Collin Klein's seven touchdowns against West Virginia have Kansas State still atop our rankings and have him atop many Heisman polls.
For the second straight week all ten Big 12 teams played a conference game. Unlike last week the scores were less surprising, aside from one giant exception in Morgantown.
There wasn't a ton of movement in this week's power rankings, but as we approach the halfway point of the Big 12 season, the contenders and pretenders are starting to show themselves across the conference.
Hookem.com's Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 8
(1) 1. Kansas State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12)
In the marquee game in the Big 12 this week Kansas State flexed its muscle and proved it is without question the top team in the conference this season. The Wildcats completely dismantled West Virginia in Morgantown as Collin Klein likely took over for Geno Smith as the mid-season Heisman favorite. K-State's senior quarterback accounted for seven touchdowns (three passing, four rushing) and 364 yards in a battle of Heisman candidates. The Wildcat defense also forced Smith's first two interceptions of the season while holding him to 143 yards passing.
Last game: 55-14 win over West Virginia
Next game: vs. Texas Tech
(2) 2. Oklahoma (5-1, 3-1)
There was no emotional letdown for the Sooners after their big win last week over Texas with the lowly Kansas Jawhawks coming to town. Landry Jones threw for three touchdowns and 291 yards, Damien Williams added a touchdown and 44 yards on eight carries and OU added two special teams touchdowns in its second straight rout. The Sooners were up 38-0 at halftime before taking their foot of the gas and cruising to an easy win. They get what could be the game of the week across the entire country next week with Notre Dame coming to town.
Last game: 52-7 win over Kansas
Next game: vs. Notre Dame
(3) 3. Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1)
Tommy Tuberville's Red Raiders picked up their third conference win in what was the most exciting game of the weekend in the Big 12. Tech got seven passing touchdowns from Seth Doege (who now leads the country with 28) and overcame ten TCU points in the final 2:25 of regulation to pull off the win in triple overtime. The Red Raider defense forced three TCU turnovers while Tech avoided turning the ball over in 69 snaps. Doege and the Red Raiders will get their biggest test of the year this Saturday when they travel to Manhattan to face the undefeated Wildcats.
Last game: 56-53 win over TCU (3OT)
Next game: at Kansas State
(6) 4. TCU (5-2, 2-2)
Despite losing to Tech, TCU moves up two spots as redshirt freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin continues to impress as the emergency starter at quarterback. Boykin has started three games since Casey Pachall was shown the door and has nine touchdowns to five interceptions while also giving the Horned Frogs a running threat at the quarterback position as well. B.J. Catalon and Matthew Tucker combined to run 24 times for 131 yards (5.46 average) on Saturday. We'll see how long TCU can stay in the upper echelon of the Big 12 as the four opponents after this week's date with Oklahoma State are all ranked inside the top 25.
Last game: 53-56 loss to Texas Tech (3OT)
Next game: at Oklahoma State
(4) 5. West Virginia (5-2, 2-2)
The honeymoon phase is officially over for the Mountaineers. They were the toast of the conference over the first month of the season, but they've lost their last two games by a combined score of 104-28. Geno Smith has come crashing back to reality after the Heisman talk at the end of September, and the non-existent defense at West Virginia has proven it can't always be hidden by the offense. They get a week off to lick their wounds before hosting TCU on Nov. 3.
Last game:14-55 loss to Kansas State
Next game: vs. TCU (Nov. 3)
The Longhorns move up a spot after bouncing back from their blowout loss to Oklahoma.
(7) 6. Texas (5-2, 2-2)
Texas avoided disaster by doing enough to beat Baylor at home on Saturday, but there are still a lot of questions facing the Longhorns with still five conference games left on the schedule. The offense proved the Oklahoma disaster wasn't a complete setback, but the defense is still a huge area of concern for the Horns. The good news is Texas plays Kansas this weekend and will have an opportunity to work on some things against the league's worst squad, but after that are four games that could all easily be losses if the defense doesn't find a way to improve.
Last game: 56-50 win over Baylor
Next game: at Kansas
(8) 7. Oklahoma State (4-2, 2-1)
After a sluggish performance against the Jayhawks last week, the Cowboys bounced back and took care of Iowa State in Stillwater to stay in the Big 12 race. With just one conference loss so far, the Cowboys actually still control their own destiny to repeat as Big 12 champs. However, their two wins came against the Nos. 8 and 10 teams in our power rankings and their loss came to No. 6, making it seem pretty unlikely they find a way to get through the meat of their schedule without another loss. Joseph Randle (the league's leading rusher) rushed for 151 yards and two scores against the Cyclones and J.W. Walsh threw for 415 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.
Last game: 31-10 win over Iowa State
Next game: vs. TCU
(5) 8. Iowa State (4-3, 1-3)
Iowa State falls the farthest this week in our power rankings after their 21-point loss to the Pokes. The Cyclones looked formidable last week when playing Kansas State tough, but quarterback Jared Barnett completed just 48.7 percent of his passes and the ISU offense converted on only 4 of their 17 third-down conversions against OSU, and the defense allowed Oklahoma State to gain 625 total yards. The Cyclones are good enough to beat one of the better teams in the league this year, but they won't be able to play with them consistently.
Last game: 10-31 loss to Oklahoma State
Next game: vs. Baylor
(9) 9. Baylor (3-3, 0-3)
The Bears remain winless in Big 12 play after allowing 56 points to the Longhorns Saturday night. Through three conference games, Baylor is allowing a mind-boggling 58.3 points per game. For some perspective, the 44 points per game it's allowing overall is already good enough for dead last out of the 124 FBS schools. Nick Florence and Terrance Williams will continue to connect and score points, but with this horrid defense the wins are going to be hard to come by in Waco this year.
Last game: 50-56 loss to Texas
Next game: at Iowa State
(10) 10. Kansas (1-6, 0-4)
Things looked a little better last week for Kansas when they played Oklahoma State tough, but they came back to reality thanks to the Sooners on Saturday in a 45-point loss. Oklahoma was pitching a shutout until KU punched it across the goalline with just over three minutes left in the game. Kansas ran the ball 58 times against Oklahoma and owned the time of possession by a 2:1 margin, but in this league you have to end drives with points, and the Jayhawks couldn't get it done. The one bright spot for Kansas is running back James Sims who's averaging 111.5 yards per game (second in the Big 12) in the four games he's played in 2012. He put up 102 and KU's lone score in Saturday's loss.
Last game: 7-52 loss to Oklahoma
Next game: vs. Texas
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