I said on our podcast last week that I thought Baylor would contend with Kansas for the Big 12 Cellar Dweller. I just didn’t realize it would become an issue on the opening weekend. Baylor’s 48-45 loss to Liberty was the conference shocker of the weekend and gave Texas the opportunity to say, “Well…look at those guys. They’re really the one’s who are embarrassing the family.”
The Longhorns and the Bears dropped to the bottom of the rankings this week, giving Kansas and Iowa State a view from a few notches up. Our one through five spots didn’t change, as apparently we gave West Virginia a bit of a mulligan for losing to #21 Virginia Tech. The Mountaineers only had 26 points last week, compared to 28 this week, so they even gained ground by losing.
Below are our weekly rankings followed by a few thoughts behind our voting logic.
|Consensus Big 12 Football Power Rankings|
|Oklahoma State||37||Tulsa/W 59-24||2|
|Kansas State||31||Central AR/W 55-19||3|
|West Virginia||28||VA Tech/L 31-24||4|
|TCU||26||Jackson St/W 63-0||5|
|Texas Tech||18||E. Wash/W 56-10||9|
|Iowa State||15||N. Iowa/W 42-24||8|
|Kansas||12||SE Missouri/W 38-16||10|
I could be biased, but I think the Sooners were one of the most impressive teams for week one. Oklahoma was able to have their way on offense and was dominant on defense outside of the first drive. The real test comes next week for the Sooners against Ohio State.
The Cowboys also had a really impressive first game. Outside of a few issues on special teams and some dumb mistakes, the Pokes looked great. Mason Rudolph looked fantastic and he has a solid backfield to help him out.
I decided not the punish West Virginia for their loss to Virginia Tech. If they could’ve put aside a few mental mistakes, they would’ve come out on top. I think the Mountaineers have the talent to finish in the top 3 of the conference by the end of the season.
I knew Texas football wasn’t back, but I didn’t know they were gonna be this bad. It could’ve been a one game slump, but it seems like the Longhorns have some serious issues. It’s pretty hard to regain your morale when you get boo’d off the field by your home crowd in the season opener.
The Bears managed to have one of the worst losses for the Big 12 in a long time. It turns out that Baylor is an embarrassment to the conference in more than one way. They might have a rough year if they can’t beat an FCS school in their opener.
Oklahoma had one of the most impressive season openers in a while, defeating UTEP 56-7. They said the transition from Bob Stoops to Lincoln Riley had gone smooth and Saturday proved that.
Big 12 defensive coordinators probably had a sleepless night on Thursday after seeing all the tools that Mason Rudolph has to work with. They are likely to break some scoreboards this season.
Kansas State’s Jesse Ertz is the best quarterback that no one is talking about following week one. His final stat line read 10-16 for 333 yards and 4 TD’s. Yup, that’s 33.3 yards per completion.
I didn’t drop Texas this week, following their loss to Maryland, because I feel like I had them where they belonged at #6. Maryland isn’t a terrible team but no one that I had ranked below the Longhorns was going to beat them either.
Kansas steps up one notch from the bottom to make room for Baylor. I didn’t really reward anyone for beating an FCS school this weekend, but I sure punished the Bears for losing to one.
Oklahoma State displayed an array of talent from various positions. With such a loaded offense, the questions fall squarely on the defensive side of the ball. The secondary held up extremely well against a Tulsa offense designed to move the ball. But giving up 244 yards on the group could be cause for concern. It’ll be the story to watch moving forward and into conference play.
I’d really like to tab the Sooners as an “and/or” for the top spot in the power rankings. Flashes of depth and speed we’re on display from the receiving corps — a unit considered a weakness heading into the season. But the real question is: where is the rushing attack? Oklahoma cannot be one dimensional and hope to win the Big 12. So for now, they remain slightly behind the Cowboys in my power rankings.
For Kansas State, Jesse Ertz compiled an impressive stat line. Completing ten passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns is nothing to scoff at on any level. Regardless it was an FCS opponent that managed to put up 19 points on the defense. There’s a clear to man race to the top of the Big 12 and the Wildcats are on the outside looking in.
I’ve dropped Texas near the bottom where they maybe should have been all along. A program that lost to Kansas a year failed to bring a rushing attack to the game against Maryland in week 1. With what many considered to be one of the best offensive lines in the conference, that’s an extreme disappointment — and I haven’t even mentioned the receivers yet. Special teams nearly saved the game for the Longhorns but it won’t cut it in the long run.
At the bottom of the heap lays the Baylor Bears. Can you really lose to an FCS opponent and expect to be anywhere but at the bottom of the power rankings? The road is long and hard for the Bears moving forward.
The Sooners looked impressive in their win against UTEP on Saturday. The offense clicked from start to finish, and while the defense looked questionable early, they locked the Miners down and held them scoreless for the final three-and-a-half quarters.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys looked about as good as they could have hoped for against a mediocre Tulsa team. The offense looks like it could be tops in the country, but the defense is going to need some work, specifically at getting stops on third down.
Destroying an FCS school to kickoff the season isn’t exactly impressive, but the Wildcats did a lot of good things against Central Arkansas. Jesse Ertz had probably the best passing game of his career, but we probably won’t know too much about this team until they play Vanderbilt on September 16th.
Yes, the Longhorns are ranked below the Jayhawks. Kansas took care of business against SE Missouri State, while Texas couldn’t hang with Maryland, a team they were picked to beat by almost three touchdowns. It could be a long season for first-year Longhorn Head Coach Tom Herman.
Seriously? We all expected a rough season for the Bears in Waco, but losing to FCS foe Liberty on opening weekend is just pathetic. The Flames (yes, that’s Liberty’s mascot) got Monday off of class, which was not originally planned, despite it being Labor Day. Baylor might be well on their way back into the Big 12 basement after an embarrassing loss like this one.
|Heartland’s Week 1 Big 12 Football Power Rankings|
|Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State||Oklahoma||Oklahoma State|
|West Virginia||Kansas State||Kansas State||Kansas State|
|Kansas State||TCU||TCU||West Virginia|
|TCU||West Virginia||West Virginia||TCU|
|Texas Tech||Texas||Texas Tech||Iowa State|
|Kansas||Texas Tech||Iowa State||Texas Tech|
|Iowa State||Iowa State||Kansas||Kansas|