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Big 12 Power Rankings

BIG 12 POWER RANKINGS: Week 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

Geno Smith and Dana Holgorsen moved to 2-0 in Big 12 play with a 48-45 win over Texas.

West Virginia came away victorious in the marquee conference game of the season, and last week's No. 1 team, Kansas State, took care of business at home with a 56-16 win over Kansas.

The Sooners came back from their off week with an impressive win on the road - their 13th straight win after a loss - and down its starting quarterback, TCU dropped its first ever Big 12 home game.

Starting next week we'll have all ten Big 12 teams playing on Saturday for six consecutive weeks. As the meat of the conference schedule approaches, here's how thinks the conference hierarchy looks after Week 6.'s Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 6

1. Kansas State (5-0, 2-0 Big 12)
It took a while for Collin Klein to get a comfortable lead over Kansas Saturday afternoon, but in the second half they did what good teams do and pulled away from a weaker opponent. The Wildcats struggled to a 21-14 halftime lead thanks to poor time management and some successful trick plays by the Jayhawks. However, after the half Kansas State outscored Kansas 35-2. John Hubert scored four touchdowns and gained 101 yards, Klein added 116 yards and two scored on the ground along with 129 and two more through the air. People may want West Virginia in the top spot after its impressive win over Texas, but K-State did what it needed to do against an inferior opponent and stays atop our rankings for the third straight week.
This week's game: 56-16 win over Kansas
Next game: at Iowa State

2. West Virginia (5-0, 2-0)
Nobody expected Andrew Buie to be the name to come out of Saturday night's Texas-West Virginia showdown, but the sophomore is now the third leading rusher in the Big 12 after his 207-yard performance against the Longhorns (433 on the year). Geno Smith and his talented receivers made big plays when they had to - including going 5-for-5 on fourth downs - and put up their usually gaudy statistics (268 pass yards, four total touchdowns), but it was the success of the run game that kept the Mountaineers undefeated and right behind Kansas State in the race for the Big 12 crown.
This week's game: 48-45 win over Texas
Next game: at Texas Tech

3. Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1)
Oklahoma emerged from its bye week looking much better than the team that lost to Kansas State in its last game. The Sooners were led by Landry Jones' 259 yards and two touchdowns through the air against a Texas Tech team getting its first real test of the season. Oklahoma forced three Seth Doege interceptions and held Tech to less than half (89) of its average rushing total coming into the game (94.1). OU and Texas may be more like 3A and B with Texas beating a better Big 12 team on the road, but OU doing it in more dominating fashion while both have home losses to one of the conference's two best teams. We'll sort out the order next week in Dallas.
This week's game: 41-20 win over Texas Tech
Next game: vs. Texas (Dallas)

4. Texas (4-1, 1-1)
The defense is the surprising weakness in Austin through five games. While David Ash and the numerous playmakers on offense continue to put up numbers good enough to win, the defense has shown it struggles to play fundamental football. Before Saturday's showdown with the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl the Longhorns are going to have to figure out how to control an opposing ground attack - Texas now ranks ninth in the Big 12 with 182.4 yards against per game - or Damien Williams and his 7.75 yards-per-carry average could be bad news.
This week's game: 45-48 loss to West Virginia
Next game: vs. Oklahoma (Dallas)

Mike Gundy's Cowboys should get back in the win column next week against Kansas.

5. Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1)
The Cowboys were off after their home loss last week to Texas. Oklahoma State proved its offense is still a force to be reckoned with even without Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon against the Longhorns. They'll be a team that will have a say in the Big 12 title hunt if for no other reason than they have the ability on any given Saturday to knock one of the favorites off their perch.
This week's game: off
Next game: at Kansas

6. Baylor (3-1, 0-1)
Baylor was also off this week after suffering its first loss of the season in the shootout in Morgantown two weeks ago. The Bears' offense looked very good against West Virginia the last time out, and if they can do that against some of the better defenses in the league there's no reason to think they, like the Cowboys, will have a say in the 2012 conference race. Baylor hosts a TCU team coming of a home loss to Iowa State before traveling to Austin to face the Longhorns.
This week's game: off
Next game: vs. TCU

7. Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1)
The Red Raiders actually move up a spot despite losing by 21 to Oklahoma thanks to TCU. Tech came into the weekend undefeated with a win over Iowa State, but the Sooners brought the Red Raiders back to Earth. Seth Doege had thrown 15 touchdowns to three interceptions in the four games prior to this weekend, but came away with no scores and three picks against Oklahoma. Life doesn't get easier for Tommy Tuberville's bunch with games in consecutive weeks vs. West Virginia, at TCU, at Kansas State and vs. Texas over the next four weeks.
This week's game: 20-41 loss to Oklahoma
Next game: vs. West Virginia

8. Iowa State (4-1, 1-1)
Sophomore Jared Barnett got the start for Iowa State in its win over TCU as the Cyclones continue to search for an answer at quarterback. Barnett threw for 183 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in his first start of the year and the Cyclones forced five TCU turnovers with quarterback Casey Pachall out for the game (more on that in a second). Iowa State lost the total yards battle, the time of possession battle and were just 4-of-13 on third downs, but the turnovers, including a pick-six by defensive end David Irving that put ISU up 14 midway through the fourth quarter, were enough to pull off the upset win.
This week's game: 37-23 win over TCU
Next game: vs. Kansas State

9. TCU (4-1, 1-1)
TCU is better than the team that lost Saturday to TCU, but without Pachall, who's suspended indefinitely for a DWI, the Horned Frogs don't have enough firepower to beat even the average teams in the conference. TCU can rise up out of the cellar when Pachall comes back, but dual-threat redshirt freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin isn't quite ready to lead them there. He threw for 270 yards and ran for 39 more (on 14 attempts), but had three interceptions. This team all of a sudden looks like it could feasibly be in trouble of losing all of its remaining games (at Baylor, vs. Tech, at OSU, at WVU, vs. KSU, at Texas, vs. OU) and finish its Big 12 debut season with a thud.
This week's game: 32-37 loss to Iowa State
Next game: at Baylor

10. Kansas (1-4, 0-2)
For a few minutes there the Jayhawks had people thinking they could give Kansas State a game on Saturday. However, K-State proved it's the better team and Kansas proved it's a very bad team in the second half. The lone highlight for the Jayhawks was running back James Sims continuing to churn out yards in his second game back from starting the season suspended. The junior ran for 115 yards on 28 carries and a score against the Wildcats. Kansas' Dayne Crist threw three more interceptions to bring his season total to seven.
This week's game: 16-56 loss to Kansas State
Next game: vs. Oklahoma State

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