Big 12 rankings: TCU surprising as CFB Playoff contender

The Big 12 might have two College Football Playoff contenders, but not the two many predicted before the season started. TCU rewrote a number of conference records against Texas Tech, but the Horned Frogs won't have any time to celebrate with the difficult trip to Morgantown for the week's biggest game. As is the case in a round-robin league, the power rankings might end up changing dramatically after every Saturday.

1. TCU (6-1, 3-1 in Big 12)

Up next: at West Virginia
The skinny: Eighty-two points, and Gary Patterson was still upset after the game with the way his team played. That says plenty about the Horned Frogs' potential. They just might be one of the best in the country.

2. Kansas State (6-1, 4-0)

Up next: vs. Oklahoma State
The skinny: It wasn't a pretty win over Texas by any stretch, but it's not like that matters to Bill Snyder. The Wildcats continue to stay atop the league table thanks to one of the most underrated defenses in the country and an offense that is explosive and steady at the same time.

3. West Virginia (6-2, 4-1)

Up next: vs. TCU
The skinny: There was a time when we thought the Mountaineers might be looking for a new coach in the offseason. Now they could be looking at a Big 12 title based on the way things might shake out the rest of the way, starting with a huge game against TCU at home Saturday.

4. Oklahoma (5-2, 2-2)

Up next: at Iowa State
The skinny: A week off to rest, relax and recover might be just what the doctor ordered for the Sooners. It's a disappointing season when judged by expectations, but there are still games left to be played, and Oklahoma has the talent to win out.

5. Baylor (6-1, 3-1)

Up next: vs. Kansas
The skinny: A week off to sit and think about a loss won't sit well with Art Briles' team, but the Bears have the perfect situation to take their frustrations on, with Kansas coming to Waco.

6. Oklahoma State (5-3, 3-2)

Up next: at Kansas State
The skinny: Injuries have been a big factor, but there's no question that the inexperienced Cowboys are sliding down the rankings as the offense sputters and the defense struggles. There are bright spots, such as Tyreek Hill, but OSU finds itself in sixth mostly because of the teams behind it being slightly worse off.

7. Texas (3-5, 2-3)

Up next: at Texas Tech
The skinny: Any encouraging signs the Longhorns might have given off seem to have been erased the past few weeks. Now there's a real question as to whether Texas will make a bowl game, but at least a reeling Texas Tech is next up.

8. Iowa State (2-5, 0-4)

Up next: vs. Oklahoma
The skinny: A week spent out of sight and out of mind probably won't help the Cyclones' chances against Oklahoma, but there are positive takeaways from Mark Mangino's offense.

9. Texas Tech (3-5, 1-4)

Up next: vs. Texas Tech
The skinny: Kliff Kingsbury might still turn out to be a good hire for the Red Raiders, but that contract extension is starting to look as bad as the Tech defense did Saturday against TCU.

10. Kansas (2-5, 0-4)

Up next: at Baylor
The skinny: The Jayhawks have become more competitive the past few weeks, but Iowa State is the only team left on the schedule that's not in the top 20, so that won't mean much by the end of the year.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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