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Big 12 power rankings: One week full of lessons

What did we learn about each team from the opening weekend?

Tennessee v West Virginia Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

One week is all it takes for expectations to adjust and confirmations to happen. For example, there’s a good chance that the most optimistic of Red Raider fans now have to lower that dream of a nine plus win season, while Mountaineer fans got a taste of just how potent their team can be. It is just one week in the books but that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn quite a bit from these teams.

1. Oklahoma (-)

For the Sooners, we learned that Kyler Murray is still the Gatorade athlete of the year that head coaches were salivating for back in 2015. Murray only threw 11 passes yet gained 209 yards on nine completions, that’s mighty impressive. Murray did exactly what he was supposed to, let his playmakers Marquise Brown and Rodney Anderson handle the offensive load while being efficient and taking care of the ball. FAU came into the season as one of the lead contenders to clinch the group of five berth in a New York Six bowl and even garnered 38 points in the AP poll, the 30th highest ranking. The fact Oklahoma smacked them around like they were nothing shows how dominant this team can be.

2. West Virginia (-)

For the Mountaineers, we learned that they’re for real. Will Grier looked like the Heisman candidate I believe he can be, while the defense stepped up to the plate. This defense which was the biggest question mark going into the season held Tennessee to merely 172 yards passing and forced a fumble. Beating an SEC team is always sweet and doing it in this fashion is even sweeter. West Virginia carried the torch high for the conference on Saturday.

3. TCU (-)

For the Horned Frogs, we learned that I might be right about Shawn Robinson. He’s a sub-par passer, but a powerful downhill runner. His two touchdown runs were both pretty impressive. He’s going to have to work on his passing touch before that Ohio State game in week three, because the TCU team lives and dies with him.

4. Oklahoma State (-)

For the Cowboys, we learned that their running attack is more than just Justice Hill. LD Brown reeled off 110 yards to compliment Hill’s 122 yards, not to mention JD King and Chubba Hubbard who also received some carries. The OLine were the real heroes on Saturday, not only did they help the running backs achieve 431 yards on the ground, Taylor Cornelius had all day to throw. The trenches is where Oklahoma State will enforce their will on teams and though Missouri State isn’t a formidable opponent, it was still impressive.

5. Iowa State (-)

For the Cyclones, we learned nothing because they didn’t play. However for the conference we learned everyone above Iowa State are going to be gunning for the championship and everyone below is in for a rough year. Next week, we’ll see which group Iowa State belongs to.

6. Texas (-)

For the Longhorns, we learned they are still the same team they have been for the past four seasons. Sam Ehlinger continued his inconsistent play that made fans groan at times last year while the offense as a whole never found a groove. The defense showed how talented they are while concurrently showing how discombobulated they are. The unit struggled to show unity as they gave up 264 yards including a long 64 yard touchdown. Tom Herman is supposed to be bringing Texas back, well we’re still waiting.

7. Texas Tech (-)

For the Red Raiders, we learned things haven’t changed. Despite certain social media accounts, and certain sports sites and certain blogs all claiming that the defense was going to lead the team this year, the unit came out and laid an egg. Offensively, there was promise until McLane Carter went out with a leg injury and true freshman Alan Bowman played like a true freshman. Bowman didn’t have a terrible game, all things considered, however with the defense giving up 47 points, Tech simply needs more.

8. Baylor (+1)

For the Bears, we learned there still may be a quarterback competition. Though Baylor added NC State transfer Jalen McClendon, most people assumed Charlie Brewer would still be the main guy. However Saturday, despite coming in after Brewer, McClendon looked like the far superior QB. The offense looked like a well oiled machine regardless of QB putting up over 600 yards of total offense. Yes they only played Abilene Christian, however on a day where two Big 12 teams struggled with their FCS opponent, putting up 55 points is nothing to scoff at.

9. Kansas State (-1)

For the Wildcats, we learned that Snyder magic is still alive and well though the team looks like his worst. The only movement in our rankings has much more to do with how abysmal K-State looked. South Dakota looked like the power five conference team in the first half and K-State was manhandled from the gate. Both Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson looked unprepared to lead the offense while the defense didn’t show up till halftime. Thank goodness for Isiah Zuber who seemingly won this game by himself. An 85 yard touchdown return followed by a 10 yard touchdown reception completed Zuber’s comeback. Zuber won’t be able to do it by himself next week as they face ranked Mississippi State next and the Bulldogs will be hoping to play the same team that played South Dakota.

10. Kansas (-)

For the Jayhawks, we learned they may not win a game all season. I, for one, was excited to see the battle of the worst power five programs next week between Kansas and Rutgers. However after the showing Kansas put on, I have no doubt Rutgers will be the victors. David Beaty’s group found a way to lose to a middle of the road school in a middle of the road conference in the FCS. This would’ve been an embarrassing outcome for UTSA, nevertheless a Big 12 program. What kind of coaching staff coaches a conservative game against Nicholls State? A coaching staff that’s already worn out their welcome.