Big 12 Power Rankings: 11/16/2010

Red Hot Texas A&M won a tough won at Baylor.  Colorado bounced back from an embarrassing loss and the firing of their head coach, blowing out Iowa State at home. Missouri pulled away from a turnover riddled Kansas State in a match-up of then BCS top 25 teams. The rest of the Big 12 favorites held serve.   While week 11 saw little change at the top Texas A&M continues to rise and Texas continues in the opposite direction.

1. Nebraska ≡ – Quarterback Taylor Martinez returned and with their young star still a bit gimpy the Cornhuskers rode their talented defense to a 20-3 home-win over Kansas.  The Blackshirt defense was stifling, holding KU to just 87 total yards of offense.  The BCS No. 8 Cornhuskers, now 9-1 (5-1), head to College Station for what now looks to be an extremely competitive game against BCS No. 19 Texas A&M.

2. Oklahoma State ≡ – The Cowboys went to work early against Texas, cruising to a 26-3 halftime lead against the free-falling Longhorns.  OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 409 yards and the Cowboys racked up 532 yards of total offense in their 33-16 win over UT in Austin.  The BCS No. 10 Cowboys, now 9-1 (5-1) head to Kansas before finishing up with the Bedlam Series match-up with BCS No. 14 Oklahoma.  The OSU vs. OU contest could very well decide the South champion.

3. Oklahoma – The Sooners were back to looking like a well oiled machine in their 45-7 home-win over Texas Tech.  OU quarterback Landry Jones threw for five TDs against the Red Raiders, three of them going to wide out Ryan Broyles.  The Sooners have now won 36 straight in Norman, the longest active home winning streak in the country.  The BCS No. 14 Sooners, now 8-2 (4-2), head to Waco, Texas for a tricky road game against Baylor in week 12.  A giant trip to Stillwater looms in the season finale and the Sooners don’t want to get caught looking ahead.

4. Missouri ≡ – The Tigers were able to beat then BCS No. 24 Kansas State in week 11 largely because the Wildcats made a habit of turning the ball over.  Midway through the third quarter, with KSU driving, MU’s Aldon Smith sacked KSU QB Carson Coffman, knocking the ball loose, Mizzou’s Jacquies Smith picked it up and ran 53 yards for a touchdown on the play to make the score 27-14.  The Tigers forced four total turnovers in the 38-28 home-win.  The BCS No. 15 Tigers, now 8-2 (4-2) head to Ames, Iowa for a tilt with Iowa State and then finish off the regular season against Kansas in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

5. Texas A&M – The Aggies enjoyed continued success after Mike Sherman decided on a mid-season change at quarterback.  A&M is now 3-0 when quarterback Ryan Tannehill is the starter after an impressive 42-30 win at Baylor.  The Aggie defense stiffened in the second half, as A&M outscored the Bears 21-0 in the second half.  The BCS No. 19 Aggies, now 7-3 (4-2), host BCS No. 8 Nebraska in week 12 before finishing the regular season in Austin against the hated Longhorns.

6. Kansas State ≡ – The Wildcats had their chances against Missouri but ill-timed turnovers cost them any opportunity they might have had at upsetting the BCS No. 15 Tigers in Columbia.  Quarter back Carson Coffman had 2 fumbles, including one at the Mizzou goal-line, and threw an interception.  Back-up running back John Hubert fumbled the ball on an attempted “statue of liberty” play in the Wildcats 38-28 defeat.  Emerging quarterback Colin Klein rushed for 141 yards and threw for another 65 and a TD in the loss.  The Wildcats, now 6-4 (3-4) travel to Colorado before closing out the regular season at non-conference foe North Texas.

7. Baylor ≡ – For the second straight week the Bears failed in an opportunity to climb higher in a season that has already been a relative success for their program.  Baylor was outscored 21-0 in the second half of their week 11 home game against Texas A&M.  If the Bears, now 7-4 (4-3) hope to keep pace in their Big 12 finale with BCS No. 14 Oklahoma, their defense will have to improve.  The Bears are giving up 34 points a game in conference play.

8. Texas Tech – The Red Raiders finished their 2010 Big 12 campaign with an embarrassing 45-7 loss at Oklahoma.  Coach Tommy Tuberville’s squad scored on their opening drive, but the once feared Tech offense fizzled the rest of the way.  The Red Raiders, now 5-5 (3-5), hope to earn bowl eligibility with non-conference home-games against Weber St. and Houston remaining.

9. Iowa State – The Cyclones were throttled in week 11 by a formerly reeling Colorado team that was previously winless in the Big 12.  Senior quarterback Austin Arnaud was sacked five times and is out for the season after leaving the game in the fourth quarter due to injury.  Iowa State, now 5-6 (3-4) , hosts BCS No. 15 Missouri in the season finale.  The game is a must-win if the Cyclones have any shot of going bowling this season.

10. Texas ≡ – The Longhorns continued their plummet with a 33-16 loss to Oklahoma State in Austin.   The Cowboys raced out to a 26-3 halftime lead against Mack Browns club before shutting down the gas.  The Longhorns, now must both defeat Florida Atlantic and win their finale against red-hot BCS No. 19 Texas A&M if they hope to avoid their first losing season since 1997.

11. Colorado ≡ – The Buffaloes rallied around 28 year assistant coach Brian Cabral for a surprising 34-14 win over Iowa State in Boulder.  Cabral is now the interim head coach after Dan Hawkins was fired midweek.  Hawkins was in the stadium, to watch his son Cody throw for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the win.  The Buffaloes, now 4-6 (1-5) host Kansas State before finishing the season at BCS No. 8 Nebraska.

12. Kansas ≡ – The Jayhawks defense played relatively well holding Nebraska to just 20 points and under 400 yards of total offense in week 11.  Unfortunately for head coach Turner Gill, his homecoming was soured by an anemic offensive performance that saw the Jayhawks amass just 87 yards of total offense in the 20-3 loss.  Kansas, now 3-7 (1-5), finishes up the season hosting BCS No. 10 Oklahoma State before heading to Kansas City to face the hated BCS No. 15 Missouri Tigers.

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