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Around the Horn: Big 12 Power Rankings Week 8

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How do the Horns stack up with the Big 12 after their win over the Bears?

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

After a week off for most of the conference and these power rankings, the Big 12 was back in full swing last weekend with all ten teams playing last Saturday. Though most games played out how we thought they would, several teams showed critical improvement — while others took a step down from their previous levels of play.

It’s also Halloween this weekend, which means we’re officially in the heart of SPOOKY SZN. To celebrate the only way I know how, I present to you the official Halloween Candy Power Rankings.

BON’S DEFINITIVE HALLOWEEN CANDY POWER RANKINGS

  1. Pumpkin or Bat Shaped Reese’s Cups — Really doesn’t matter what the shape is. Something about the specialty shaped Reese’s Cups just makes them better.
  2. FaveReds Starburst — The best flavors of the best non-chocolate candy.
  3. Snickers — Heartiest and best “traditional” candy bar.
  4. Twix — An underrated option, the chocolate and cookie combo will never not be great.
  5. Regular Reese’s Cups — You’re settling for these compared to the shaped ones, but they’re still top-tier.
  6. Kit-Kat-- A wannabe Twix, still very good, but wafers are not as good as cookies or caramel and nougat.
  7. M&M’s — They may all taste the same, but everyone knows the brown ones are the least fun to eat.
  8. Regular Starburst — Biggest downside of these is the absurd amount of trash they create. Go for the minis or the non-wrapped versions.
  9. Twizzlers — Hard to go wrong with sticky, strawberry goodness.
  10. Skittles — Props to you if you’re patient enough to eat these one-by-one instead of putting handfuls in your mouth to get a mix of flavor.
  11. 100 Grand — Probably the most underrated candy bar, it’s always a great option.
  12. Sour Punch Straws — All flavors are good, but Blue Raspberry is great.
  13. Tootsie Pops — Does anyone know how many licks it takes to get to the center?
  14. Haribo Gummy Bears — Please note: they HAVE to be Haribo brand. All other brands are just okay.
  15. Mr. Goodbar — It’s like a Hershey’s, but the peanuts make it more fun and tasty.
  16. Nestle Crunch Bars — A simplified 100 Grand bar, and a solid choice.
  17. Laffy Taffy — As long as you don’t end up with the Banana flavor, any of these are great.
  18. Tootsie Rolls — A less fun and less rewarding version of a Tootsie Pop.
  19. Jolly Ranchers — An incredible change of pace from the chocolate candies above.
  20. Gushers — not quite a candy, but these hold their own as the best lunch snack and best out-of-the-box option this Halloween.

BON’S DEFINITIVE OVERRATED CANDIES POWER RANKINGS

  1. Hershey’s — Is this actually anyone’s favorite candy bar? The just chocolate bar is more famous than it is actually liked, and it’s always the last candy left in the mixed bags.
  2. Nerds — the little boxes of sugar boogers are exactly just that.
  3. Payday — you can get the same taste by eating a spoonful of chunky peanut butter.
  4. Heath — The favorite candy of moms and trendy bakeries, but not a good candy for Halloween.
  5. Butterfingers — The taste actually isn’t that bad, but the texture and crumbliness of the inside is downright nasty.

BIG 12 POWER RANKINGS

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.

Last edition’s ranking is in [BRACKETS]

1. (6) Oklahoma State Cowboys [1]

Last game: W vs (17) Iowa State, 24-21

Trending: UP. Oklahoma State keep their hold on the top spot after a convincing win against Iowa State. The visiting Cyclones on paper had one of the best defenses in the Big 12, but were no match for the three-headed monster of quarterback Spencer Sanders, running back Chuba Hubbard, and wide receiver Tylan Wallace. In Sanders’ first game back from injury since the season opener, he racked up 374 total yards of offense on the ground and through the air. The decision making as a passer was spotty at times, with two picks thrown on the day and multiple bad reads, but overall, an impressive first game back as a starter. Meanwhile, Hubbard and Wallace each kept their strong starts to the season rolling, with the duo going for over 200 yards. Pair these playmakers with a staunch defense and it’s no wonder why the Pokes are atop the Big 12.

Next Up: vs Texas, Saturday, October 31st 3:00 p.m. Central (on FOX)

2. (22) Kansas State Wildcats [3]

Last game: W vs Kansas, 55-14

Trending: UP. In their first full game back after quarterback Skylar Thompson was announced out for the season, the Wildcats got the perfect warm up game in a contest against in-state rival Kansas. Backup-turned-starting quarterback Will Howard threw for only 243 yards and two touchdowns, but averaged over 10 yards per attempt in a very efficient day at the helm of the offense. Meanwhile, the K-State defense and special teams continued their hot start to the season, with three touchdowns on the day coming via two punt returns and one pick six. With or without Skylar Thompson, this Wildcats squad is among the best-disciplined and best-coached teams out there.

Next Up: at West Virginia, Saturday, October 31st 11:00 a.m. Central (on ESPN2)

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3. (23) Iowa State Cyclones [2]

Last game: L at (6) Oklahoma State, 24-21

Trending: DOWN. Coming up just short, the Cyclones dropped their first conference game in a loss to Okie State. While the score reflects a three-point loss, in actuality the OSU defense completely shut down the Cyclone passing offense. Quarterback Brock Purdy looked lost for much of the game, completing just 19-for-34 passes for 162 yards and threw one touchdown to one interception. Running back Breece Hall had a big day on the ground, rushing for 185 yards and a score. But that was the lone bright spot on offense. The Cyclones are still a very good team, but too often we’ve seen the offense and Purdy falter like this in critical games.

Next Up: at Kansas, Saturday, October 31st 11:00 a.m. Central (on FS1)

4. (24) Oklahoma Sooners [5]

Last game: W at TCU, 33-14

Trending: UP. With another win against the Horned Frogs, the Sooners are back in the Top 25 and move up in the Power Rankings. The game was tight momentarily, but the OU offense was all over the field and the defense surprisingly smothered the Horned Frogs rushing attack. Freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler was efficient with his passes, completing only 13-for-22 passes but throwing for 332 yards and two touchdowns. Don’t look now, but this Oklahoma team could be in the process of righting their season.

Next Up: at Texas Tech, Saturday, October 31st 7:00 p.m. Central (on FOX)

5. Texas Longhorns [6]

Last game: W vs Baylor, 27-16

Trending: NEUTRAL. A rebound from the previous three weeks that still doesn’t feel that great, Texas defeated a reeling Baylor team that had missed the past two weeks due to COVID. The Horns sputtered out of the gate and towards the end once the game was in hand, but for a moment Texas was reeling off great drives in the second and third quarters of the game like it was easy. In those quarters, the Horns put up all 27 of their points. If Herman can figure out how to find THAT version of the Texas offense, then they can put up a fight against OSU this weekend. But if it’s the other two quarters, then it could be a long day in Stillwater.

Next Up: at (6) Oklahoma State, Saturday, October 31st 3:00 p.m. Central (on FOX)

6. TCU Horned Frogs [4]

Last game: L vs Oklahoma, 33-14

Trending: DOWN. TCU’s defense finally failed to keep them in a game this year, and predictably it struggled against Oklahoma and their high-powered offense. What was unexpected, though, was to see TCU’s offense struggle so much against a porous OU defense. The running game was stymied, which has been the case for them all season. Outside of quarterback Max Duggan, the leading rusher has just 125 yards on the year. The Frogs have had an incredibly hard start to the season, with games against Iowa State, K-State, Texas, and Oklahoma to kick off their Big 12 schedule. But their offense still needs to improve if this team is to become more than a fringe bowl team.

Next Up: at Baylor, Saturday, October 31st 2:30 p.m. Central (on ESPN2)

7. West Virginia Mountaineers [7]

Last game: L at Texas Tech, 34-27

Trending: NEUTRAL. The Mountaineers dropped a winnable game this past Saturday against Texas Tech. For a WVU team that has been overachieving to start this season, that’s a game that they will likely wish they had back come season’s end. As we’ve seen all season long, the WVU defense will keep them in games. But their offense is too inconsistent — in this game alone, they only put up 27 points on 13 drives, and lost a fumble that went the other way for a Tech game-winning touchdown. This team can punch up a weight class with their D — if the offense catches up, they’ll be a much more dangerous team.

Next Up: vs (16) Kansas State, Saturday, October 31st 11:00 a.m. Central (on ESPN2)

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders [9]

Last game: W vs West Virginia, 34-27

Trending: UP. The Red Raiders got their first win since Week 1 of the season last weekend by defeating the visiting Mountaineers in a back-and-forth win. In fact, Tech was the only Big 12 team to pull off an upset last weekend. For once, the Red Raiders defense came through late in a game, scoring the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 56-yard fumble recovery scoop and score. This team has fight in them and the win is nice to see, but their reward is getting a top-25 ranked Oklahoma team in primetime in Lubbock.

Next Up: vs (24) Oklahoma, Saturday, October 31st 7:00 p.m. Central (on FOX)

9. Baylor Bears [8]

Last game: L at Texas, 27-16

Trending: DOWN. The Bears took the field for the first time in two weeks after handling a COVID outbreak among their team and coaching staff. The game went about as people expected it to go, with Baylor struggling on offense for most of the game and unable to dig themselves out of a 27-3 hole. Baylor mustered only 316 yards of total offense, and 100 of those came in the fourth quarter already down 24 points. We know Baylor has a good defense, but their offense just isn’t picking up enough points to make this a competitive team.

Next Up: vs TCU, Saturday, October 31st 2:30 p.m. Central (on ESPN2)

10. Kansas Jayhawks [10]

Last game: L at (20) Kansas State, 55-14

Trending: NEUTRAL. With news that running back Pooka Williams has opted out for the season, the bleak season outlook has just got even bleaker for the Jayhawks. I try not to use hyperbole when describing teams here, but this Kansas team may truly be one of the worst teams in the history of the Big 12. A win against anyone would be a monumental upset and it probably won’t come this weekend.

Next Up: vs (23) Iowa State, Saturday, October 31st 11:00 a.m. Central (on FS1)

BIG 12 STANDINGS (THROUGH WEEK 7)

Conference record listed first, followed by overall record

  1. (16) Kansas State Wildcats [4-0, 4-1]
  2. (6) Oklahoma State Cowboys [3-0, 4-0]
  3. (23) Iowa State Cyclones [3-1, 3-2]
  4. (24) Oklahoma Sooners [2-2, 3-2]
  5. Texas Longhorns [2-2, 3-2]
  6. West Virginia Mountaineers [2-2, 3-2]
  7. Baylor Bears [1-2, 1-2]
  8. Texas Tech Red Raiders [1-3, 2-3]
  9. TCU Horned Frogs [1-3, 1-3]
  10. Kansas Jayhawks [0-4, 0-5]

PARTING SHOT