Two weeks in and the Big 12 has begun to distinguish itself into tiers. Although I will still rank the teams 1-10, I will also include tiers in the descriptions. Allons-y!
10. Kansas Jayhawks (-1)
Oh Kansas... The Jayhawks nearly allowed the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks to fell them at home. Although Kansas was able to hold on to win, the 'Hawks looked horrendous in the victory. The Redhawks went a paltry 3-9 last year...and Kansas nearly let them come back and win. That's good for last place.
9. Iowa St. Cyclones (+1)
Ames is strange, y'all. One day, the Cyclones are being destroyed by an FCS team, the next, they're nearly knocking off Big 12 dark horse Kansas Sate. Until I see more proof that the Cyclones were not just playing all-out because their backs were against the wall, they'll remain in the bottom tier (Tier 4). Nonetheless, there is the possibility that the Cyclones can pull off their yearly upset. It may not be totally a lost season...yet.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (+0)
Is UTEP an up-and-coming program with the ability to pull the upset against a Power 5 school? Sure. Should Tech still have only beat them by a score? Noooope. The Fightin' Bros looked in shambles against the Miners, racking up penalties on penalties in addition to having their run defense obliterated. Tech are the first team in Tier 3, a tier that is falling off in quality rapidly.
7. Texas Longhorns (-2)
This was ugly. The injury-depleted and suspension-depleted Horns maintained a presentable defense, but looked almost Kansas-bad on offense. Replacement quarterback Swoopes was, surprisingly, not bad. The offensive line, with all of their four combined starts, however, gave the Horns no chance in this game. Charlie Strong has shown that he takes no prisoners on his quest to right the ship, but he will have to endure Texas fans' and money's wrath this year. Things are not looking up for the Stronghorns. Tier 3 for the falling Horns.
6. TCU Horned Frogs (+1)
The Horned Frogs had a bye week this week, so they are only moving up by virtue of Texas falling apart at the seams. TCU is in Tier 2.5. There isn't enough evidence to place them in the second tier, but they're likely better than Texas.
5. Oklahoma State (-1)
The Okies looked only "meh" against FCS Missouri State. Still, they took care of business and earned themselves a win. The drop in ranking is more due to WVU playing lights-out. We'll see how OSU does against a feisty UTSA team this upcoming weekend, but for now, the Cowboys are solidly in Tier 2.
4. West Virginia Mountaineers (+2)
A week after hanging tough with Alabama, the Mountaineers laid a whooping on FCS runner-up Townson. With Clint Trickett healthy, the 'Eers are quickly, yet quietly moving up the ranks of the Big 12 teams. They get Oklahoma at home in two weeks in what is shaping up to be quite the match-up. West Virginia could have themselves a heck of a season, who knows?
3. Kansas State Wildcats (+0)
Capping off the second tier, the Wildcats of Kansas State. The Cats struggled in their Farmageddon showdown against Iowa State, yet somehow still looked like a side that can compete with most teams. Bill Snyder is a wizard.
1b. Oklahoma Sooners
1a. Baylor Bears
Honestly, Baylor and OU is a toss-up. So, in the interest of being a homer, I'm putting Baylor in front. Regardless, both teams looked very solid against lesser opponents. Baylor, as you know, destroyed Northwestern State with their second team. Oklahoma, meanwhile, took it to a Tulsa team that was no match for the Sooners. Oklahoma hosts Tennessee next week, so we should get our first look at how they fair against a better side. Baylor, meanwhile, will have to wait a littler while for that opportunity. Nevertheless, the Bears and the Sooners are in a class of their own in Tier 1.