It’s that time again, Big 12 power rankings for week five. The league itself is battling a lot of turmoil as it is still deciding whether to expand or not. On the field, the offenses are as electric as ever and The Suave Report looks ahead to the Red River Rivalry where Oklahoma and Texas will battle it out. Until that preview, let’s examine the power rankings after week five.
- West Virginia (1): The Mountaineers are 4-0 for the first time since 2012. Not only is that impressive for a team who was assumed to not do well this season but they also had to come back from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to beat a Bill Snyder-led Kansas State team 17-16. Knowing Bill Snyder, that’s not as easy as it sounds. WVU piled up 422 yards against what had been, statistically, the nation’s top defense. QB Skyler Howard threw for 298 and successfully put the Mountaineers on top for the first time with six minutes left in the game. Dana Holgerson has gone from the hot seat to competing for a conference championship and who knows, if they continue to win they could compete for a spot in the playoffs.
- Baylor (2): Baylor stayed at number 2 for winning this weekend but didn’t rise to number 1 because of the way they won. The Bears are still undefeated but that required sneaking out of Ames Iowa with a 45-42 victory over Iowa State that had them down by 14 early and found themselves in a shootout throughout the game. For Baylor (5-0 overall, 2-0 in the league), a win is a win. Something OU fans wish they could say, and after a bye week this week, the Bears get Kansas in Waco. Meaning there isn’t a loss in the foreseeable future. Shock Linwood gained 237 of Baylor’s 469 rushing yards and the Bears played just good enough defensively in the fourth quarter, allowing Chris Callahan to win it with a 19-yard field goal as time expired.
- Oklahoma State (3): Finally, an impressive win for the home team Cowboys against a Texas squad. Oklahoma State, who avoided their first 2-3 start under 12th-year coach Mike Gundy, flexed their ground game against what is supposed to be a stout Texas defensive line.Behind freshman Justice Hill, who rushed for 135 yards the Cowboys continue to show their depth at the running back position. Mason Rudolph continued his great play with 392 yards through the air, including 310 in the first half. Texas may have caught their hand in the cookie jar as they have the big rivalry coming up and Oklahoma State took advantage
- Oklahoma (7): A big leap for the Sooners, who came back from 14 points down to lead by 25, then gave all but three back at TCU before winning 52-46. Things are still a ways from being fixed for Oklahoma despite the league-opening victory, but it can continue to move toward the top this weekend with Texas waiting in Dallas. Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine showed why they have donned the title of the best duo in the nation after they gained 203 of the Sooners’ 260 yards on the ground, and QB Baker Mayfield played well (considering two lost fumbles), connecting with Dede Westbrook seven times for 158 yards. The Sooners avoided a second consecutive regular-season loss for the first time since 1999. Whether the Sooners can string some wins together begins this week, as they seek revenge on the Longhorns; and Bob Stoops usually does a decent job in revenge games.
- TCU (5): One thing that isn’t said very often by a Gary Patterson squad is “defensive troubles.” But the Horned Frogs, who were sliced by 534 yards to Oklahoma and were outscored 42-3 from late in the first quarter until late in the third, are having full-on pandemonium in the defensive meeting room. Kenny Hill threw for 449 yards and five touchdowns. The transfer QB’s numbers remain impressive, but TCU has a lot of soul searching to do now after this second loss if they expect to compete in the conference. That’s the third time in five games the Frogs have given up more than 40 points and in an offensive heavy league like the Big 12, some tweaks need to be made quickly. Three of their next four games are on the road, starting Saturday at Kansas (So I predict a win for the Frogs).
- Texas (4): Remember the two early victories by the Longhorns that vaulted them from unranked to top 15 in the nation? Yeah, that’s over worth. Texas has been humbled again and is a long way from prominence as head coach Charlie Strong had the flame lit under his chair once again. Texas allowed a second straight foe to roll up more than 500 yards of offense and Oklahoma State blocked three extra-point attempts, returning the first botched kick for a two-point conversion in the first quarter. Freshman QB Shane Buechele threw for 239 yards and seems to be the silver lining on the season as it stands right now. Running backs D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren both topped 100 yards Saturday, but both left in the second half because of injuries. Charlie Strong announced he will now take over the defense in a last chance hope of saving his job. The Oklahoma vs Texas game will be the game to watch this week.
- Texas Tech: It’s time for the Red Raiders to be mentioned in the power rankings as Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Nic Shimonek threw four touchdowns apiece Thursday night in a 55-19 victory over Kansas. That is impressive, although the Red Raiders wish it had not occurred because it meant the loss of Mahomes, the nation’s most lethal passer who left in the third quarter because of an apparent shoulder injury after he was tackled at the end of a 32-yard scramble. Tech destroyed the Jayhawks after the injury by tossing touchdowns to 6 different receivers including rising star Cameron Batson and sophomore Jonathan Giles who racked up 219 receiving yards. The Red Raiders got the win but They will be needing the gunslinger back if they expect to get more.
8. Kansas State
9. Iowa State