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Iowa State shows reason for concern, but still rides high in this week’s rankings

Ranking the Big 12, one week at a time

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 Montana State at Texas Tech

Every week during the football season we’re going to be ranking the components of the Big 12 according to their performance. These rankings are incredibly accurate and require no dispute whatsoever. Week one!

1) Oklahoma

NCAA Football: Houston at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This should come as no surprise, as Boomer Sooner rang out loud from Norman with Jalen Hurts and Co. thrashing the Cougars. Hurts catapulted himself into the Heisman discussion after throwing for 300+ and running for a buck fifty. I doubted Hurts to start the year, and I stand by that in so far as I still believe he is not close to the same talent Kyler was last year. Hurts is not a Heisman caliber quarterback, but Lincoln Riley is the best offensive mind in football and he can turn Hurts into a weapon of mass destruction.

The defense looked improved, but still porous. Houston started slow, but did move the ball effectively once the game had already been decided effectively. If there is any hope for Oklahoma’s foes to find a way to dethrone the Sooners, it lies with exploiting that defense.

2) Texas Tech

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Can you tell this is a Texas Tech blog with an alum writing yet? I know, I am reaching here I absolutely own that. The beauty of pounding an FCS opponent is the optimism I have has not yet been crushed.

Bowman looked rusty, and he still leads the nation in passing. A banged up offensive line still controlled the game. A defense built on taking big chances and forcing turnovers never managed to get a takeaway, yet they still dominated. The team looked like a team adjusting to a new system, but they looked physically and mentally ready to compete.

With another tune up coming up this weekend, Tech has so much time to iron out the glitches if I’m the Big 12 I’d start getting afraid. This take will either blow up in my face, or I will look like a genius in a few weeks after the Arizona and Oklahoma stretch.

3) University of Texas

NCAA Football: Louisiana Tech at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Texas has so many questions to answer. Their running back room has been decimated by injury and that defense did not look good against a good but not great LaTech team. Still though, the talent is there. A huge test looms with the Bayou Bengals coming to town, and I think the Horns get the upset there.

I also will admit I am mostly wishing for that upset to shut up the Aggies and SEC fan boys, but still Texas will win ball games this year on talent alone.

4) Iowa State

NCAA Football: Northern Iowa at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Take a deep breath Cyclone fans, you survived and at the end of the day everyone would rather learn a lesson with a W than an L. But still, woof, talk about a poor showing. There is zero excuse for this, so yeah I am punishing the Cyclones for this game pretty harshly. I heard ISU fans trying to defend this performance saying things like “Well, UNI is actually good and always plays hard ask anyone”. That should translate to a 14 point win for Iowa State, not a three overtime game they honestly should have lost if not for Purdy’s heroics. This defense is still really good, but I can’t buy a team fully yet after that fiasco. They largely shot themselves in the foot, so this should get cleaned up. I think the Cyclones will end up back in the top 3 really soon.

5) Oklahoma State

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Gundy seems to have found an actually good quarterback, and the Cowboys went to a hostile environment and controlled the game. Oregon State is not a good team, but still it’s a Power 5 win on the road and that means something.

I think Oklahoma State is going to struggle on defense but they may have the best offensive weapons in the conference especially with Wallace. I am still sleeping on Oklahoma State, but you can’t sleep on Wallace or he will beat your team by himself.

6) TCU

NCAA Football: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

TCU fans are not fans of me, and I’m sure giving them a lower tier ranking will bring them around to me. Sorry Frog fans, but I was absolutely right about your quarterback room. There is not anyone in there that impresses. That being said, I would bet Duggan is going to win this job since Delton really can’t throw.

The scoreboard doesn’t paint a good picture of this game, the Frogs struggled. The good news, they struggled their way to a blowout win and that has to feel good. Teams take their biggest step forward from week one to two so there is a chance the offense doesn’t start as slow. TCU gets an extra boost with a bye to prepare for Purdue, so they could really change my tune with an inspired performance in that game.

Defensively, Patterson is still one of the best in the business but this league demands high-powered offenses and I don’t think TCU is going to find one that is better than mediocre.

7) Baylor

NCAA Football: Stephen F. Austin at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The defense looked pretty decent against SFA, but there are issues with that offensive line that are concerning. I don’t think Charlie Brewer is a great quarterback, and that offensive line does not look like it will give him a lot of help. The interior of the line has to keep their man clean, if teams can bring stunts and get rushes right up the middle Brewer is going to get wailed on.

8) Kansas State

NCAA Football: Nicholls State at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kleiman debuted this weekend, and the Cats delivered a victory. I don’t know how good Kansas State is going to be against better opponents but early returns are there that maybe Kleiman can start the turnaround far sooner than anticipated.

The defense whooped a bad opponent, and the rushing attack imposed their will. If I felt like the Cats had more talent, I think I would have moved them up this list but Kansas State is always a hard team to feel out because of how they recruit.

9) Kansas

NCAA Football: Indiana State at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Another new coach, but this one is a proven commodity. Les Miles might turn around Kansas but it won’t happen this year. The goal should just be to get out of last place, and I think with how bad West Virginia is that can happen this year.

NCAA Football: James Madison at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

They are just not good this year. I mean good lord, James Madison stuffed their offense. They are going to get absolutely pounded this season.