Monday, October 22, 2007

Big XII Power Rankings

Oklahoma and Kansas survived scares from Iowa State and Colorado, as Missouri made a statement against Texas Tech. Oklahoma State and Texas A&M came away with important wins to remain in the thick of things. But where do they all fall in the scheme of things? Let's find out with this week's Big XII Power Rankings:

Top Tier
#4 Oklahoma (7-1) (3-1) - W - 17-7 at Iowa State
- First Colorado and now Iowa State. The Sooners had their head on the chopping block for the second time against weak Big XII opponents. Baylor must be licking their chops. Oklahoma was lucky to get away with victory, and are quickly learning that you should at least be a sophomore before attempting to play on cruise control. Oklahoma is idle this weekend, though many might say that the Sooners were idle this past weekend as well.

#13 Missouri (6-1) (2-1) - W - 41-10 vs. #22 Texas Tech
- A big win by Chase Daniel and company. It might have been a more impressive performance by the Tigers defense, holding Tech's offense to zero points in the second half and 10 points overall. A narrow loss at Oklahoma is their only blemish on the schedule, and they should get another shot at the Sooners in December. They will show Oklahoma how you should beat terrible opponents this weekend as they take on Iowa State.

#12 Kansas (7-0) (3-0) - W - 19-14 at Colorado
- A solid win for the Jayhawks on the road at Boulder this weekend. They have proven themselves to be a team that will play consistent solid football and win off their defense. I still think their record is a little better than they are. Good teams just don't go into a game with such a conservative game plan that you are leading 3-0 at half time. They will have to prove themselves again as they have to go into a hostile Kyle Field this weekend, and take on the Aggies.

#16 Texas (6-2) (2-2) - W - 31-10 at Baylor
- It almost seemed like Texas went out of their way to keep it close. And that turnover on the fourth and goal was eerily similar to the play against A&M last year. Can the Horns be any worse in the red zone? This weekend they'll welcome Nebraska to town in a match up that looked like a daunting one at the beginning of the season. Now? Let's just hope we don't keep them in the game.

The Middle Tier
Oklahoma State (5-3) (3-1) - W - 41-39 vs. #25 Kansas State
- The recovery and turn around at Oklahoma State has been nothing short of miraculous. Obviously, benching your quarterback and screaming at reporters is much more effective than say, urinating on bars. They seem to play everyone close and rely on last second heroics which worked against Texas Tech and Kansas State, but didn't against Texas A&M. This is a team that can beat everyone and lose to everyone. I don't know what that says about them.

Texas Tech (6-2) (2-2) - L - 41-10 at #15 Missouri
- This was supposed to be the coming out party for Graham Harrell and the Texas Tech offense. Four interceptions, ten points, and a lot of the Mike Leach face later, Texas Tech remains a team that will feast on weaker competition and lose to good opponents. But they get Colorado this week, and nothing can heal your wounds like a susceptible pass defense.

Texas A&M (6-2) (3-1) - W - 36-14 at Nebraska
- You look at that 6-2 mark and wonder why they're not higher in the rankings. It would be the 2 losses. A&M looked terrible against Miami and Texas Tech and have beaten everyone else. Nebraska has fallen off the face of the earth, so A&M lacks a quality win. They will have their chance to get one this weekend when #12 Kansas comes to town.

Kansas State (4-3) (2-2) - L - 41-39 at Oklahoma State
- A tough loss for Kansas State who was looking to stay in the Big XII North race. But as teams are learning when they play the Pokes, throw out any semblance of order, because you are in for a high scoring, back and forth game. Kansas State came up just short, but will get to make themselves feel better by beating up on the Baylor Bears.

The Bottom Tier
Colorado (4-4) (2-2) - L - 19-14 vs. #15 Kansas
- Colorado played the Jayhawks tough, but just didn't have enough to get it done. Colorado continues to impress people with the way they have come together in such a short time under Dan Hawkins. They are proving to be a tough out, but just don't have the talent to compete right now. Hawkins had an advantage with the blue turf in Boise. This weekend he will get to see how hard it is to play on the speed turf in that shoe box of a stadium in Lubbock.

Nebraska (4-4) (1-3) - L - 36-14 vs. Texas A&M
- It's official. This season was a disaster. The AD didn't make it through the season, but will Bill Callahan be able to make it to next season? This team is starting to look an awful lot like the Oakland Raiders teams that Callahan coached. With Tom Osborne back in the mix, any chance we can see some option? Don't look for things to improve this weekend against #16 Texas. I think the ship broke in two, and now it will bob up and down in the water for a bit before it sinks all the way to the bottom. This could get ugly.

Baylor (3-5) (0-4) - L - 31-10 vs. #19 Texas
- Not as ugly as it will get in Waco, Texas. Baylor doesn't have a game on their schedule that appears winnable the rest of the way. Really, there's nothing much to say about the Bears. They have a defense that relies on effort and an offense that could be run by any of three overwhelmed quarterbacks. Really, I think the best bet is to avoid analyzing the team and make more bar urination jokes!

Iowa State (1-7) (0-4) - L - 17-7 vs. #4 Oklahoma
- Oklahoma asked them to win. They begged them to win. They gave them chance after chance after chance to win this game. And Iowa State just politely declined. This is the closest they will come to winning a conference game this season. Unless someone really goes out of their way to lose it. Even then, it's not a guarantee that Iowa State will take it.

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