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Big 12 power rankings: The excitement has already begun

Big time upsets, close games and tough atmospheres, Big 12 football is back.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Big 12 football ladies and gentlemen. The first week of Big 12 play gave us all the intrigue we’ve waited for and then some. Two big time upsets to start conference play truly shows how difficult this conference is. With all the departures, especially from the quarterback position, we were prepared for a topsy-turvy season, however I’m not sure we could have anticipated the excitement this early. Let’s hope the teams keep it up going forward.

1. West Virginia (+1)

There is no better way to soundly beat your opponent for 60 minutes, than what Dana Holgerson’s group did this past Saturday. The Mountaineers started the game with a first possession interception, then scored a touchdown in the first quarter and shut out the opposition for the rest of the first half. That touchdown alone would have been enough, but Heisman hopeful Will Grier tossed five touchdowns to win 35-6. West Virginia looks pretty unbeatable so far but they’ll be put to this test this upcoming weekend in Lubbock.

2. Oklahoma (-1)

For the first time this season, the Sooners are not at the top spot in the rankings. This is all courtesy to their near defeat at the hands of Army. It’s hard to blame the offense too much in this game as they reached the red zone or scored all but twice all game. This defense consistently let the triple option offense grind its way down the field and eat up clock. This a week after Oklahoma gave up over 350 yards to Iowa State’s backup quarterback. Once again we question whether Mike Stoops’ defense can hold up this season.

3. Texas Tech (+2)

Does Tech deserve to be this high? We’ll find out soon enough as they host the top seeded Mountaineers this Saturday. So far however, Texas Tech has put up record breaking offensive numbers, held a defensive Heisman candidate in check and held an air raid offense to zero passing yards in an entire quarter.If Tech continues this reign, they could move up even further.

4. Texas (+2)

The Longhorns and Red Raiders have had duplicated each other’s season so far except the Longhorns have a sub-par win against Tulsa which is keeping them behind. Texas was able to pull off a prime-time upset at home against TCU, forcing Shawn Robinson into three turnovers himself and actually getting a fairly efficient game from Sam Ehlinger. Texas doesn’t need their QB to be great like the three teams above do, they just need him to not make mistakes and if he can, this team could very well be back.

5. Oklahoma State (-2)

The loss to Texas Tech at home in which Oklahoma State was shut out in the second half was one of the more embarrassing losses in recent history. The Cowboys simply got beat down and outplayed and it has many fans wishing the team would turn to their own true freshman, Spencer Sanders, to finish the season. Luckily for Mike Gundy and company, Kansas comes to town and that usually helps ease a fan-base.

6. TCU (-2)

Back to back losses is never fun regardless of who it was against. TCU is now assuredly out as far as the college football playoff goes, but it’s not too late to contend for the Big 12. With that being said, for this team to go anywhere they simply have to get better play from the quarterback position. Shawn Robinson cannot make the mistakes he’s made the past two weeks if they expect to go far and he’s has another pesky defense to go against this week in Iowa State. If he’s not careful, he’s in for another long day.

7. Iowa State (-)

The Cyclone finally found their first win of the season, however it was not as easy as it should’ve been. Iowa State was tied after the first quarter and only up four after the third. Three field goals in the fourth put the game away but if they’re struggling to score points on the Zips, think how tough it will be against the Horned Frogs. Zeb Noland is going to have to grow up fast if this season is going to be turned around.

8. Baylor (+1)

Baylor sure knows how to beat up on inferior teams. Baylor made sure to put Kansas back in their place after an easy 26-7 win. The defense was truly the surprising thing as they held Pooka Williams to less than 100 rushing yards and only gave up one touchdown. Yes, it’s Kansas, but the Bears are now halfway from bowl eligibility after only achieving one victory last season.

9. Kansas State (-1)

Once again, K-State looked outmatched and outclassed. This Wildcats group simply does not have the talent to match up with most of the teams in the Big 12 this year. That being said, it would certainly be on brand for this group to upset the ranked Longhorns this weekend. That is what Bill Snyder has always seemed to be able to do, beat a team he has no business in beating.

10. Kansas (-)

Kansas is back, folks. Back to being just as bad as they always have been. The main reason I never moved Kansas up is simply because I still do not believe this team can even hold another Big 12 team to a single digit margin, nonetheless defeat them. The Jayhawks will always have that two week run, a run where, just for a little bit, they thought they were not absolutely awful.