Hello from the other side of the first full weekend of conference play (i.e. every conference member played another conference member). This weekend saw a blowout, three one-score games, and, well, Texas. We’ve got some shakeups in the rankings this week as the mid-tier teams duked it out. The bottom and the top of the conference rankings remain pretty much the same.
10. Kansas Jayhawks
Oh, Kansas. Kansas scored a measly two points more on Tech’s vaunted defense (19) than did SFA (17). The Jayhawks have numerous problem and none of them seem to be even close to being solved.
9. Iowa St. Cyclones
The Cyclones proved that Baylor’s defense is vulnerable to a power running game. However, Iowa State was unable to hold on for the upset. However, I think we saw many good things from the Cyclones and, unlike the Jayhawks, they may be on the right path to fixing some of their problems.
8. Texas Longhorns
I’ll admit that I was not watching the OSU-Texas game quite as hard as I would have liked to (it was on at the same time as the Baylor game). From what I did see, however, looked pretty bad. Texas’ defense, shockingly, is in terrible form right now and OSU was able to run for 329 yards on them. Giving up 99 points in two games, albeit road games, is not a recipe for success. The Horns need to see at least a modicum of run defense in the Red River Rivalry (I refuse to call it whatever dumb name it is called now) if they have a hope of shutting down OU’s powerful running game.
7. Kansas State Wildcats
I was high on the ‘Cats last week, but after their paltry offensive performance in Morgantown, I’m not so sure they have the weapons to keep up against the rest of the Big 12.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Raiders put a whopping on Kansas, as they should have. Not much else to say here.
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys
A good bounce-back win in Stillwater raises the Cowboys profile a bit from last week. They should be competitive in Big 12 play.
4. TCU Horned Frogs
The TCU-OU game was thrilling, to say the least. I only caught bits and pieces of the game on the radio, but I did hear the final minutes, including Stoops complaining to the refs about an intentional grounding call. That was interesting. TCU’s comeback was remarkable, and they really are never out of a game. The Frogs only have one loss in Big 12 play, so they are very much still in the hunt for the Championship.
3. Oklahoma Sooners
There is a case to be made for putting the Sooners in second place in these rankings. Ultimately, though, they have two rough losses and they have one good win. The preseason favorites have yet to earn the top slot.
2. West Virginia Mountaineers
As with many other Big 12 teams, I cannot figure the Mountaineers out yet. They are undefeated, sure, but they lack the offense of prior teams. For now, West Virginia maintains its position near the front of the pack.
1. Baylor Bears
The only 5-0 team in the Big 12 and the only team with two conference wins, the Bears are basically the only team deserving of the top spot in the Big 12 right now. This certainly could change, especially if Baylor’s defense plays as poorly as they did for the first three quarters on Saturday. Yet this team shows fight and has yet to give up on a game. Thanks to Kaz, the Bears can go full steam the entire game. Depth and injuries are obviously a concern, and they will be all year, but the Bears are the best in the Big 12 right now.
- Clemson Tigers - They have the best win of the year so far.
- Alabama Crimson Tide - The Tide will always be in the hunt so long as Saban is coaching.
- Ohio State Buckeyes - The Buckeyes have rolled through their schedule so far.
- Washington/Houston/Michigan - Washington beat down Stanford, Houston boat raced Oklahoma, and Michigan has wins over Colorado and Wisconsin. I’d probably favor Michigan, but it’s difficult to choose.