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Big 12 Power Rankings: Sooners loss to Jayhawks shakes up the top of the conference

The Kansas Jayhawks upset win over the Oklahoma Sooners was their first since 1997 after an 18-game losing streak against OU. It showed off the strong direction their program is heading under Lance Leipold and added another team to the Big 12 title race mix.

While the Sooners are still in first place in the Big 12 due to tiebreakers, there are currently five teams with a 4-1 record in Big 12 play and two more teams (West Virginia and Kansas) that are one game back of first place at 3-2.

The depth of the Big 12 is starting to reveal itself as teams begin to beat up on each other. Week 9 provides a semifinals of sorts for the Big 12 title game with Kansas State traveling to Austin to take on Texas and Oklahoma State hosting the Sooners in Stillwater for Bedlam. The teams that come out of this weekend with a win will have the best shot to make the Big 12 title game.

Texas Longhorns (7-1, 4-1 Big 12)

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 2

This Week: Beat BYU 35-6

No Quinn Ewers, no problem. The Longhorns played a good team game, limiting the BYU offense and getting a score on special teams. Sure, they lost to Oklahoma, but they’re playing as well as anyone in the conference right now.

Texas’ win over Alabama gives them an edge over Oklahoma State even though the Cowboys have beaten two teams in the top four in the conference.

Up Next: vs. Kansas State

Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-2, 4-1)

Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 4

This Week: Beat Cincinnati

All of a sudden, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are playing as well as anyone in the conference. That loss to South Alabama feels like forever ago and Ollie Gordon III could thrust his name into the Heisman race if he keeps doing what he did against Cincinnati. He ran for 271 yards and two touchdowns and caught four balls for 21 yards in the win.

Up Next: vs. Oklahoma

Kansas State Wildcats (6-2, 4-1)

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 6

This Week: Beat Houston 41-0

The Kansas State Wildcats have outscored their opponents 82-3 the last two weeks. They’re looking great right now. The Wildcats were 10 of 14 on third down in the win.

Up Next: at Texas

Kansas Jayhawks (6-2, 3-2)

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 5

This Week: Beat Oklahoma 38-33

In Lance Leipold’s three seasons in Lawrence, he’s now beaten Texas (2021) and Oklahoma. He’s at the point where he could name his price with Kansas or whatever suitors come his way.

Up Next: at Iowa State

Oklahoma Sooners (7-1, 4-1)

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 1

This Week: Lost to Kansas 38-33

Yes, Oklahoma beat Texas. But with the way the Sooners have looked the last two weeks, including the loss to Kansas requires a drop. The Big 12 is beating up on each other at the top of the standings, which is going to make for an interesting finish to the regular season.

Up Next: at Oklahoma State

Iowa State Cyclones (5-3, 4-1)

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 3

This Week: Beat Baylor 30-18

It feels weird dropping Iowa State, but the Big 12 is just in a weird spot in the top half of the Big 12. Their fall in the power rankings is due to their loss to Oklahoma. Still, the Cyclones are very much in the mix for a trip to Arlington for the Big 12 title.

Up Next: vs. Kansas

West Virginia Mountaineers (5-3, 3-2)

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 7

This Week: Beat UCF 42-28

West Virginia had another strong performance to keep their resurgent season going. C.J. Donaldson ran for 121 yards on 7.1 yards per carry and the Mountaineers defense forced four UCF turnovers.

Up Next: vs. BYU

BYU Cougars (5-3, 2-3)

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 8

This Week: Lost to Texas 35-6

It was a tough one for the Cougars in their road trip to Austin. The Cougars were just 3 of 14 on third down and averaged just 3.7 yards per carry.

Up Next: at West Virginia

Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-5, 2-3)

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 9

This Week: Bye Week

Texas Tech’s quarterback health has been the story of their season. The bye week comes at a good time for them to get right.

Up Next: vs. TCU

TCU Horned Frogs (4-4, 2-3)

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 10

This Week: Bye Week

The Horned Frogs took a beating from Kansas State in their last outing. Can they right the ship in a road trip to take on the Red Raiders?

Up Next: at Texas Tech

Houston Cougars (3-5, 1-4)

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 11

This Week: Lost to Kansas State 41-0

Houston looked like a team that was on an upward trajectory but ran into a buzzsaw in the Kansas State Wildcats. The Cougars were held to 208 total yards and just 3 of 14 on third downs.

Up Next: at Baylor

Baylor Bears (3-5, 2-3)

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 12

This Week: Lost to Iowa State 30-18

The Baylor Bears were just 4 of 14 on third down, mitigating a solid day from Blake Shapen in the Bears loss to the Cyclones.

Up Next: vs. Houston

UCF Knights (3-5, 0-5)

Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 13

This Week: Lost to West Virginia 42-28

It was a tight ball game at halftime, but three John Rhys Plumlee interceptions allowed the Mountaineers to pull away from the Knights.

Up Next: at Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bearcats (2-6, 0-5)

Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Week: 14

This Week: Lost to Oklahoma State 45-13

The Bearcats took one on the chin in their loss to Oklahoma State. They couldn’t slow down Ollie Gordon who’s emerged as one of the best running backs in the nation. Scott Satterfield has a lot of work to do at Cincinnati.

Up Next: vs. UCF

Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire