Following a wild week one, the Big 12 is just as confusing as ever. Top teams like Oklahoma and TCU struggled in their first contest, one of which losing. The verdict remains out for Oklahoma State, Texas may be a surprise this season and Kansas State didn’t necessarily look good, but they didn’t look bad either.
With that being said, the outlook of the Big 12 rankings has changed.
Power rankings following week one:
This may have spoiled the power rankings already. The Texas Longhorns moved up to number one, all due to a 50-47 double-overtime victory over No. 10 ranked Notre Dame. Coming into this season, Texas was one of the unknown teams in the Big 12. No one knew what their potential was, or if they’d have a solid quarterback or not. Well, it appears they have two. Both Shane Buechele and Tyrone Swoopes played well and had a huge impact in this game in different ways. Buchele finished the game with 280 yards, completing 16 of his 26 passes for two touchdowns. Swoopes helped an already strong rushing attack with 54 yards, off 13 carries and three touchdowns. D’Onta Foreman led the rushing attack with 24 carries for 134 yards and one touchdown. This was a huge test for the Longhorns and they earned this spot in the power rankings.
2. Oklahoma State
This is subject to change, possibly, but following a 61-7 win you have to move them up, especially when the top two Big 12 schools underperformed. The Cowboys actually dropped a spot in the national rankings due to the lack of competition they faced in week one. It’s safe to say that an average FBS team can beat Southeast Louisiana. In the long run, this may hurt Oklahoma State with a one-loss SEC or Pac 12 team holding more weight than them in the CFB Playoff race. However, Mason Rudolph’s 18-of-25 passing, for 191 yards looked good Saturday, and every running back that played(7) looked great. Oklahoma State’s biggest challenge will come in week three against Pittsburg and the following week against No. 11 Texas. That will be a better test to see where this team actually is.
3. Texas Tech
Texas Tech probably won’t stay in this spot, because their defense against quality opponents is sub-par, but after a convincing 69-17 win over Stephen F. Austin, they’ve earned this spot. Patrick Mahomes continued his dominant passing game by completing 30-of-43 passes for 483 yards. Typical numbers for a Red Raider quarterback in non-conference play, but it wasn’t against a horrible opponent. Average, but not horrible. Let’s see what Tech can do against Arizona State next weekend and Louisiana Tech the following week.
4. West Virginia
The Mountaineers defeated a SEC squad 26-11, so you know they have to be in the upper half of the conference now. Missouri was the victim of West Virginia in week one. Skylar Howard completed 23 of his 35 passes for 253 yards. Although he didn’t have a touchdown, the running game seems to be what this team will thrive on the most this season, rushing for over well over 200 yards. Their non-conference schedule is mediocre, but a win against a Power Five Conference team counts for a lot.
Well, just like Oklahoma State, the Baylor Bears played a very weak Northwestern State team and beat them without a problem like they should have. 55-7 was the score and Seth Russell led the way through the air with 163 yards off 14-of-20 passing. The running game looked great, with Shock Linwood carrying the ball nine times for 100 yards and Terance Williams rushing 11 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns. This ranking could improve with a win over a quality SMU team next week.
As many already know, Oklahoma lost their first game of the season to No. 15 Houston. Oklahoma was formerly the undoubted No. 1 team in the Big 12, but after this loss, although it was against a potential CFB Playoff team, they have to drop significantly in the rankings. Offensively, you can see where Oklahoma will be fine. They likely won’t face another defense like Houston’s this season, so expect this offense to gain confidence through the year. However, this is a very frustrating loss, because it seems like the Sooners always drop the big games, especially against non-Big 12 competition. They always need a wake-up call before they take the rest of the season by storm. Well, that’s what they will need to do to make an another appearance in this year’s playoffs. Their next game should be a recovery game, but week three will be a tough one, against No. 4 Ohio state.
The Horned Frogs looked absolutely horrible in their season opener. They won the game, but they played South Dakota State. Yes, that wasn’t a stutter, South Dakota State. What can be worse than scheduling a weak non-conference schedule? Only winning 59-41. The fact that they had to really compete throughout this game is embarrassing not only for them but for the entire Big 12. Games like this hurt the Big 12 when it comes down to the CFB Playoff selection committee. TCU’s defense was exposed, and it will be tested once again in week two against Arkansas.
The rest of the pack:
8. Kansas State
9. Iowa State