By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer
What a week of college football, especially in the Big 12. Here’s where I rank the teams after week six.
1. West Virginia (5-0, 3-0) (No. 7 in the AP poll)
West Virginia senior quarterback Will Grier threw three interceptions but made up for it with four touchdowns in the Mountaineers’ 38-22 win over Kansas to keep the team perfect for the season and the only Big 12 team remaining without a loss. The defense helped the offense for West Virginia, intercepting two passes, recording three sacks and eight tackles for loss all to hold Kansas to 286 total yards of offense. Even though their Heisman hopeful struggled considerably more than usual, the Mountaineers still pulled off a convincing win over Kansas, which entered the game leading the Big 12 with eight interceptions.
2. Texas (5-1, 3-0) (No. 9 in the AP poll)
The Red River rivalry once again did not disappoint, especially for the Longhorns as, for the third time this season, they upset a ranked team. This time they defeated then-No. 7 Oklahoma 48-45. Sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger had 314 yards passing for two touchdowns and rushed for 72 yards to get three more touchdowns. The defense also recorded two sacks on elusive Oklahoma junior quarterback Kyler Murray and also intercepted one of his passes. The Longhorns held the lead for most of the game but allowed 21 points to Oklahoma in the fourth quarter. WithWest Virginia as the only currently ranked team left on their schedule, the Longhorns are set up for a successful season.
3. Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1) (No. 11 in the AP poll)
The Sooners are no longer undefeated after suffering a 48-45 loss to the Longhorns as they dropped out of the top 10 in the AP poll for the first time this season. Murray threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns, rushing for one and also led the team in the ground game with 92 rushing yards. Murray turned the ball over twice with an interception and a fumble to stop Oklahoma’s drive. He did, however, lead his team to 21 points in the fourth quarter to tie up the game at 45 before the Longhorns kicked the field goal to win the game. After the loss this week, Oklahoma should step up its game as it heads to TCU in two weeks and will likely pick up where it left off before the Texas game.
4. Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1)
Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman was the nation’s leading passer heading into the game against West Virginia on Sept. 29 before getting hit in the first half and going to the hospital with a partially collapsed lung. The Red Raiders hung with the Mountaineers after allowing 28 points in the first quarter to the offense led by Heisman hopeful Grier, but scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to bring the team back to being down eight points. Bowman returned to practice last week during the off week and should be game ready. If he can return to lead the same Tech offense we are used to, the Red Raiders have a bright future ahead and the opportunity to return to the top 25 rankings.
5. TCU (3-2, 1-1)
The Horned Frogs had a bye this past weekend and are preparing for the Red Raiders to come to town Thursday night. Sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson has had his fair share of struggles this season, having only five total touchdowns in the past five games, while throwing six interceptions. He has only one game this season with more than 200 passing yards. The less than stellar offense has to figure something out as the Red Raiders come to town, led by one of the top quarterbacks in the country.
6. Iowa State (2-3, 1-2)
The Cyclones won an offensive shootout with Oklahoma State 48-42 behind freshman quarterback Brock Purdy who made his second appearance of the season. Purdy completed 18 of his 23 passing attempts for 318 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He led the team in rushing with 84 yards and another touchdown on the day to outlast senior quarterback Taylor Cornelius and the Oklahoma State offense. The offense is going to heavily rely on Purdy as they face the hottest team right now in the Big 12: West Virginia.
7. Oklahoma State (4-2, 1-2)
The Cowboys’ offensive line struggled in the loss to Iowa State as the Cyclones had seven sacks and held junior running back Justice Hill to 66 yards and one touchdown. Cornelius had 289 passing yards and four touchdowns despite not having good protection but did throw one pick. Oklahoma State has a solid quarterback and running back combo between Cornelius and Hill, but without successful blocking is going to struggle to outscore teams.
8. Baylor (4-2, 2-1)
The Bears scraped by with a win over the Wildcats 37-34 off a game-winning field goal from junior kicker Connor Martin. Martin had missed an extra point and three field goal attempts but knocked down the final kick when the game was on the line. Senior wide receiver Jalen Hurd had just under 200 total yards between rushing and receiving with one touchdown to help Baylor win. The run defense for the Bears continued to struggle, allowing 319 rushing yards, 250 of which belonged to Kansas State junior running back Alex Barnes, who ran by just about every defender in sight. The Bears have to step up their defense before facing Texas this Saturday in Austin.
9. Kansas State (2-4, 0-3)
In the three-point loss, Kansas State showed flashes of how good the offensive line and ground game can be as it blew up the Baylor defensive line to create holes a car could drive through. The passing game is still not there for the Wildcats, with sophomore quarterback Skylar Thompson only passing for 149 yards and one touchdown in the loss. It is difficult for any team to rely solely on the run game and, despite how good it looked against Baylor, Kansas State is going to face stronger defenses from the rest of the conference. As it heads into its next game against Oklahoma State, Kansas State is going to see if it can build off its offensive progress or fall back to having a hard time putting points on the scoreboard.
10. Kansas (2-4, 0-3)
Kansas, while it does look better than in the past, has yet to win a conference game this season after losing to West Virginia 38-22. The defense does continue to impress, sacking Grier five times and intercepting his passes three times in the loss. Freshman running back Pooka Williams Jr. had his worst game this season, rushing for only 65 of the total 80 rushing yards Kansas had in the game. The low-scoring offense has to score more points if it wants any chance of winning. The Jayhawks’ defense faces a tough test this week against a high-scoring Texas Tech team.