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Thoughts on the National Polls and the State of the Big XII


Week 2 is in the books for the world of college football, and the Big XII stands an impressive 15-2 now on the season with 5 teams ranked and 3/4 more (depending on the poll) receiving votes. You're going to find out later when I post this week's ODB BlogPoll ballot how I feel about the conference as ranked against the rest of the country, but as against itself, here's how I think the Big XII currently stands (spoiler alert: I don't think we have any elite teams):

1. West Virginia-- the best team in the conference despite the fact that they have questions on defense and have only played one game. The offense is that good, led by the best player in the Big XII in Geno Smith.
2. Oklahoma-- They managed to put the demons of the UTEP game behind them in thoroughly dominating yet another FCS team. Should they be worried that Florida A&M scored 13 points? Probably not.
3. Kansas State-- Perhaps the most impressive team in the entire country yesterday, ULM included. They killed Miami. I've had my doubts, but that was a really strong performance. They deserve the bump I'll give them in my rankings.
4. TCU-- It's kind of funny to me that TCU gets more credit for skunking Grambling State than others have gotten for similar results against FSC schools. Could TCU be an upper-echelon team in the conference? Sure, but we don't know because of that game. I can't quibble with their place in the polls because of how many teams lost, but I don't totally agree that we know they're the 15th-best team in the country at this point. It's Grambling State.
5. Baylor-- Sat out this week but retained the second-most impressive win in the conference so far behind only KSU. The road to conference play looks a little more daunting with the upstart ULM Warhawks, though.
6. Texas-- Get mad, Texas fans. You'll have to forgive me that I'm not blown away by wins over New Mexico and Wyoming. New Mexico has been one of the worst programs in FBS history over the past few years. You led by 17 points at the half before running up the score in the third and fourth frames.
7. Oklahoma State-- Yeah, it's a big drop. Yeah, you deserve it. You looked like crap against Arizona in all facets of the game. Your players were undisciplined, your offense disjointed, and you had no defensive answer to RichRod's offense. Did I say your players were undisciplined? You had 7 personal foul penalties last night. 7.
8-9. Iowa State and Texas Tech however you like. I don't care.
112. Kansas-- You lost to Rice. That's awful.

More thoughts below the jump:

In case you haven't seen them yet, the latest AP and Coaches' Polls are out from this past week and neither include Baylor. The Big XII is well-represented with two teams in the top 10 (OU and WVU at 5/9 and 5/8, respectively) and 3 more between 10 and 20 (UT at 14/12, KSU at 15/14, and TCU at 16/15). Baylor is not ranked, though we did gain double-digit votes in each poll.
  • The Pac12 rode a hugely-successful Saturday into rankings galore at the bottom. UCLA and Arizona both jumped into the rankings after big wins and Oregon State gained a ton of votes in both polls. Enough to pass us, actually. I think there's some coattails riding going on there, even if it was a really good day for the conference as a whole.
  • Texas fans are going to hate me, but you have not come close to showing you're a top-14 team in the country through 2 games. Once again, it's Wyoming and New Mexico. You may deserve such a ranking at some point in the season, but right now you're getting that because of who your coach is and what you've done in the past. That shouldn't be relevant.
  • I think Arkansas dropped too far (from 8 to out) in the AP Poll considering what happened in that game. Yes, they lost to a FCS school. Yes, it was embarrassing. But they lost their starting QB to injury and obviously played what might have been the worst game in recent school history. That's too much punishment, I think.
  • Florida is too high after beating A&M yesterday. Trust me, I'm glad it happened, but they jumped almost 10 spots in both polls. That's too much.
  • I don't see a good argument for ranking Kansas State behind Texas at this point. I just don't.
  • OU at 5 seems a little high unless you assume UTEP was a total fluke. I'd go with them around 7 or 8.