Big 12 Power Rankings

Wes Maulsby

1. West Virginia: The Mountaineers basically did whatever they wanted to against the Thundering Herd, rushing for 331 yards on the way to 655 yards of total offense. The defense could become a concern, though. Marshall was able to accumulate 545 yards in total offense and 28 first downs with turnovers and penalties slowing its offense in its tracks.

2. Oklahoma State: 84-0. Let that sink in. 84-0. The Oklahoma State basketball team only passed 84 points twice last season. The football team has already got half of that. There’s not much else to take away from last week’s game. Savannah State was clearly overmatched, and we’ll have a better idea of how good this year’s Cowboys are as they go into Tucson to play an Arizona team that should at least have a pulse.

3. Baylor: The Bears might not miss their departed players as much as everyone thought. Baylor laid down 613 yards, 26 first downs and 59 points en route to an easy win over SMU. This is an offense that has the potential to score on seemingly any play. That should sound familiar for a Big 12 team, as should this: the Bears defense is a little sketchy. They allowed SMU to accumulate over 500 yards in total offense with 28 first downs.

4. Oklahoma: While West Virginia was doing as whatever it pleased on offense against Marshall, Oklahoma was having a tougher time against UTEP. The Sooners put up 427 yards in total offense, with over 200 in passing and rushing, but they only earned 19 first downs while converting only 31 percent on third down. Two fourth quarter touchdowns broke open a three point game, and the Sooner defense was gashed for 177 yards by UTEP rusher Nathan Jeffery.

5. Texas: The Texas defense had trouble getting a hold of Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith without blitzing and continues to have a propensity to give up big plays. But the run defense held Wyoming under 70 yards and the rush offense was able to get 280 yards in game one with a pair of 100-yard rushers.

6. Kansas State: Chronic sufferers from Jekyll and Hyde syndrome, Kansas State played in what may have been the strangest game of week one. Missouri State, an FCS team, scored on its first drive in the second half to tie the game at nine before Kansas State remembered that it came to play big boy football. The Wildcats proceeded to score six unanswered touchdowns, five in the fourth quarter, to blow open the game.

7. TCU: The Horned Frogs had the first week off and will begin the season against FCS opponent Grambling State. If TCU is the team that it expects to be, it should make easy work of the Tigers. Grambling State is coming off a one-point loss to conference foe Alcorn State in a game that was very close statistically.

8. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders had no trouble against Northwestern State last weekend. Texas Tech had 500 yards in total offense, but a large bit of that came on the ground, as it tallied 179 yards rushing. It also showed that it can play a little defense, limiting the Demons to 84 yards in total offense and six first downs. With the defense and running game both starting to take shape, the Red Raiders are beginning to look more like a Tuberville-coached team.

9. Iowa State: The Cyclones overcame a slow start to take their first game of the season against Tulsa. Iowa State’s rivalry game against interstate foe Iowa is next on the schedule, and the Cyclones haven’t won in Iowa City since 2002. But this Iowa team needed to overcome an eight-point fourth quarter deficit to avoid losing at home in week one. If Paul Rhoads is really leading this Iowa State program back to relevance, then these are the games he has to win.

10. Kansas: The Jayhawks started the season off with a win, which has become an increasingly rare occurrence of late in Lawrence. Kansas started last season with a pair of wins before losing 10 straight.