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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week Three

A stellar weekend for the Big 12 as your favorite misnamed conference (largely) avoided the "embarrassing game bug" that plagued the other Power 5 conferences.

Vaughn Ridley

The first three weeks of the season are finished. What have we learned? Well, Kansas is worse at football than Egypt are at basketball.Both Oklahoma and Baylor have cruised past their out-of-conference schedule. West Virginia and Oklahoma State both have losses on their record, but have looked more dangerous than pre-season polls indicated. Kansas State is an enigma, as all Bill Snyder teams are. TCU have a new style of offense and can actually score points now. Texas Tech's run defense has more holes in it than the tumbleweeds that roll through Lubbock. And Texas? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

10. Kansas Jayhawks (+0)

The Jayhawks went to Durham and lost at the high school stadium Duke uses for their football team, 41-3. There isn't much to say about Kansas; they are a horrendous football team and Charlie Weiss is not succeeding in his job. At least Kansas fans are past the point of anger about their football team. Remember your house words, Jayhawks: Basketball Is Coming.

9. Iowa St. Cyclones (+0)

What a win for the Cyclones! Iowa State and their hated rivals, the Iowa Hawkeyes, were tied with no time left on the clock as ISU lined up to attempt the game-winning field goal. They missed. But in an excellent display of Iowa education, the Hawkeyes coach iced the kicker. Cue the retry, the make, and the wild celebration. Go read that WRNL celebration thread; they're so happy! For an actual recap, head on over to the Mothership's article. The B1G is awful and all is right with the world.

The game also gave us this excellent Nick Pants gif:


8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (+0)

Honestly, if Tech played the Cyclones in Ames this next weekend, I would not know who to pick. More than likely, the Techsters would prove too much offensively for the Cyclones, but then there's that run defense. Good grief.

Four Hundred And Thirty Eight. That's how many rushing yards Tech gave up to the middling Arkansas side. Four Hundred And Thirty Eight. Not only that, but the much-heralded Davis Webb fell flat once again, throwing two interceptions. The sad thing is, Tech could have won this game. The opportunities were there, but Tech just could not come up with the plays they needed. Bottoms up.

7. Texas Longhorns (+0)

The Texas-UCLA game was about as watchable as GoPro footage from Júlio César against Germany. UCLA lost Heisman-contender Brett Hundley, yet still managed to handle the Horns. The game started off on a great note for the Bruins D, as Texas simply gave them a free turnover before the game even started. From there, both teams slugged it out, with neither team really showing the desire to win. Eventually, UCLA was able to win/Texas handed them the game, and all the media rejoiced as their darling Bruins were able to pull out a "gutsy victory" - blah, blah, blah. My takeaways from this game: UCLA is overrated, and has been since 2012 (49-19), as is the majority of the Pac 12, Swoopes may or may not be the next Texas QB but he certainly isn't Vince Young 2.0, and Texas needs to work on their mental toughness.

The Stronghorns get a bye week before playing at Kansas (essentially another bye week, even for Texas), then they get Baylor at home. Bears love themselves some Bevo steak.

Links: BON RecapBC Reactions.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (-1)

J.W. Walsh is out with injury, Daxx Garman is in. Yes, Okie State did take care of a feisty UTSA team, though "throttled" is not the word I would use, as the author of the linked article did. The Pokes looked positively "meh" across the board. They could pull the upset against the teams higher on this list, but without Walsh, I don't see them challenging for the Big 12 crown.

5. TCU Horned Frogs (+1)

Alright TCU, I see you and your newfangled offense putting up decent points. Granted, it was against B1G bottom dweller Minnesota, but the TCU offense looked impressive enough on Saturday. The defense, as per usual, was lights out, allowing a mere seven points in the 30-7 victory. The Frogs still have a ways to go to match the offensive output of some of the better teams in the conference, but they may be able to win some games by being the anti-2012 Baylor. That is, the offense plays just well enough to win while the defense holds down the fort. I want to see how the TCU offense fares against a better defense, but I am impressed with the progress thus far.

4. West Virginia Mountaineers (+0)

I am not sure what to make of this 'Eers team. The first quarter Mountaineers demolished Maryland and would be ranked third in the Power Rankings. But then they were terrible. Then great. Much like the game against Alabama, the Mountaineers failed to play the full 60 minutes. Nonetheless, both Clint Trickett and Kevin White looked good against the Terps. But defensive woes allowed Maryland to come back. The 'Eers have work to do, but they will pull an upset with OU, Baylor, and KSU all at home. Mark it down and hope it ain't against us.

3. Kansas State Wildcats (+0)

No game this weekend for the Cats, no reason to move them.

1b. Oklahoma Sooners (+0)

The Sooners handled the Tennessee Volunteers, 34-10, but it was not as dominant as one might have expected. The offense was sloppy at times, but was successful enough to give the rest of the Big 12 notice. Trevor Knight is a really good quarterback, most of the time. Then he goes and pulls a Case McCoy-level move to give the other team the ball back. However, the Sooners don't need much of an offense when their defense is so stiffling. The game on November 8th will be a slugfest.

1a. Baylor Bears (+0)

The Bears looked really, really good through the first half. The defense slacked off in the second half and the players will have to deal with Kaz for the lack of focus, but the Bears accomplished exactly what they wanted to do: go on the road to a face a team pumped up to play them and crush their aspirations. The upcoming bye week will provide much needed rest before Baylor heads to the much more hostile environment of Ames.

All in all, it was a very good week for the conference. While the Pac 12, B1G, and SEC had overall bad weekends, the Big 12 took care of business against their out-of-conference opponents. Sic 'em Big 12.