Big 12 Football Power Rankings Week 5: A Change at the Top

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Sep 26, 2015; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury on the sidelines during the game with the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs at Jones AT&T Stadium. TCU defeated Texas Tech 55-52. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

5. Texas Tech (previous ranking: 4)

The Red Raiders are one stupidly-lucky play away from being the talk of the Big 12. Tech gave TCU all they wanted, and honestly should’ve walked away a winner. Kliff Kingsbury’s team proved that their initial three-game total of 163 points scored was no fluke. Unfortunately, their defense isn’t much better than last season, it just has a better offense backing it up. If they can get maybe three stops against Baylor, it could be a game.

4. West Virginia (6)

Another week down, another dominating win, this time in the form of a 45-6 home victory over Maryland. So here’s a fun question. Care to guess who the nation’s No. 1 team is in points allowed? That would be the Mountaineers, who have surrendered 7.7 per game so far this season. Yes, the competition hasn’t been that great, but how many other Power-5 teams have played mediocre teams and come out looking this good? Meanwhile, the West Virginia offense is averaging 553 yards per game. This team is locked and loaded, and ready to turn this conference on it’s head, starting Saturday. And to think that over half the people reading this can’t name more than two players on this team.

3. Oklahoma (3)

Sooner fans are probably a little pissed that Tennessee didn’t beat Florida on Saturday, and they have good reason to be. Anyway, the Sooners, had the week off to prepare for a huge matchup at home this weekend as they host No.23 West Virginia. Baker Mayfield is not going to have another school record against the Mountaineers, that much is certain (what is the deal with quarterbacks and school records in this conference in 2015?) West Virginia might be the most complete team in the conference. The Mountaineers are a little more susceptible to the running game, so maybe we’ll finally see Samaje Perine remember that he is Samaje Perine. I’m not sure which game is more interesting between this one and the Baylor/Tech game.

2. TCU (1)

The Horned Frogs should feel pretty fortunate escaping Tortillaville with a 55-52 win. As per 2015 ritual, TCU managed a few more personnel deductions in the process, losing receivers Ty Slanina and Emanuel Porter to injury. The defense was obviously exploited against the Red Raiders, allowing 607 yards and 32 first downs.

Oh, Trevone Boykin had 527 total yards of offense or whatever.

It’s pretty apparent now that TCU is going to have to outscore their opponents from here on out. Yes, that’s technically how you win a football game, but I think you know what I mean. The defense is just too thin at this point to do anything but hope to get some stops and get the offense back on the field. This doesn’t mean that they are going to finish 7-5 or something, it just means that they won’t be winning this conference or landing in the CFP.

1. Baylor (2)

Well then. Baylor is continuing to do Baylor things, and added another 50+ point outing to their total this season, which happens to be all three of their games thus far. Seth Russell tied a school record (ugh) with six touchdowns during a 70-17 win over Rice, while Shock Linwood added 158 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. The Bears are now 1st nationally in rushing yards with an astounding 379.7 yards a game. Oh, and they are also the nation’s highest scoring team with 64.0 points per contest.

64 points. That’s like, 64 touchdowns a game basically.

People like to talk about their defense being a little lacking, but they need to remember a few things. SMU, who managed to put up 21 points against the Bears (all which came in the first half,) haven’t scored less than 31 points since then. Lamar scored 31 points on Baylor, 17 of which came on short fields because of turnovers. The Cardinals also accumulated a paltry 340 yards, most of which against Baylor backups.  And then there is Rice, who is no slouch offensively, yet managed only 246 yards, even in a blowout that was over by halftime.

I’m not saying Baylor has a shutdown defense, but they are certainly more than capable of limiting an opponent enough to be outscored, often by 40 or more apparently. This Saturday’s matchup against Texas Tech should be a fun one, and it’ll go a long in showing what Baylor can do against a real opponent.

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