Texas loses again, hits rock bottom in latest Big 12 Power Rankings after week 12

·10 min read

The Oklahoma State Cowboys clinched a spot in the Big 12 title game with their shutout win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders because of their head-to-head win over the Baylor Bears. The Oklahoma Sooners bounced back from their first loss of the season to beat the Iowa State Cyclones and control their own destiny heading into Bedlam. A win for the Sooners and they’re in.

A loss and a Baylor win and the Bears will be making the trip to Arlington looking to avenge their loss to the Cowboys from earlier in the season.

At the other end of the Big 12 power rankings, a big name team tumbled further down the list after their sixth straight loss, this time to West Virginia. The Texas Longhorns have now lost back-to-back games to the two teams that have been at or near the bottom of these rankings for much of this season; the Kansas Jayhawks and the West Virginia Mountaineers. Things are not good in Austin even if it’s still early in the Steve Sarkisian era.

The season’s almost over and several Big 12 teams are vying for bowl eligibility and Big 12 championship berths. It should make for an interesting final week of the season in the Big 12. With that, let’s take a look at this week’s power rankings after week 12 action.

Texas Longhorns: 4-7 (2-6)

Nov 20, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Texas Longhorns place kicker Cameron Dicker (17) punts the ball during the first quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 7

This Week: Lost to West Virginia 31-23

Why the Ranking?

The Texas Longhorns have now lost six straight games and to the bottom to teams in the conference. Sure, Kansas lost on Saturday as well, but the Jayhawks hold the head-to-head win over the Longhorns, so they get the bump as Texas finds itself on the verge of finishing the season on an incredible losing streak.

The Longhorns have lost in consecutive weeks to the two teams that have been at or near the bottom in the power rankings in recent weeks. Longhorns fans may not like it, but this team is playing about as poorly as any in the Big 12.

It’s just year one for the Steve Sarkisian era, but it’s been a terrible first year filled with controversy and drama. It takes time to mold a team in the image a head coach wants them to reflect, the question is, will Texas give Sarkisian that time.

Up Next: vs. Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas Jayhawks: 2-9 (1-7 Big 12)

Nov 20, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks fullback Jared Casey (47) celebrates his touchdown catch with wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II (8) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 10

This Week: Lost to TCU 31-28

Why the Ranking?

Down 14 in the fourth quarter, Jalon Daniels rallied the Jayhawks with two touchdown passes to tie the game with just under five minutes to play. TCU took the ball on the ensuing kickoff and didn’t give it back until the Horned Frogs kicked the game-winning field goal with six seconds left.

If you’ve been reading this space with us all season, then you’re aware that this isn’t your typical Kansas team. Of course, we got to witness that firsthand a few weeks ago in Lawrence. Unlike with what’s going on in Austin, Lance Leipold has the Jayhawks on an upward trajectory, playing better football this season than they have in a decade.

This is a team that is starting to believe they can play. Though it’s only translated into two wins in 2021 thus far, they’ll have a lot of momentum to carry into the early signing period and Spring football. They may not contend for the Big 12 next year, but they’re moving on up.

Up Next: vs. West Virginia

West Virginia Mountaineers: 5-6 (3-5)

Nov 20, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Winston Wright Jr. (1) catches a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Texas Longhorns at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 9

This Week: Beat Texas 31-23

Why the Ranking?

West Virginia hasn’t had the results that they would have liked this season, but they’ve played some good football at times. After starting Big 12 play 0-3, including the 16-13 loss to Oklahoma, the Mountaineers have gone 3-2 in their last five with wins over TCU, Iowa State, and Texas.

With a pesky Jayhawks team up next, West Virginia has a chance to make itself bowl eligible with a win.

Up Next: at Kansas Jayhawks

TCU Horned Frogs: 5-6 (3-5)

Nov 20, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) is defended by Kansas Jayhawks linebacker Gavin Potter (19) during the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 8

This Week: Beat Kansas 31-28

Why the Ranking?

As we’re finding out, beating Kansas isn’t so simple anymore and TCU suffered a near defeat at the hands of the Jayhawks.

TCU thought they had the game in the back, up two touchdowns going into the fourth quarter, but Lance Leipold’s bunch had a different idea. Max Duggan started this game and was efficient aside from an interception. He was 10 of 16 for 166 yards and added 74 yards on 14 rushing attempts.

Despite the midseason firing of Gary Patterson, the Horned Frogs have an opportunity to go bowling if they can pull off the upset of the Iowa State Cyclones next weekend in Ames.

Up Next: at Iowa State Cyclones

Texas Tech Red Raiders: 6-5 (3-5)

Nov 20, 2021; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive tackle Devin Drew (90) pressures Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 5

This Week: Lost to Oklahoma State 23-0

Why the Ranking?

Just when things were looking up for a Texas Tech team that hung 41 points on Iowa State, the offense came back to earth against the best defense in the conference and one of the best defenses in the country, Oklahoma State.

Texas Tech’s defense hung tough, holding the Cowboys to 239 yards of offense, but the offense did almost nothing. The Red Raiders were held to just 108 total yards and collected only 10 first downs.

The matchups stay difficult for Texas Tech as they’ll go on the road to face a stiff Baylor Bears defense in Waco to finish the regular season.

Up Next: at Baylor Bears

Iowa State Cyclones: 6-5 (4-4)

Nov 20, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) throws the ball during the second half against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 6

This Week: Lost to Oklahoma 28-21

Why the Ranking?

Things haven’t gone according to national expectations for an Iowa State team that opened the season in the top 15 in most preseason power rankings and polls. The Cyclones played a solid game on Saturday on the defensive side of the ball and the offense gave them a chance to tie the game at the end, but turnovers killed Iowa State and was really the difference in the ball game.

The Cyclones will face turnover this offseason with Brock Purdy, Breece Hall, and Charlie Kolar expected to depart for the NFL. Last offseason Matt Campbell was one of the hot names in head coaching circles, but this year it seems like his name hasn’t come up as much in discussions about job openings.

Up Next: vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Kansas State Wildcats: 7-4 (4-4)

Nov 20, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats tight end Sammy Wheeler (19) is tackled by Baylor Bears safety JT Woods (22) during the fourth quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 4

This Week: Lost to Baylor 20-10

Why the Ranking?

The Wildcats struggled to convert on third down and the Bears defense forced Skylar Thompson into an inefficient day passing as Kansas State fell to 7-4 on the season. Despite a strong rushing effort from Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State couldn’t muster enough of an offensive attack to overcome a Baylor Bears team that lost Gerry Bohanon to injury in the first half.

Up Next: at Texas Longhorns

Oklahoma Sooners: 10-1 (7-1)

Oklahoma’s Jalen Redmond (31) returns a fumble for a touchdown as Oklahoma’s Key Lawrence (12) blocks Iowa State’s Jarrod Hufford (54) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Iowa State Cyclones at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman).

Last Week: 3

This Week: Beat Iowa State 28-21

Why the Ranking?

The Oklahoma Sooners’ defense carried the day once again for an inefficient day from the offense, helping the Oklahoma Sooners bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Baylor Bears last week.

The Sooners sacked Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy seven times and they forced three turnovers, including a fumble return by Jalen Redmond that allowed the Sooners to take a 14-7 halftime lead.

Kennedy Brooks was the only bright spot for an offense that hasn’t had a strong passing attack since Caleb Williams threw for 402 yards and six touchdowns against Texas Tech.

Heading into their matchup with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma needs to find a way to move the ball offensively against one of the best defenses in college football.

Up Next: at Oklahoma State Cowboys

Baylor Bears: 9-2 (6-2)

Nov 20, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Blake Shapen (12) runs past several Kansas State Wildcats defenders during the third quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 3

This Week: Beat Kansas State 20-10

Why the Ranking?

In a game where both teams saw their quarterbacks lost to injury, it was the Baylor Bears who came out on top. Blake Shapen came in for Gerry Bohanon, who left in the first half due to a hamstring injury, and had an efficient day passing going 16 of 21 for 137 yards.

The running game was efficient, but it was effective and persistent, helping the Bears grind out a win against the Jayhawks and stay in contention for a berth in the Big 12 title game.

Up Next: vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Oklahoma State Cowboys: 10-1 (7-1)

Nov 20, 2021; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) runs the ball against Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive lineman Tyree Wilson (19) in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week: 1

This Week: Beat Texas Tech 23-0

Why the Ranking?

The best defense in the Big 12 and one of the best in the country completely stifled a Texas Tech Red Raiders team that scored 41 points against Iowa State the week before. The Oklahoma State Cowboys got to Donovan Smith for five sacks and lived in the backfield for 13.5 tackles for loss in the game.

The defense held Texas Tech to 108 total yards, just 10 first downs, and less than one yard per carry.

Spencer Sanders and the offense weren’t great, averaging just 4.9 yards per play, but they didn’t need to be on a day when the defense dominated.

The Cowboys have clinched a spot in the Big 12 title game and have a chance to knock the Sooners out of the conference title picture with a win in Bedlam this week.

Up Next: vs. Oklahoma Sooners

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