The Big 12 Power Rankings after Week 5:
1. TCU (previous ranking: 1): Before last season, the Horned Frogs had defeated Texas by more than 30 points just once in 84 meetings. They’ve now done it two years in a row. TCU is gradually healing defensively, and it showed against the Longhorns, as the Horned Frogs completely shut down Texas and QB Jerrod Heard. On the other side of the ball, TCU is becoming downright scary, especially with the recent emergence of electric true freshman KaVontae Turpin, who had four touchdown catches Saturday.
2. Baylor (2): The Bears passed their first test with flying (steel gray) colors in a 63-35 rout of Texas Tech. Baylor needed just 42 plays and one half to surpass 500 yards of offense. Spearheaded by the trio of QB Seth Russell (six total TDs), running back Shock Linwood (221 rushing yards, two TDs) and wideout Corey Coleman (three TDs), the Bears scored touchdowns on seven of their first eight drives, summarily dashing the hopes of anyone crazy enough to bet the under. Next up is a trip to Kansas, where viewer discretion will be advised.
3. Oklahoma (3): The Big 12 blog had a healthy helping of crow sandwiches after we all picked West Virginia to win in Norman. (I had mine with mustard.) The Mountaineers entered the weekend leading the nation in fewest points allowed, but the Oklahoma defense was the better unit. The Sooners collected seven sacks and forced five turnovers, including Jordan Evans’ game-clinching 41-yard touchdown return off an Eric Striker forced fumble. Baker Mayfield was also terrific yet again; he’s now thrown three TDs in every game this season.
4. Oklahoma State (6): Once again, the Cowboys were the beneficiaries of some controversial officiating. But that wasn’t the reason Oklahoma State defeated Kansas State 36-34. It was because of QB Mason Rudolph, who bounced back from last week’s shaky showing to throw for a career-high 437 yards while leading the Cowboys on another fourth-quarter comeback. Rudolph wasn't clutch on just the final drive; he completed 10 of 14 passes on third and fourth down, with all 10 completions going for first downs.
5. West Virginia (4): Skyler Howard gave West Virginia little chance of pulling upset the in Norman by turning the ball over five times, emphatically shutting the door on the Mountaineers’ mild second-half comeback. Dana Holgorsen defended his QB afterward and put the turnovers on himself because of the calls. Either way, the Mountaineers will lose their next three (Oklahoma State, at Baylor, at TCU) if they don’t clean up the turnovers that doomed them at Oklahoma.
6. Texas Tech (5): There’s no reason for the Red Raiders to hang their heads after getting blown out by Baylor. Coming off two emotional and physical tilts, that was always going to be a tough spot for them. As the schedules eases up, Patrick Mahomes & Co. have a chance to do some major damage in the second half of the season.
7. Kansas State (7): The Wildcats had a chance to somehow steal a road win with a wide receiver doubling as a fifth-string quarterback. Considering the circumstances, Kody Cook was incredible, but K-State couldn’t come up with the key stop on third down to put the Cowboys away. Injuries have really hurt the Wildcats in what was going to be a retooling season to begin with. But Saturday showed that with Bill Snyder still on the sideline, K-State is not going to be an easy out for anyone.
8. Texas (8): The wheels have officially begun to wobble, with freshman CB Kris Boyd's halftime tweeting (about transferring to Texas A&M, no less), the Texas Rangers' Twitter account calling for Charlie Strong to be fired and the Longhorns completely no-showing their trip to Fort Worth. Despite the national speculation, Strong is not in immediate danger of losing his job. But without a dramatic turnaround, this season could tumble into an utter disaster.
9. Iowa State (9): The Cyclones accomplished something Saturday they failed to do last season, which was beat Kansas. The 38-13 win should give them some much-needed confidence. The immediate schedule, on the other hand, could quickly sap it. Iowa State goes to Tech, plays TCU and then travels to Baylor.
10. Kansas (10): The Jayhawks dropped their best chance to get a conference win by 25 points. With Baylor coming to town next, here’s a serious question: What would the Bears be favored by if they started their entire second unit on both sides of the ball?