Big 12 Football: Week 8 Power Rankings

Mike WehlingAnalyst IOctober 25, 2010

Big 12 Football: Week 8 Power Rankings

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    Wow. The Big 12 had some huge and fun games this week.

    Texas falls to Iowa State at home. Nebraska wins a shootout with Oklahoma State. Kansas continues to struggle losing to Texas A&M. Colorado blows a 10-point lead in its loss to Texas Tech. Baylor gets to bowl eligibility for the first time ever in the Big 12 with over a win over Kansas State. Gary Pinkel finally gets his first win against one of the big boys by knocking off No. 1 Oklahoma.

    With that quick recap, where do the Big 12 teams rank after Week 8?

12. Kansas Jayhawks

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    Record: 2-5 (0-5)

    Big 12 North Ranking: tied for sixth

    National Ranking: N/A

    Were you expecting someone else? Kansas continued its slide into what is becoming a season to forget, as they lost 45-10 against the Texas A&M Aggies.

    Jordan Webb led in rushing and passing, which in this game is not something to be proud of. He was 9-of-18 for 90 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions and ran for 75 yards. He was eventually replaced by Kale Pick, who was also bad, going 7-of-12 with 40 yards.

    The defense stunk up the place, giving up 521 total yards of offense. Considering they played the turnover-happy Aggies, the fact that Kansas did not get a single turnover is sad.

    Turner Gill's inaugural season in the land of the Jayhawks is turning into a regime killer—but as bad as they are, at least they are not Minnesota.

    Kansas player of the week: Tim Biere—got the only touchdown of the game and led in receiving with 67 yards.

    Week 9: @ Iowa State

    Prediction: Loss—Did anyone else see Iowa State knock off Texas and their great defense? What will the Cyclones do against a really bad defense?

11. Colorado Buffaloes

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    Record: 3-4 (0-3)

    Big 12 North Ranking: tied for sixth

    National Ranking: N/A

    Way to go Colorado. You blew a 10-point lead over Texas Tech at home and lost again. Colorado led 24-14 at the end of the third quarter and let Texas Tech gain 169 yards and 13 points to their 36 yards and zero points in the fourth quarter.

    Take away that last quarter and Colorado played good football. They had no turnovers, and the offense (except for the run game) and defense were clicking, even with Tyler Hansen out for the game. Cody Hawkins had 274 yards passing and two touchdowns. The team also had no turnovers, and the defense caused two.

    The run game stunk, only getting 32 yards on the ground, though they were able to effectively torch the Red Raiders through the air. Yet the fourth quarter meltdown erased it all. Dan Hawkins' seat has definitely heated up since conference play began.

    Colorado player of the week: Cody Hawkins—274 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions

    Week 9: @ Oklahoma

    Prediction: Loss—Good luck trying to break the nation's longest home winning streak. As bad as Colorado has been at home, they have been worse out of the state.

10. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Record: 4-3 (1-2)

    Big 12 South Ranking: sixth

    National Ranking: N/A

    Texas A&M finally won its first Big 12 conference game. If they had not beaten the Jayhawks, Mike Sherman would have been fired right then and there. However, the Aggies were able to control the game early and never lifted their foot from the pedal.

    Once they got out to a seven-point lead in the second quarter, we actually saw Johnson's backup quarterback play. Ryan Tannehill threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns, more than Johnson's 139 yards and no touchdowns.

    The Aggies also finally had a day where they did not have any turnovers. The defense was able to pick off Jordan Webb twice. All in all A&M racked up 521 yards to Kansas's 331.

    With the impressive play of Tannehill and Sherman hinting at open competition in all positions, is it possible we see a midseason change-up at quarterback?

    Texas A&M player of the week: Jerrod Johnson—new holder of career total yards at A&M with 8,888 (very weird number).

    Week 9: Texas Tech

    Prediction: Loss—Congratulations, A&M. You can beat the Big 12 bottom feeder. Let's see how you do against a team that has talent and can score (very quickly too).

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Record: 4-3 (2-3)

    Big 12 South Ranking: fifth

    National Ranking: N/A

    Well, it was ugly, but the Red Raiders were able to get the win in Colorado following a fourth quarter rally, winning 27-24. Taylor Potts was decent, going 24-of-38 for 286 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

    The running game is struggling for Texas Tech, only averaging 3.9 yards per carry, and none of the running backs cracked 100 yards or got a touchdown.

    The defense is also an issue for the Red Raiders. For being hailed as a defensive mastermind, Tommy Tuberville has not shown that he is one. His team is surrendering 30.9 points per game, ranking them 94th in the country—not good. That is definitely an issue they need to resolve if they want to go to a better bowl game than the Dallas Football Classic Bowl.

    Texas Tech player of the week: Alexander Torres—season-high 133 yards on six catches and a touchdown. He is looking like he could be the next great wide receiver at Texas Tech.

    Week 9: @ Texas A&M

    Prediction: Win—A&M has yet to beat a competent team, and I do not think they will break that streak yet. Tech is better on offense than the mistake-prone Aggies.

8. Texas Longhorns

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    Record: 4-3 (2-2)

    Big 12 South Ranking: fourth

    National Ranking: BCS No. 39

    There are no real words to describe this. Let's try this:

    What the hell was that? You knock off the No. 5 team, and then you lose to a team you have NEVER lost to? At home!? What is going on in Austin?

    Garrett Gilbert was 34-of-57 for 344 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. The running game that got over 200 yards rushing against Nebraska only had 92 yards.

    It has apparently gotten so heated in Austin that fans are clamoring for Case McCoy to get a shot at the starting job, or for Texas to fire Greg Davis, or both.

    One, Davis won't get fired; he has been with Mack Brown too long. Two, this is Gilbert's first year; it's time to accept the fact that not every program reloads. Sometimes you have to take a step back and reload to move forward.

    Texas player of the week: John Chiles—five catches for 117 yards and a touchdown.

    Week 9: Baylor

    Prediction: Loss—Considering their struggles at home, I do not think the Longhorns will be able to handle the dynamic Bears and Robert Griffin III.

7. Kansas State Wildcats

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    Record: 5-2 (2-2)

    Big 12 North Ranking: third

    National Ranking: BCS No. 27

    I am seriously questioning why this game was not on any station. It was a very close game with two teams that have not been to a bowl game in a long time fighting for their sixth win.

    What is really surprising about the Wildcats is that they have survived on the run for most of the season. This game they only had 109 rushing yards and 298 yards through the air. Carson Coffman has improved as a passer, going 20-of-29 for 231 yards and an interception.

    While the offense is becoming less one-dimensional, the defense is just bad. They gave up 683 total yards to the Bears, 404 passing and 279 on the ground. If they cannot get their defense to improve, they are going to have issues getting their sixth win.

    Kansas State player of the week: Daniel Thomas—113 rushing yards with two touchdowns and a 67-yard touchdown pass.

    Week 9: Oklahoma State

    Prediction: Loss—If they couldn't stop the Bears' offense, how in the world are they going to stop the best offense in the conference?

6. Iowa State Cyclones

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Record: 4-4 (2-2)

    Big 12 North Ranking: fourth

    National Ranking: N/A

    I said last week I would eat crow if the Cyclones won this game; well, serve me a plate please. The Cyclones shocked the world by winning their first ever game against the Longhorns.

    They definitely needed this win to improve morale after being blasted the last two games, and it keeps their bowl hopes alive with winnable games against Kansas and Colorado still on the schedule.

    While the offense did what they needed to do, they were not that impressive. Austen Arnaud had 136 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Alexander Robinson was impressive though in getting 120 yards and two touchdowns.

    The real reason the Cyclones pulled off the upset was the defense forcing three-and-outs and four turnovers.

    The Cyclones will move even closer to bowl eligibility with bottom feeder Kansas this week.

    Iowa State player of the week: Iowa State's cornerbacks—Yes, it's not a player, but they had three interceptions that led to the upset.

    Week 9: Kansas

    Prediction: Win—They need this win to get one step closer to bowl eligibility, and they will get it.

5. Baylor Bears

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Record: 6-2 (3-1)

    Big 12 South Ranking: first

    National Ranking: BCS No. 25

    Baylor is the best Texas school in the Big 12 and is sitting atop the Big 12 South. I'm just going to let that sink in for a minute.

    Robert Griffin III has carried this team to a historic first: The Baylor Bears are bowl eligible for the first time in the Big 12 era. Art Briles has done a terrific job in turning this team around.

    While the defense is not the greatest, the offense is outstanding. Griffin threw for 404 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Jay Finley rushed for a school-record 250 yards with two touchdowns as the Bears outscored the Wildcats 47-42.

    Seriously, is anyone else shocked by how good the Bears have been? Or is it more they have played bad teams? We will find out when they play Texas.

    Baylor player of the week: Jay Finley—Had a school-record 250 yards rushing.

    Week 9: @ Texas

    Prediction: Win—I'll go with the Bears beating the Longhorns here. They have a really good offense, and Texas has struggled at home.

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Record: 6-1 (2-1)

    Big 12 South Ranking: tied for second

    National Ranking: BCS No. 17

    The best offense in the conference got outmatched. The Cowboys lost a shootout with the Cornhuskers and got technically upset, though they were really close in the rankings.

    The Cowboys racked up 495 total yards on the very good Nebraska defense. While they had a good offensive showing, their defense gave up too many big plays and were not able to keep up with the Huskers, losing 51-41.

    Oklahoma State's running back Kendall Hunter became the first running back in three years to rush for 200 yards against the Blackshirts. However they were not able to effectively move through the air as effectively as they have in recent games.

    They are still a very good team and still have a shot at the Big 12 title game.

    Oklahoma State player of the week: Justin Blackmon—five catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

    Week 9: Kansas State

    Prediction: Win—Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Wildcats are terrible at defense.

3. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Record: 6-1 (2-1)

    Big 12 South Ranking: tied for second

    National Ranking: BCS No. 9

    Well, Oklahoma proved that they are not the No. 1 team in the country last week. The run game got stuffed, only getting 99 yards, with freshman Trey Millard getting the only touchdown on the ground. Trey is also ironically from Columbia, Missouri.

    Landry Jones threw for 303 yards on 32-of-50 passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

    The team was outplayed this game. On the very first play of the game, they gave up an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. They played a game of tit for tat up until the fourth quarter, where they broke down, letting the Tigers score 16 unanswered points, losing to Missouri 36-27.

    All of the late wins and last minute stops were eventually going to catch up to Oklahoma, as it does with all teams. The good news for Oklahoma is that they get a chance to rebound against a bad Colorado team at home.

    Oklahoma player of the week: Ryan Broyles—Eight catches for 110 yards. Everyone else was bad.

    Week 9: Colorado

    Prediction: Win—It's at home, and Colorado is bad.

2. Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Record: 6-1 (2-1)

    Big 12 North Ranking: second

    National Ranking: BCS No. 14

    Nebraska bounced back from the Texas loss to win a shootout with Oklahoma State, 51-41. Taylor Martinez, who has been criticized for being one-dimensional, was 22-of-35 for 323 yards and five touchdowns, while running for 112 yards on 19 carries.

    The receiving corps bounced back from their disastrous outing against Texas. Niles Paul had 131 yards on nine catches, as well as a 101-yard kickoff return touchdown. Brandon Kinnie had his first touchdown catch and followed it up with two more for a total of three.

    The run game was not as effective as it has been, only gaining 217 yards and no touchdowns. The defense looked bad. The running defense was bad, but the passing defense did its job, limiting Brandon Weeden to less than his average for yards.

    Overall it was a good game for the Nebraska offense, but not so much for the Blackshirts. For some reason Bo Pelini has major issues with Air Raid-type offenses.

    They have a monumental battle with Missouri for the Big 12 North this week.

    Nebraska player of the week: Taylor Martinez—435 total yards, five touchdowns and Walter Camp's player of the week.

    Week 9: Missouri

    Prediction: Win—Hey, I'm a Nebraska fan, so sue me. I'm still not sure if the Tigers are legit. Oklahoma struggled a lot against teams this season. The peso defense is also built specifically for the spread.

1. Missouri Tigers

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    Record: 7-0 (3-0)

    Big 12 North Ranking: first

    National Ranking: BCS No. 6

    Missouri takes the top spot for the first time this season. Gary Pinkel finally got his big win against the Sooners.

    Some criticized them for scheduling Oklahoma for their homecoming game, but they silenced them. Blaine Gabbert was able to effectively move the Tigers offense, while the improved defense was able to keep the Sooners at bay.

    This Missouri team has definitely improved over last year's team. They are playing way better on defense. They played a great game of football and deserved this win. They are now the only Big 12 team that is undefeated and are in the driver's seat for the Big 12 North. They also have an outside shot at a national title game.

    They have a huge rivalry game with Nebraska next week for the Missouri-Nebraska Bell and the Big 12 North title.

    Missouri player of the week: Aldon Smith—Came back from an injury and got an interception that he took 58 yards the other way.

    Week 9: @ Nebraska

    Prediction: Loss—Nebraska's peso defense was built for this type of offense, plus no quarterback that has committed to then decommitted from Nebraska has ever beaten Nebraska.