Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 1

Akshay Mirchandani

1. TCU

The Horned Frogs enter 2015 as a national championship contender and the Big 12 favorite. Not only that, but senior quarterback Trevone Boykin is considered one of the top Heisman contenders. With him leading TCU’s high-octane offense, the Frogs are easily the team to beat in the conference.

2. Baylor

There is controversy off the field in Waco with the Sam Ukuwachu scandal. But on the field, the Bears are going to be near the top of the Big 12 again. Bryce Petty is no longer the quarterback for the Bears, but junior Seth Russell is expected to smoothly slide into the starting ole. With senior defensive end Shawn Oakman returning to anchor the defense, the Bears have another good year in store.

3. Oklahoma

The Sooners made some changes after last year’s disappointing campaign. Junior quarterback Baker Mayfield is starting instead of junior Trevor Knight, and Lincoln Riley is taking over as the offensive coordinator. Oklahoma still has star running back sophomore Samaje Perine, but the Sooners need a great season or more changes could come to Norman.

4. Oklahoma State

The Cowboys started last year 5-1 before losing five straight, but ended the season on a high note with a double-overtime win against Oklahoma and a bowl victory against Washington. They have the talent, and should be able to build on last year’s finish.

5. Texas

There are plenty of questions for the Longhorns, mainly at quarterback. Will junior Tyrone Swoopes keep the starting job through the season? Will redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard have a bigger impact? That along with growing pains from a very young team could keep the Longhorns in the middle again.

6. West Virginia

The Mountaineers were a decent team last year, and had a big win
against Baylor in Morgantown. But, losing starting quarterback Clint Trickett and
trying to improve an average 5-4 Big 12 record makes things difficult.

7. Kansas State

This is a transition year for the Wildcats, especially with trying to find
a new starting quarterback. Having a head coach like Bill Snyder helps, but it’s not
enough to keep the Wildcats from taking a step back.

8. Texas Tech

It wasn’t that long ago that the Red Raiders started 7-0 in the first year
of the Kliff Kingsbury era. After a 4-8 effort last year, Kingsbury needs a big year to
take some of the pressure off in Lubbock.

9. Iowa State

The Cyclones went 2-10 last season, and it’s hard to see them being that
bad again. But, they’re still a bottom tier Big 12 team.

10. Kansas

The Jayhawks got a new, enthusiastic head coach in David Beaty, but
they’re still a long way from relevancy.