Big 12 power rankings: The race for bowl eligibility

Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon breaks through the Oklahoma State defense on Saturday in Norman, Okla. The Sooners defeated the Cowboys 48-47 to clock in at No. 2 in this week's power rankings. Associated Press

By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer

Entering week 12, four Big 12 teams are already bowl eligible with everyone else but Kansas having the chance to still get that sixth win to send them to a bowl game. Here’s where I have the teams going into the last couple weeks of the season.

1. West Virginia (8-1, 6-1) (No. 7 in AP Poll)

The Mountaineers got their sixth conference win of the season after running over the TCU Horned Frogs 47-10 behind three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Will Grier and two rushing touchdowns from junior running back Kennedy McKoy. The West Virginia offense piled up 535 yards thanks to 343 passing yards from Grier. After a rough start and failing to put up any points in the first quarter, the Mountaineers put up 24, 16 and 7 in the following three. With two games left in the season, West Virginia has to face both Oklahoma teams for its final chance to climb through the rankings.

2. Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1) (No. 6 in AP Poll)

Oklahoma’s offense continues to be among the best in the nation, averaging 48.8 point, good for second best in the country. The Sooners pulled away with a 48-47 victory over Oklahoma State, mainly due to how well the running game performed. Senior quarterback Kyler Murray threw for only one touchdown, his lowest all season, and had to rely on running backs freshman Kennedy Brooks and sophomore Trey Sermon who had a combined five touchdowns and 289 yards. The defense for the Sooners came up with a big stop to seal the win after the Cowboys decided to go for a two-point conversion to take the game. After another close win, Oklahoma has an easy game against Kansas before heading to Morgantown to face its highest ranked opponent in the Mountaineers.

3. Texas (7-3, 5-2) (No. 13 in AP Poll)

Sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for four touchdowns in the Longhorns’ 41-34 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas went into the fourth quarter down 27-10 and scored 24 points in the fourth to take the lead and eventually the win. The Longhorns found their first win after two consecutive losses and now have to face Iowa State who has won its last five games.

4. Iowa State (6-3, 5-2) (No. 18 in AP Poll)

The Cyclones added on to their win streak with a 28-14 win over the Baylor Bears to secure bowl eligibility. Iowa State had complete control of the first half, shutting out the Baylor offense and taking a 17-0 lead into the locker room. The game turned ugly as a fight broke out between the teams, leading to the ejection of Iowa State junior running back David Montgomery and Baylor senior defensive end Greg Roberts, who came to blows after a play was over. Sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy threw for a touchdown and 230 yards and ran for another touchdown. The Cyclones will head to Austin to face the No. 13-ranked Longhorns in hopes to win its sixth game in a row.

5. Texas Tech (5-5, 3-4)

The Red Raiders are one win away from bowl eligibility after losing three in a row, with its most recent loss coming to Texas. Texas Tech is still without freshman quarterback Alan Bowman, giving sophomore quarterback Jett Duffey more playing time as he threw for four touchdowns and an interception in the loss. In the end, the Texas Tech defense could not contain the Longhorn offense in the final moments of the game as it drove down for a game winning touchdown. The Red Raiders head to Kansas State next where it should outscore the Wildcat offense, especially if Bowman is able to return.

6. Oklahoma State (5-5, 2-5)

The Cowboys gave the Sooners a run for their money, but failed to grab the win after a failed two-point conversion. Senior quarterback Taylor Cornelius threw for 501 yards and three touchdowns to go with three rushing touchdowns from freshman running back Chuba Hubbard and one from junior quarterback Justice Hill. The defense gave up 702 total yards to the Sooners but had the offense help it out with 640 of its own yards. Oklahoma State has West Virginia coming to its home and has another explosive offense to face in the Mountaineers led by Grier.

7. Baylor (5-5, 3-4)

The Bears’ offense struggled to find the end zone in its 28-14 loss to Iowa State. Baylor was able to get over 500 total yards on offense but had two missed field goals in the first half. It finally got its first touchdown in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter, both of which were through the air from sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer. He was ejected late in the game after receiving his second unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing with the placement of the ball. Roberts will be suspended for the first half of the TCU game while Brewer will be available for the entire game.

8. Kansas State (4-6, 2-5)

The Wildcats slid by with a 21-17 win over the Kansas Jayhawks with all 21 of their points coming in the second half. The passing game still has its struggles as junior quarterback Alex Delton only threw for 126 yards and no touchdowns. Delton did run for 55 yards and a touchdown with junior running back Alex Barnes carrying the offense with 117 yards and two touchdowns. The offense had 301 yards, but the defense gave up almost 350 to Kansas. The lackluster offense for the Wildcats is going to have figure itself out as it faces a high scoring Texas Tech offense before facing a red-hot Iowa State team.

9. TCU (4-6, 2-5)

The Horned Frogs struggled to keep the Mountaineers from scoring, losing their fourth game in the past five, 47-10. After taking a 3-0 lead heading into the second quarter, the only other score came from a touchdown in the third quarter. The offense, led by sophomore quarterback Mike Collins who threw for 229 yards and a touchdown, had a non-existent running game that had negative seven yards on the day. While the defense got an interception, it failed to sack Grier and only pressured him twice throughout the game. Like the Wildcats, the TCU offense is struggling and has to win its last two games in order to become bowl eligible. The Horned Frogs next game comes against its in-state rival, Baylor, in Waco.

10. Kansas (3-7, 1-6)

The Jayhawks gave up a late touchdown and turned over the ball with 20 seconds left in the game to give Kansas State the 21-17 win. Neither team played well in this game and, after senior quarterback Peyton Bender’s late turnover, it seemed to come down to the winner being whoever could make less mistakes. Kansas had to mainly rely on the passing game as it only had 3.3 total yards rushing and had both of its touchdowns come through the air. Kansas will finish its season at No. 6 Oklahoma and at home against No. 13 Texas.

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