Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Big XII Power Rankings

A week that showed Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma all making their case for the top spot with impressive victories. Elsewhere Texas continued to hang on, and Iowa State climbed out of the cellar with a surprise win.

The Top Tier
#4 Oklahoma (8-1) (4-1) - W - 42-14 vs. Texas A&M
- Oklahoma continued to handle Texas A&M as this one was never in doubt as Oklahoma jumped out to a 35-0 lead after 3 quarters. This week it won't get any harder for the Sooners who will host the Baylor Bears. Oklahoma is just preparing for their final two, a trip to Lubbock and a visit from Oklahoma State. Oklahoma should be able to get by both of them and then get ready for the Big XII North winner.

#7 Missouri (8-1) (4-1) - W - 55-10 at Colorado
- After a close first quarter, Missouri turned it on as Chase Daniel led the way with 421 yards passing and 5 touchdowns. Missouri will now get ready for a visit from the Texas A&M Aggies, which could be slightly challenging now that Missouri no longer receives their insider newsletter. After this week, Missouri has to go on the road to take on Kansas State, before the showdown at #5 Kansas.

#5 Kansas (9-0) (5-0) - W - 76-39 vs. Nebraska
- Kansas was trying to figure out a way to gain respect, and came to the conclusion that dropping 76 points on Nebraska would do it. They were right, as they jumped up in both the human and computer polls. It is still difficult to say whether Kansas has played anyone. They are obviously good, but it would be nice to see them in a close game. There is a chance of that happening this weekend as they travel to Oklahoma State. If they can get by the Cowboys then they will be 11-0 heading for a showdown with #7 Missouri. It could be the first time there has been an important game in the Big XII North this decade.

#14 Texas (8-2) (4-2) - W - 38-35 at Oklahoma State
- Another ugly performance and another ugly win for the Longhorns. This is becoming pretty common place for Texas, who could be one of the worst 8-2 teams in the country. (You know, not counting mid majors) The Horns have Texas Tech and A&M the rest of the way, which will obviously lead to more close, poorly played games. So Texas could end up anywhere from 8-4 to 10-2. Who knows with this team. The only thing for sure is that Robert Killebrew will make you want to jab something in your eye.

The Middle Tier
Oklahoma State (5-4) (3-2) - L - 38-35 vs. #14 Texas
- A terrible loss for the Cowboys who could have absolutely destroyed the Longhorns had it not been for the offense going conservative over the last 11 minutes. The Cowboys offense is high powered and should be a great test this weekend for #5 Kansas. But we've seen what Kansas can do against a terrible defense, and Oklahoma State (despite what the Longhorns would have you believe) has a terrible defense.

Texas Tech (7-3) (3-3) - W - 38-7 at Baylor
- Texas Tech had lost two straight in terrible fashion, with quarterback Graham Harrell throwing 4 interceptions in each of the last two. What better way to get back on track then a game against the Baylor Bears. Tech did just that, and now finish their season with the #14 Texas Longhorns and the #4 Oklahoma Sooners. Either will be considered a major upset, but neither is out of the realm of possibility with the Texas Tech offense.

Kansas State (5-4) (3-3) - L - 31-20 at Iowa State
- After what looked to be a promising season, full of building blocks for the future, Kansas State has started to unravel late in the season. The latest this past week with their loss to the then 1-8 Iowa State Cyclones. An embarrassing loss for the Wildcats, that they will need to recover from quickly because they want to be at full strength when they get their licks in against the now pathetic looking Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Texas A&M (6-4) (3-3) - L - 42-14 at #5 Oklahoma
- Things just keep looking worse for the Aggies, as they lost at Oklahoma a week after losing to Kansas. Franchione appears on his way out at season's end, and if they don't win one of their last two games, this weekend at #7 Missouri, or the finale at home versus #14 Texas, A&M will end up 9th in the Big XII and spending the holidays at home, despite being bowl eligible.

Colorado (5-5) (3-3) - L - 55-10 vs. #9 Missouri
While they were absolutely destroyed at home, things aren't looking all that badly for Colorado. The Buffaloes end the season with Iowa State and Nebraska, and if they can win out, which they should, it would put them in 5th in the Big XII and possibly heading to the Alamo Bowl. That would be an enormous boost for a program that everyone expected to be battling Iowa State and Baylor for the cellar. Kudos Dan Hawkins, kudos.

The Bottom Tier
Nebraska (4-6) (1-5) - L - 76-39 at. #8 Kansas
- It was tempting to move them down on the sole preface of giving up 76 points in a conference game. But this team isn't that bad, but it certainly appears they have quit on Coach Callahan and the season. It is shocking and unthinkable that a team this rooted in tradition and with such a dedicated fan base could ever quit. It is just dismal in Nebraska right now, and Callahan is pretty much gone after the season. That is if Tom Osborne doesn't strangle him for ruining his baby before the season ends.

Iowa State (2-8) (1-5) - W - 31-20 vs. Kansas State
- A testament for not quitting on your coach and your season, as near misses the past two weeks finally turned into an upset victory for the atrocious Iowa State Cyclones. But it is apparent that Gene Chizik has had this team playing much better since the Texas loss. They have a chance to get another upset against Colorado before they have to face #5 Kansas to end the season. At least they have something to build on for next year as opposed to...

Baylor (3-7) (0-6) - L - 38-7 vs. Texas Tech
- With #4 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on tap to end the season it appears that the Bears will find themselves in a somewhat familiar place. Winless in the Big XII. Hoping to make their first bowl game since the Nixon administration, the Bears season quickly fell apart in conference. Some will say that it was due to a new quarterback learning a difficult offensive system, but most likely they will say unacceptable and look for Guy Morriss' replacement. Does it seem like they have a season like this, fire their coach and in Year 3 or 4 he peaks at 5-6, before having another season like this?

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