Big 12 Power Rankings after Week 7:
1. Baylor (previous ranking: 2): It’s time for Baylor to take that No. 1 spot. Art Briles' team isn’t slowing down in Big 12 play, averaging 4.28 points per drive and 8.33 yards per play in its first three conference games: wins over Texas Tech, Kansas and West Virginia. Corey Coleman was the star on Saturday, doing things you don’t see on video games on his way to 10 receptions for 199 yards and three touchdowns in Baylor’s 62-38 win over West Virginia and sparking Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen to dub him “the best player in the nation” after the game. This looks like Art Briles' best -- and deepest -- team since he arrived in Waco, Texas.
2. TCU (1): Battered. Beat-up. Yet still undefeated. Gary Patterson has been candid in saying his team isn’t searching for style points, simply wins instead, but style points could eventually matter and Baylor holds the style-point advantage midway through the season. Injury-riddled TCU seems to lose an important piece of the puzzle each week but still has Trevone Boykin as the centerpiece of the offense, so the day after Thanksgiving -- the day of the Horned Frogs' meeting with Baylor -- can’t get here soon enough. TCU loses the No. 1 spot, but the Horned Frogs and Bears are essentially 1A and 1B at this point.
3. Oklahoma State (3): It was a good time for a bye week for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State is 6-0 thanks to an aggressive defense that is No. 1 among FBS teams with 25 sacks and ranks first in the Big 12 in several categories. Mike Gundy’s team has won its past three games by 12 combined points, but its defense is good enough to keep it in the title hunt throughout the second half of the season. Yet before the Cowboys truly join the Big 12 title conversation, they still have to prove themselves to be on the level of TCU and Baylor.
4. Oklahoma (5): After last weekend's Red River debacle, the Sooners looked like a different team against Kansas State, dominating the Wildcats in every way in a 55-0 win at Bill Snyder Stadium. Baker Mayfield was fantastic, but the defense was even better, allowing 2.08 yards per play and 110 total yards to the Wildcats. At the very least, Oklahoma is going to be a monster hurdle for Big 12 title contenders; at best, it could be a contender itself.
5. Texas Tech (4): The Red Raiders' offense ran into all kinds of problems against Kansas, managing just three points in the second half. Tech’s offense averaged at least three points per drive in five of six games before Saturday, making those second-half struggles a shocking sight. Jah'Shawn Johnson sealed the win with a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown, but Kliff Kingsbury’s squad will have to be much better if it hopes to win at Oklahoma on Saturday.
6. Texas (7): Now the real work begins for Texas. The Longhorns rested and relaxed this weekend after their momentum-changing win over Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown. But if Charlie Strong’s team doesn’t continue to play like it did against the Sooners during the second half of the season, few people will remember the early-October triumph at the Cotton Bowl. Their jump-started pursuit of a bowl game begins against Kansas State on Saturday.
7. West Virginia (8): It’s odd for West Virginia to lose by 24 points on the road to Baylor and move up a spot, but at least the Mountaineers showed some fight when they lost to Oklahoma on Oct. 3. The same can’t be said for Kansas State, which slides behind Dana Holgorsen’s team after failing to score a point at home against Oklahoma. West Virginia was in the game against Baylor -- trailing 34-24 midway through the third quarter -- until the Bears overwhelmed the Mountaineers. After losing three straight, West Virginia gets a much-needed bye before heading to TCU on Oct. 29.
8. Kansas State (6): The Wildcats need to find some hope. The injury bug has hammered Bill Snyder’s program, but a 55-point thrashing by the Sooners is mind-boggling. The Wildcats are devoid of playmakers on offense, averaging 4.21 yards per play in conference action, and have struggled to get game-changing plays on defense. K-State has lost three straight games and needs to turn things around if it hopes to make a run at bowl eligibility.
9. Iowa State (9): Well, at least the Cyclones didn’t leave the field thinking “What if?” Paul Rhoads' team pulled out the trick plays with a successful fake punt and unsuccessful onside kick in the first quarter against TCU, taking a 21-14 lead. But the nation’s No. 3 team was simply too much for the Cyclones, scoring 31 unanswered points to stamp out the upset bid. Iowa State is much-improved offensively, especially with the emergence of Mike Warren, but a return to a bowl game still looks like a tall task. And things don’t get any easier with a trip to Baylor next up on the schedule.
10. Kansas (10): David Beaty’s Jayhawks showed up to play against Texas Tech but just don't have the horses to get it done. True freshman quarterback Ryan Willis is a shining light in the fog despite his youthful mistake and the fourth-quarter interception which cemented the loss. Kansas could have found its quarterback of the future in Willis, who finished 35-of-50 for 330 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in his second collegiate start.