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Keeping Up With the Conference: Week 14 Power Rankings

It’s Feast Week and that means power ranking Thanksgiving dishes.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

No, it’s not Christmas — it’s Feast Week, the greatest single weekend of football we’ll get all year. With NFL games all Thanksgiving, and rivalry week laying way to bitter, hotly-contested matchups between long-time adversaries, this is a weekend of football that every fan looks forward to. Pair that with the Thanksgiving food and festivities, and there aren’t many things better than that.

In fact, given the holiday today, we’ve got a special set of Power Rankings this week. Eat up, enjoy today, and be ready for redemption hour tomorrow at 11:00 a.m Central.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

THANKSGIVING POWER RANKINGS

  1. MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY — When done right, this is hands down the best part of Thanksgiving from an all-around standpoint. Creamy mashed potatoes with butter and light seasoning, with brown gravy on top — that’s perfection. You’ll be guaranteed to find the heartiest part of Thanksgiving dinner on every plate at the table this year. That’s the mark of a true No. 1 dish.
  2. STUFFING — There are thousands of different ways to make this, and most of them are great. But make no mistake, whatever variation your family prefers, this is a quintessential Thanksgiving side dish that is just as popular as it is unique. Whoever first had the idea of cooking a jumble of somewhat tasty sides inside of the turkey itself, you’re the MVP of Thanksgiving.
  3. SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE — The favorite of every sweet tooth like myself, the creamy, sugary goodness of a sweet potato casserole is unmatched. When it gets that crunchy glaze on top after coming out of the oven, it is completely unhealthy but totally worth every bite.
  4. ROLLS/ CORNBREAD — props to anyone who uses cornbread, which is way more fun than your typical flour or potato bread rolls. But any way you have it, use these little guys to soak up the leftover gravy/juices on your plate.
  5. GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE — Green beans — which are obviously healthy because they are green, duh — mixed with that creamy soup is hearty, warm, and good enough on it’s own. Add bacon to this and it makes it a must have side dish.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • PUMPKIN PIE — My personal favorite Thanksgiving dessert and the King of fall sweets, I left it off the top five only because it’s not a main course food.
  • MAC & CHEESE — This will be on my Thanksgiving plate, no doubt. But this isn’t a “Thanksgiving” food, either.
  • LEFTOVERS — I look forward to this almost as much as anything else. Take leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy, and put that in between a roll or bread. That’s a starch-heaven sandwich.

MISSED THE CUT

  • TURKEY — Maybe I just haven’t had a great Thanksgiving turkey yet (sorry mom), but I don’t think this anyone’s favorite food at Thanksgiving.
  • DRESSING — Just a Stuffing imposter, if you’re gonna have dressing you might as well stick it in the bird to get some of that delicious turkey flavor.
  • CRANBERRY SAUCE — you don’t need this.

BIG 12 POWER RANKINGS

Oh, and there’s these power rankings, too.

A reminder that the Power Rankings are not meant to reflect the current standings. They’re based on a combination of season performance, heavily weighing more recent games, and take into consideration opponent quality compared to the rest of the conference.

Previous week ranking is in [BRACKETS]

1. (7) Oklahoma Sooners [1]

Last week: W vs TCU, 28-24

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Trending: NEUTRAL. OU jumped out to a 21-0 lead before TCU came storming back to make it a game late. Sure, the 3rd and 1 call that gave OU a first down on their final possession was wrong, but there’s you can’t say for certain that TCU was going to march down the field and score — the Sooner defense held them in check all night. Oklahoma faces a much tougher test in the Bedlam game this weekend, as they continue their stride to reach another CFP.

Next Up: at (21) Oklahoma State, Saturday, November 30th 7:00 p.m. Central (on FOX)

2. (9) Baylor Bears [2]

Last week: W vs Texas, 24-10

Trending: UP. The Bears shut down the Longhorn offense to clinch their first ever trip to the Big 12 Championship game. This team has exceeded all expectations anyone outside of Waco had for them this year, as head coach Matt Rhule has the Bears looking at a potential New Year’s Six bowl game in just his third year as coach.

Next Up: at Kansas, Saturday, November 30th 2:30 p.m. Central (on ESPN)

3. (21) Oklahoma State Cowboys [3]

Last week: W at West Virginia, 20-13

Trending: NEUTRAL. Okie State was Okie steady on Saturday, defeating the Mountaineers to continue to improve upon their quietly solid season. The team will be without starting QB Spencer Sanders after he suffered a season-ending thumb injury, so there is cause for concern with the Pokes going forward. But as long as OSU rides RB Chuba Hubbard to victories, and if the defense to continue to step up as it has as of late, this is a dangerous team.

Next Up: vs (7) Oklahoma, Saturday, November 30th 7:00 p.m. Central (on FOX)

4. (23) Iowa State Cyclones [4]

Last week: W vs Kansas, 41-31

Trending: NEUTRAL. It wasn’t pretty, but ISU downed Kansas with a late comeback at home. QB Brock Purdy was lights-out in the second half, and he ended up throwing for 372 yards and four scores on the day. Following their win against Texas, and with a big road matchup at Kansas State this weekend, this was the perfect trap game on paper against a formidable Kansas squad. But with this game behind them, look for ISU to be more focused under coach Matt Campbell going into Manhattan.

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Next Up: at Kansas State, Saturday, November 30th 6:00 p.m. Central (on FS1)

5. Kansas State Wildcats [6]

Last week: W at Texas Tech, 30-27

Trending: NEUTRAL. K-State righted the ship last weekend with a narrow victory over Texas Tech on the road in Lubbock. The running game remains inconsistent, but this team is well coached and well disciplined, and they don’t let other teams get away from them. Those are all good qualities of a team that should be tested this weekend against Iowa State — a matchup that carries serious Big 12 bowl destination implications.

Next Up: vs (23) Iowa State, Saturday, November 30th 6:00 p.m. Central (on FS1)

6. Texas Longhorns [5]

Last week: L at (9) Baylor, 24-10

Trending: DOWN. You can officially call this season a disaster now. With their second straight loss, and after another loss where the Longhorns looked helpless on offense, Texas falls to 6-5 on the season, just one year removed from a Sugar Bowl win. Tom Herman looked shell shocked after the loss, and his name has been all over BON this past week. This game against Texas Tech is of ultimate importance for Texas — they need to show their fans, and themselves, that they can still play at a high level and provide something to build off of going into bowl season.

Next Up: vs Texas Tech, Friday, November 29th 11:00 a.m. Central (on FOX)

7. TCU Horned Frogs [7]

Last week: L at (7) Oklahoma, 28-24

Trending: UP. A disappointing loss for TCU stings even more when you consider a win would have locked the Horned Frogs into a bowl game. Now, the Gary Patterson-coached team will once again be playing for their bowl bid in the final week of the season. Considering their last four losses — Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Oklahoma — were all by seven points or less, you could make the case that this is one of the better 5-6 teams in the country. But, for a young TCU team, they’ll need to regroup and defeat West Virginia on Friday in order to live to play another day.

Next Up: vs West Virginia, Friday, November 29th 11:00 a.m. Central (on ESPN)

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders [8]

Last week: L vs Kansas State, 30-27

Trending: NEUTRAL. The frustrations in Lubbock are understandable, as a team in a rebuilding phase has fallen just short of key wins in the past few weeks. Instead, the loss to Kansas State was their seventh, thus marking their upcoming game against Texas as their last of the season. Coach Matt Wells will wrap up his first season missing out on a bowl game, as the team looks towards 2020.

Next Up: at Texas, Friday, November 29th 11:00 a.m. Central (on FOX)

9. West Virginia Mountaineers [9]

Last week: L vs (21) Oklahoma State, 20-13

Trending: UP. Similarly to Texas Tech, West Virginia will also not be attending a bowl game this December with their seventh loss of the year coming this past weekend. And, like Texas Tech, it came in a close game against a superior opponent at home. AND, like Texas Tech, coach Neal Brown will look to end the season on a high note before shifting focus on next year.

Next Up: at TCU, Friday, November 29th 11:00 a.m. Central (on ESPN)

10. Kansas Jayhawks [10]

Last week: L at (23) Iowa State, 41-31

Trending: NEUTRAL. After two duds in a row, Kansas put up a decent fight against Iowa State on the road last weekend. Though the offense has shown bright spots this year, the KU defense has been nothing short of a liability, ranking as the worst defensive unit in the Big 12. That has to be the point of emphasis for Les Miles going into next year. But before that, a home date with Baylor awaits them as KU wraps up their season.

Next Up: vs (9) Baylor, Saturday, November 30th 2:30 p.m. Central (on ESPN)

BIG 12 STANDINGS (THROUGH WEEK 13)

Conference record listed first, followed by overall record

  1. (7) Oklahoma Sooners [7-1, 10-1]
  2. (9) Baylor Bears [7-1, 10-1]
  3. (21) Oklahoma State Cowboys [5-3, 8-3]
  4. (23) Iowa State Cyclones [5-3, 7-4]
  5. Texas Longhorns [4-4, 6-5]
  6. Kansas State Wildcats [4-4, 7-4]
  7. TCU Horned Frogs [3-5, 5-6]
  8. Texas Tech Red Raiders [2-6, 4-7]
  9. West Virginia Mountaineers [2-6, 4-7]
  10. Kansas Jayhawks [1-7, 3-8]

PROJECTED BOWL GAMES

Texas fans can find where all of the internet thinks the Longhorns are going with this link here. As for the rest of the conference, here’s where the Big 12’s best is slated to go bowling this year:

Peach Bowl (CFP No. 1 vs CFP No. 4) - (1) Ohio State vs (7) Oklahoma

Sugar Bowl (Big 12 vs SEC) - (9) Baylor vs (5) Alabama

Alamo Bowl (Big 12 vs Pac 12) - (23) Iowa State vs (14) Oregon

Camping World Bowl (Big 12 vs ACC or ND) - Texas vs (16) Notre Dame

Texas Bowl (Big 12 vs SEC) - (21) Oklahoma State vs Mississippi State

Liberty Bowl (Big 12 vs SEC or AAC) - Kansas State vs UCF

First Responder Bowl (Big 12 vs Big Ten or C-USA) - TCU vs Marshall

PARTING SHOT