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Big 12 power rankings: Teams must play the full 60 minutes

Numerous teams in the Big 12 struggled to play consistently throughout their games.

Tulsa v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

We found an interesting trend in last week’s games as almost every single game started out one way and ended a completely opposite direction. Five teams saw close games at the beginning turn to convincing wins at the end. Both Kansas teams were tied at the end of the first, one of them turned that tie into a victory while the other one suffered defeat. All while Texas turned what seemed to be a blowout into a nail biter. This model of inconsistency is what teams need to iron out before they get to conference play. For most teams, they’ll have one more week to work out the kinks, however for Oklahoma and Iowa State, Big 12 play begins immediately.

1. Oklahoma (-)

Kyler Murray impressed once again and has now begun to hear Heisman talk already in this short season. Murray threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns over the Chip Kelly led UCLA Bruins. After UCLA took the quick lead on a seven-play drive in the first quarter, Oklahoma went on to rattle off 42 straight points. An argument can be made that the Bruins simply aren’t that talented, however back to back weeks of dominance over highly regarded coaches is nothing to scoff at.

2. West Virginia (-)

West Virginia seems to be playing the “anything you can do, I can do better” game with Oklahoma. The Mountaineers also went against a big name coach in Bo Pelini and held a fairly close game in the beginning. However, Will Grier and company never trailed as the quarterback threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns. West Virginia’s game at NC State has been cancelled which means the next game for the Mountaineers will be against K-State. We’ll see if two games is enough to prepare this group for conference action.

3. TCU (-)

The first and second halves of the TCU-SMU rivalry game were complete opposites for the Horned Frogs. TCU came out of the gate flat and allowed SMU to jump out to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter. TCU didn’t have an offensive score until halfway through the second quarter and gave up a fumble and a safety. The second half started just as bad with a Shawn Robinson interception, however the team picked it up from there. Defense and the return team was still impressive with each scoring a touchdown. Though as I’ve said before, this team will only go as far as Shawn Robinson takes them, and with a primetime matchup at AT&T Stadium against Ohio State coming up, they’ll need him to step up.

4. Oklahoma State (-)

The South Alabama defense did a surprisingly decent job against the Oklahoma State rushing attack. Justice Hill and JD King both only had 32 yards on nine carries. This team forced the Cowboys to throw and Taylor Cornelius delivered throwing for 428 yards and a touchdown. The two interceptions won’t be acceptable going forward, however seeing Cornelius get the ball out quick to his playmakers is what fans should want to see. This weekend will be the team’s first real test against the blue boys of Boise State, we’ll truly see what they’re made of.

5. Iowa State (-)

Newsflash: This defense is legit. Marcel Spears Jr. and Mike Rose were all over the place for the Cylcones and held their in-state rival to just 271 yards of total offense. How did they lose? The Iowa State offense makes you want to rip your hair out. Once David Montgomery was bottled up, it was very difficult for Kyle Kempt to move the ball down the field. After the first drive that resulted in a field goal, Iowa State’s remaining drives ended punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs, punt, punt, fumble. To make matters worse, Kempt went down with an MCL sprain that might keep him out of this week’s big showdown against Oklahoma. Zeb Noland came into last week’s game and looked fairly terrible, with a whole week to prepare, the Cyclones are hoping for better things out of their backup.

6. Texas Tech (+1)

Lamar may just be one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen play at Jones AT&T Stadium, that being said the Red Raiders did exactly what they’re supposed to do and then some. Seeing the bench players come in the second half and still hold serve by scoring points and stopping the opponent was a pleasant sight. Safe to say Texas Tech also knows undoubtedly who their starting QB is for now. Alan Bowman played a nearly flawless half throwing for 282 yards and five touchdowns off 88% completion. Jett Duffey came in the second half and though he looked impressive threw a foolish interception for the only turnover of the game. We still do not know what this season holds, however this is a very bright spot for Kliff Kingsbury’s team.

7. Texas (-1)

Texas did in fact beat Tulsa this past Saturday, but it surely did not feel like a victory. The first quarter consisted of two touchdowns and two defensive interceptions for the Longhorns and it seemed like this would be a route. Yet, Tulsa worked their way back in the game. The Golden Hurricanes cut down on their own mistakes played sound defense and forced Sam Ehlinger into tough decisions. Back to back touchdowns given up in the fourth quarter had Texas fans nervous and if Ehlinger doesn’t convert that late third down, I don’t think there’s anyone in the stadium that would have been confident that Texas would’ve held them off. This is beginning to look like a product of where Texas is at the moment and that doesn’t bode well for Tom Herman’s tenure as he’s already getting the Charlie Strong treatment with fans calling for his job in just his second year. With a big game coming up against USC, it’s time for Herman’s team to show what they’re made of.

8. Baylor (-)

Baylor responded admirably to adversity against UTSA this past weekend. After Baylor scored early, UTSA made the game close only trailing 10-6 in the second quarter and then again only trailing 20-13 at halftime. The Bears did a good of controlling the game from there on out and not letting up. Despite having a subpar run game, Charlie Brewer excelled once again throwing for 328 yards and three touchdowns. The competition will again be raised as Baylor will be an underdog in their game against Duke.

9. Kansas State (-)

K-State did exactly what we expected them to do against a ranked Mississippi State team, the were dominated. Skylar Thompson once again failed to reach 100 yards passing while their other QB Alex Delton threw only two passes to his team and one pass to the other team. The Wildcat defense did a decent job in pass coverage forcing Nick Fitzgerald into 41% completion, however the Buldogs ran all over the field. 384 yards rushing nearly doubled K-State’s entire offensive output. Next week against UTSA will be a good gauge for K-State to see where they stack up as Baylor recently played them. If K-State suffers a similar fate, administration may regret that extension they just gave Bill Snyder.

10. Kansas (-)

The curse is finally broken. Kansas has finally won a road football game. The Jayhawks came in with a sound gameplan to give the ball to Pooka Williams Jr. and it worked as he had 125 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Joel Dinnen Jr. led an intense Jayhawk defense that held the opposing offense to 280 total yards, and celebration ensued. Bad news here is that they played a pretty bad Central Michigan team, however this does give them hope going into next week’s game against Rutgers. I, for one, am pretty excited to watch the two worst power five programs play each other. This could be a chance for Kansas to break another losing streak as the last time Kansas beat a power five conference team was in 2016, but I can’t seem to remember who they beat...