Big 12 Power Rankings Week 8: Kansas State Wildcats Joining Big 12 Elite

Lake CruiseAnalyst IOctober 18, 2011

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 8: Kansas State Wildcats Joining Big 12 Elite

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    In a quarterback-based conference, the Wildcats are becoming big elite cats in the Big 12 and beyond. They’re doing it without a big name QB, but they’re doing it bigger than expected by becoming one of three undefeated teams in the conference.

    After resounding and impressive wins over Miami (FL), Baylor, Missouri and Texas Tech, they’ll face the KU Jayhawks coming up. The Wildcats (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) can go to a place where they haven’t been since the magical 2003 season under Bill Snyder.

    The Cats upset No. 1 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game that season by a whopping 35-7 score. This Saturday, KSU will face the KU team that played this year’s No. 1 Sooners last weekend and stayed in the game in the first half. It shows how tough the Big 12 can truly be.

    Where could the Wildcats be on my list of Big 12 powerhouses this week? Join me to find out if the Cats overtook one of the Oklahomas.

10. Kansas Jayhawks: Proof Most Big 12 Conference Games Aren’t Cakewalks

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    The last place Jayhawks also tried to overtake one of the Oklahomas by giving OU a tougher-than-expected game, but Kansas fell as expected to a lot of people’s No. 1 team in the nation—including mine.

9. Iowa State Cyclones: Calming Storms

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    In contrast to KU last week and ISU last year, the Cyclones have lost strength so far this season after being competitive in the conference in 2010. They haven’t won a Big 12 game this year lost big—52-17—to the Missouri Tigers last Saturday in Columbia, MO.

    Momentum isn’t gathering in the whirlwind headquarters in Ames, Iowa, but Cyclone fans can hope their team plays a fledgling spoiler role down the stretch.

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders: Lost 2 in a Row

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    The fledgling Red Raiders (4-2, 1-2) lost at home to Kansas State last weekend, but TTU will need to recover in rapid time. Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Baylor all remain.

    The once undefeated Red Raiders’ record could take an even bigger hit going forward.

7. Texas Longhorns: Another Big Loss

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    The very fledgling Longhorn Network could take a bigger hit than it has the last two weeks due to big losses to the Oklahomas.

    It isn’t a stretch to say the Longhorns (4-2, 1-2) weren’t bargaining on losing both of these games; they expected to be much better than last season with a year of experience under their belts and a superstar prep running back named Malcolm Brown joining the team in Austin.

    Senior tailback Fozzie Whitaker has played well enough to draw attention from NFL teams looking for kick returners and third down backs in the model of Darren Sproles.

6. Baylor Bears: Bedazzled by the Tale of 2 Ryans by the Brazos River

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    The Bears, in contrast, don’t need a Sproles-type back, but they appear to be lacking a coherent coverage scheme in the defensive backfield. The talent is there, and they tackle very well. The Texas A&M Aggies exposed them, however, in coverage last weekend in a shootout of epic proportions.

    The Bears still have their own explosive set of three wide receivers and a powerhouse tailback who isn’t in the Darren Sproles line. Look for the Bears (4-2, 1-2) to try to eat the Oklahoma State Cowboys’ honey in Stillwater this Saturday in another shoot ‘em up-styled game.

5. Missouri Tigers: Nice Homecoming

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    The Tigers (3-3, 1-2) also have a young tailback named Henry Josey who is also in the Darren Sproles line of all-purpose output.

    They smashed the Cyclones with help from Josey and quarterback James Franklin’s accounting for six touchdowns combined—five from Franklin. It was Mizzou’s 100th homecoming game. The Tigers will welcome Oklahoma State to Columbia next Saturday at 11:00 a.m. CT on FX.

4. Texas A&M Aggies: 2 Ryans Rolling

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    The Aggies (4-2, 2-1) played the Battle of the Brazos, also on FX, in a day game last Saturday and beat the living daylights out of the Baylor Bears.

    The tale of two Ryans (Tannehill and Swope) played out just as I’d predicted, but I picked the Bears to win. It was only my second incorrect prediction this season. The other one was Michigan State-Michigan. I’ll do better next time. A&M appears to be doing better, but I’ll reserve my ruling until after they face Iowa State next Saturday and then Mizzou.

3. Kansas State Wildcats: Scratching and Clawing for Respect

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    Coach Bill Snyder and the undefeated Wildcats have several more wins to go before they can be respected as a BCS National Championship contender.

    They’ll face this Kansas Saturday before back-to-back-to-back-to back games with the Oklahomas, Texas A&M and Texas. I’ll be watching to see how high the Cats can go in the BCS rankings.

2. Oklahoma State Cowboys: Roping in High Rankings from the BCS

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    The Cowboys are a high-ranking team in the BCS top 10, and T. Boone Pickens can rest assured that his alma mater can compete with the best teams in the nation.

    I’ll be watching to see if they can take their ranking to the next level.

1. Oklahoma Sooners: Soon Will Be Done with the Troubles of the BCS

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    The BCS also has Oklahoma highly ranked behind LSU and Alabama, and I'm baffled. The preseason No. 1 Sooners haven't lost a game.

    They appear poised to make another deep run for the national championship this season, and they know it. I don’t see them about to blow it. With there not being a Big 12 Championship Game this season, they’ll need to survive Oklahoma State in Norman. I don’t see that being a problem.

    Don't make it a problem between us by missing my next column. I have an all-seeing eye that I keep in a glass by the bed.