The Oklahoman


- Austin American-Statesman

The Sooner State runs this conference. Oklahoma has found another gear with freshman quarterbac­k Caleb Williams, and the Cowboys of Stillwater shut down Texas on the road to keep their record perfect. Can any of the flawed teams below them break up a potential state party at Jerryworld in December? Here’s where we have the Big 12 teams ranked in the power poll this week:

1. Oklahoma (7-0)

One start. One win for new starter Caleb Williams. A week after coming off the bench to lead the Sooners in a come-from-behind win over Texas, the freshman looked like the permanent starter in a 52-31 win over TCU.

This week: at Kansas

2. Oklahoma State (6-0)

The Cowboys have flipped the script and are winning with a solid, veteran defense. After falling behind early in Austin, Mike Gundy’s troop locked down Texas QB Casey Thompson in the second half for the win.

This week: at Iowa State

3. Baylor (6-1)

The Bears could very well be for real. A stout, rebuilt offensive line paired with a solid defense has helped Baylor scratch out wins. A ranked BYU team came to Waco on Saturday, and the Bears had no trouble handling their business.

This week: off

4. Iowa State (4-2)

Perhaps the Cyclones end up where everyone predicted in the preseason - in the Big 12 Championsh­ip in Dallas, paired with Oklahoma. All-conference running back Breece Hall looked like his old self with almost 200 yards in a win over Kansas State.

This week: vs. Oklahoma State

5. Texas (4-3)

The Longhorns took a step back in their loss to the Cowboys, but both of Texas’ conference losses came against Top 12 teams. Steve Sarkisian’s crew should be able to bully the teams below them. This week: off

6. Texas Tech (5-2)

The Red Raiders did what they needed to do - beat cellar-dweller Kansas without any drama. Matt Wells’ charges are one win away from being bowl eligible. This week: vs. Kansas State

7. TCU (3-3)

A week after dispatchin­g Texas Tech, the Frogs took it on the chin in Norman. WR Quentin Johnson looks like an allconfere­nce selection after torching the Sooners for 185 yards and three touchdowns.

This week: vs. West Virginia

8. Kansas State (3-3)

The Wildcats have completely stalled after losing their third consecutiv­e conference game. Running back Deuce Vaughn is the only noteworthy week-in, week-out offensive stalwart for the team.

This week: at Texas Tech

9. West Virginia (2-4)

The Mountainee­rs played one heckuva game to start the conference in a 16-13 loss on the road to Oklahoma, but losses to Tech and Baylor leave them without a league win and little room for error to get to bowl eligibilit­y. This week: at TCU

10. Kansas (1-5)

The Jayhawks have lost three conference games by an average of 39 points. The squad has yet to face the offenses of Texas and Oklahoma. This could get ugly.

This week: vs. Oklahoma

 ?? ?? Baylor running back Abram Smith. JEROME MIRON/USA TODAY SPORTS
Baylor running back Abram Smith. JEROME MIRON/USA TODAY SPORTS

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