This week is tough. The Big 12 got a much-needed win over the SEC, knocking them off their pedestal for the time being (or not, as Auburn is somehow still ranked). Elsewhere around the Big 12, it was a rather lackluster week. TCU took SFA to the woodshed, yet lost another player to injury. Kansas State kept up their stellar defensive effort against a scrappy UTSA team, Tech found some semblance of a defense, and West Virginia and Oklahoma State took care of business. Overall, it was just a very weird week in college football.
1. Baylor Bears (+0)
Okay, maybe Seth isn't wholly elite just yet. That being said, he was only in his third collegiate start and he was missing his play callers. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely things he can do to improve (like running instead of forcing a throw). And yet, he still helped Baylor to 66 points. While Baylor has come out looking downright pathetic to begin games, they have always managed to adjust and to win by 35. I am not terribly concerned about the defense. Yes, 31 points doesn't look good, but I think that number is inflated by the number of turnovers and the short fields they afforded the Cardinals. It's not time to panic, it's time to fix problems before we play Big 12 teams. Looking at you, special teams.
2. TCU Horned Frogs (+0)
I really considered putting TCU at number one this week. Why didn't I? Well, injuries, to put it simply. I am not confident in TCU's defense against a good offense just yet, and the loss of starting safety Kenny Iloka and linebacker Mike Freeze this week did not help. Nonetheless, a 70-7 beat down of SFA is a great result and exactly what you would expect from a team with title hopes. I'll be watching TCU-SMU with great interest.
Side note: SFA lost last week to Northern Arizona, who are also the Lumberjacks (and went 5-3, 7-5 in the Big Sky last year...).
3. Oklahoma Sooners (+1)
Beat a Tennessee team in Tennessee? You get moved up. It is mighty concerning that Oklahoma only scored three points through the first three quarters, but their defense kept them in the game long enough for Baker Mayfield and Sterling Shepard to put together a comeback. Welcome back to the top three, Sooners. Let's see how you do against Monty and the Golden Hurricanes next week.
4. West Virginia Mountaineers (-1)
West Virginia pitched a shutout for almost three quarters before ceding 17 points in garbage time. That's neigh seven scoreless quarters to begin the season. Impressive, 'Eers. A definite Big 12 dark horse. The 3. October game at Oklahoma is going to be a good one.
5. Kansas State Wildcats (+0)
Bill Snyder is a wizard. Despite a slow start and a new quarterback, the 'Cats managed to play their game and eventually stifled the Roadrunners, 30-3. I don't think State has the players to make a run at the Big 12 title, but only an idiot counts out Snyder.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (+0)
The Red Raiders put up 69 points (nice) on the hapless Miners. With their explosive offense and an improved defense, the Raiders look to be better than last year. Mahomes is the real deal, but will that run defense stand up to Arkansas? Then again, Arkansas just lost to Toledo... I'm glad we get Tech after they play Arkansas and TCU.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (-1) / Texas Longhorns (+1)
Oklahoma State looked, once again, lackluster in their win over a weaker opponent. Their defense is strong, but it's concerning how start-and-stop their offense was.
Texas, on the other hand, looked - at least, according to the box score - impressive on offense. With Swoopes (SWOOPEEEESSSS) being benched for Jerrod Heard, the Horns managed to put up 42 points...kind of. Subtract the punt return touchdown and Malik Jefferson's fumble recovery for a touchdown. Furthermore, Rice had five turnovers. Although the Horns only managed 277 yards, they still put up 28 points on their own; much more than they've done in the past. There are signs of life in Austin. Can they remain?
9. Iowa St. Cyclones (+0)
¡El Assico! happened. Iowa State lost. That is all.
10. Kansas Jayhawks (+0)
55 points and 651 yards. That's what Memphis' offense did to Kansas. You poor Jayhawks.