Oct 5, 2013; Waco, TX, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles celebrates the win over the West Virginia Mountaineers at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears defeated the Mountaineers 73-42. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 Football Power Rankings: Will Anybody Derail The Baylor Express?


With every passing week, it’s looking more and more questionable that anyone is going to be able to slow down Baylor’s runaway train as it gathers speed and sets its sights on a first Big 12 Conference football championship and a BCS bowl, and even a shot at the national championship stage. We keep saying this every week, but the Bears continue to score touchdowns at an unprecedented clip, mowing down four 2013 opponents by an average scoring margin of 54 points.

All you have to do is glance through the conference statistics, both individual and team, through Week 6, and it becomes very clear something very special is going on this season in Waco. As a team, the Bears are No. 1 in scoring, rushing offense and pass offense, which makes them No. 1 also in total offense. And that’s just on offense. The Bears can play defense, too. They also are No. 2 in the conference in rushing defense, No, 3 in defending the pass and third overall in total defense.

On the individual side of the ledger, two Baylor Bears are in the top five in the Big 12 in rushing, led by junior running back Lache Seastrunk, who is averaging 11.1 yards per carry and has gained 589 yards in just four games this season. Freshman Shock Linwood isn’t far behind his teammate, with 318 yards rushing and an average of 7.8 yards per atempt. Junior quarterback Bryce Petty is putting up huge numbers, as well, completing 62 percent of his passes for 1,348 yards and 10 touchdowns to lead the Big 12.

Not difficult to see why Baylor is easily the big surprise early on in the 2013 season. There still may be non-believers out there who argue that the Bears really haven’t played anyone good through their first four games and they have yet to go on the road this season. The latter issue will be answered this weekend, when Baylor travels to Kansas State to play a very frustrated Wildcat squad that has had to take on the FCS national champions (North Dakota) and go to Austin and Stillwater, Okla., the week after both Texas and Oklahoma State had suffered crushing defeats.

Suffice to say that Bill Snyder’s defemding Big 12 co-champions, now 2-3 to start the season, will be out for bear in a big way when unbeaten, high-powered Baylor shows up at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday.

Baylor may not have fully proved itself a mere four games into the 2013 season, but you cannot discount its impressive 73-42 blowout of a West Virginia team that is admittedly less threatening on offense from a year ago but did beat a very good Oklahoma State team just the week prior to getting its brains beat out in Waco.

After Saturday, we’ll have a much better feel for how good this year’s Baylor team really is, but until then, the Bears have earned their spot at the top of the Big 12 Power Ratings for Week 7.

Big 12 Football Power Rankings – Week 7

  1. Bayl0r Bears – We’ll know how good this team really is after Saturday at Kansas State. Nov. 7 showdown at home with OU may decide the Big 12 title.
  2. Oklahoma Sooners – A win Saturday over a down Texas team that thinks it still has a chance to win the Big 12 will be a big momentum boost for a team that’s getting even stronger as the season rolls on.
  3. Texas Tech Red Raiders - The Red Raiders should be 7-0 when they play Oklahoma in Norman on Oct. 26 (two weeks from Saturday). Remember 2011.
  4. Oklahoma State Cowboys – This team may not be as good as first thought, but it is way better than remaining fourth best all season long.
  5. Texas Longhorns – The Longhorns did beat Kansas State, but if they don’t survive the Red River Rivalry on Saturday, not only is Mack Brown gone but so, too, is their season.
  6. TCU Horned Frogs – TCU, a second-half team this year, played its best second half of the season last Saturday in almost pulling off the upset at OU.
  7. Kansas State Wildcats – No team has had a more difficult conference schedule so far than the Wildcats – at Texas, at Oklahoma State, at home against red-hot Baylor in the first three league games in 2013.
  8. West Virginia Mountaineers – This is a hard call, but the Mountaineers did beat Oklahoma State and lost by just six to Oklahoma. They certainly looked pathetic against Maryland and Baylor, though.
  9. Iowa State Cyclones – Probably should have beaten Texas, but they didn’t, and the Clones aren’t going to beat many others in the league this season, either.
  10. Kansas Jayhawks – Just when we thought the Jayhawks actually might be getting a little better, they get crushed at home by Texas Tech. And what was up trying a fake punt from inside your own 10-yard line? It’s going to be another long season for Charlie Weis & Co.

 

 

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