After a first impression this weekend, we reshuffle our weekly Big 12 power rankings heading into Week 2. While we factored in preseason perceptions of each team, we weighted Week 1 performance more heavily. Next to each team is their season record, result from last weekend, and their position from last week’s power rankings. Enjoy!
1. Oklahoma State [1-0]: W 61-7 vs. Southeastern Louisiana (LW: 2)
The Cowboys took care of business against an inferior opponent. Given Oklahoma’s loss to Houston, that’s just enough to put them atop the power rankings for Week 2. Obviously they’ll have to prove their worth against better opponents to stay there.
2. Texas [1-0]: vs. Notre Dame (LW: 6)
If you missed Sunday night’s showdown, don’t admit it. It was easily the game of the weekend and an early contender for game of the year. Notre Dame is overhyped year in and year out, but they are still a good team and constituted the Big 12’s most impressive victory at the hands of Texas. Can Texas maintain this level of play all season with a freshman quarterback? We’ll see. But they deserve this position at the moment.
3. West Virginia [1-0]: W 26-11 vs. Missouri (LW: 7)
Missouri is far from a great football team at the moment, but West Virginia notched a 15 point victory over an SEC program nonetheless, which is more than most of the Big 12 can say after Week 1.
4. Baylor [1-0]: W 55-7 vs. Northwestern State (LW: 5)
Baylor looked as dominant as they always do against their cupcake non-conference foes, so the jury is still out on how big of a step back the Bears will take, if any, in the absence of Art Briles. After just one game, they look a lot like they have the last two or three seasons.
5. Oklahoma [0-1]: L 23-33 @ Houston (LW: 1)
I don’t want to take anything away from Houston, but quite honestly they didn’t look like world-beaters to me, and Oklahoma looked even less impressive. The Sooners still have a lot of talent, and they might have just lost to a legitimate College Football Playoff contender, so I’m not giving up on them just yet. But they have significantly more to prove moving forward.
6. Texas Tech [1-0]: W 69-17 vs. Stephen F. Austin (LW: 4)
Many have tried to discredit the performance by saying “it’s just SFA”. They must have missed last year’s game against Sam Houston State when the Red Raider defense surrendered over 300 yards both on the ground and through the air. Or maybe they missed a narrow 42-35 win over Central Arkansas in 2014. The defense is improved, and the offense is still potent. The only question is how well the improvement translates to Power 5 competition. We’ll see against Arizona State on Saturday.
7. TCU [1-0]: W 59-41 vs. South Dakota State (LW: 3)
In his debut as the Horned Frogs’ quarterback, Kenny Hill put up the same gaudy statistics we saw when he was at Texas A&M, but also threw interceptions on back-to-back passes. Maybe TCU was looking ahead to Arkansas, but their defensive performance also left a lot to be desired. Overall, the Frogs didn’t look like a Big 12 title contender in Week 1, but they could prove a lot with a victory over the Razorbacks.
8. Kansas State [0-1]: L 13-26 @ Stanford (LW: 9)
The Wildcats put up a pretty good fight against a top 10 team on the road, and while their defense did an admirable job against an explosive Heisman frontrunner, their offense is noticeably weak. Bill Snyder teams tend to improve drastically as the season goes along, so we’ll see where K-State is when Big 12 play arrives.
9. Kansas [1-0]: W 55-6 vs. Rhode Island (LW: 10)
It’s easy to say “it was Rhode Island”, but that take is way too dismissive of how awful Kansas has been in recent years, how bad some of the teams they’ve lost to recently are, etc. I’m not ready to label the Jayhawks competitive in Big 12 play, but beating teams like Rhode Island by 49 is a huge leap in the right direction.
10. Iowa State [0-1]: L 20-25 vs. Northern Iowa (LW: 8)
In Matt Campbell’s debut as the Cyclones’ head coach, Iowa State turned in a disappointing performance falling to Northern Iowa. Based on first impression alone, Campbell could be in for a longer rebuild than anticipated.