round out the season.

10.  Texas Tech – New head-coach Tommy Tuberville’s debut season in Lubbock has left many Raider fans yearning for the Pirate’s return.  With a 27-24 road win over Colorado the Aggies are now 4-3 (2-3) and with remaining games featuring opponents Texas A&M, Weber State and Houston sprinkled around tough dates with Missouri and Oklahoma the raiders could likely be bowl eligible this year. That doesn’t mean that folks in Lubbock aren’t wishing that Craig James’ son Adam, hadn’t opened hi big mouth.

11. ≡ Colorado – The Buffs kept it close again this week in a home-loss to Texas Tech, but Coach Dan Hawkins’ club still hasn’t managed to post a conference win.  A road trip to Kansas could be the cure for Colorado now 3-4 (0-3).  After that the Buffs host Iowa St. and Kansas St. before facing Nebraska in perhaps the final game in a long-standing rivalry.  Bowl chances look slim and even winning two of the remaining games will be a tough challenge for CU

12. ≡ Kansas – Few, if any bright spots remain for the Jayhawks in new head-coach Turner Gill’s first season in Lawrence.  After Texas A&M handed KU it’s third straight loss (all by at least 35 points) even tilts against Iowa State (especially with their win over Texas) and Colorado look near impossible.  Lose those and Kansas should see it’s conference losses streak run to 15 games by season’s end as the Jayhawks finish off the season at Nebraska, home against Oklahoma State and in Kansas City against rival Missouri.

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