Big 12 power rankings: Cyclones fall as Cowboys rise

Marcus Krum

No. 1: Oklahoma

Yeah, this Jalen Hurts guy might be pretty good. The graduate transfer quarterback joined former Texas A&M Heisman winner Johnny Manziel as the only player in the last 15 seasons to record 300 yards passing, 150 yards rushing, three passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns in one game. Not a bad start to his Sooner career as they rolled over Houston, 49-31.

No. 2: Texas

Finally, head coach Tom Herman got his coveted Week One win. Texas crushed Louisiana Tech 45-14 to start the season 1–0 for the first time in Herman’s tenure. But the true test comes this week as No. 6 LSU and its revamped offense come to Austin for a battle of top 10 teams.

No. 3: TCU

The Horned Frogs might be in the most interesting situation of any team in the Big 12. After a 39-7 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, coach Gary Patterson has three quarterbacks that could potentially start the remainder of the season. It’s not a bad place for TCU to be in as they head into a bye week with plenty of time to pick a signal-caller.

No. 4: Baylor

The Bears’ hopes for 2019 rest on the shoulders of Charlie Brewer. The junior quarterback’s breakout year in 2018 saw him take firm hold of the starting job as Baylor tries to climb back to Big 12 and national relevance. Brewer and the Bears started off 2019 on the right foot, beating Stephen F. Austin 56-17.

No. 5: Iowa State

Trying to refrain from overreacting to a Week One performance (see Maryland vs. Texas, 2018) is never easy, but it wasn’t a great showing for the Cyclones. Iowa State just snuck away with a triple-overtime win over FCS Northern Iowa. If head coach Matt Campbell’s squad is going to compete for a Big 12 Championship like many thought they would, it will have to show major improvements in the coming weeks.

No. 6: Oklahoma State

The Cowboys may have found their next great quarterback. Redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders looked comfortable commanding the offense as head coach Mike Gundy’s team put up 52 points on Oregon State in a win. Sanders made plays with both his arm and legs in the win. He may pose a problem to Big 12 defenses as the year goes on. However, the Cowboys need to beat non-Oregon State opponents before they move up in this poll.

No. 7: Texas Tech

Sophomore quarterback Alan Bowman showed out in his second year as the Red Raiders’ signal-caller, completing 76% of his passes for 436 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-10 win over Montana State. Bowman may turn out to be one of the conference’s best passers when this year is over.

No. 8: Kansas State

Change isn’t easy, especially when you’re a Kansas State team coming off 27 seasons of Bill Snyder as head coach. But Chris Klieman’s debut coaching the Wildcats couldn’t have gone much better, as they picked up a 49-14 win over Nicholls State.

No. 9: West Virginia

It wasn’t an excellent start for new head coach Neal Brown’s tenure in Morgantown, West Virginia, but he escaped with the victory over FCS James Madison, 20-13. While junior quarterback Austin Kendall played well with 260 yards and two touchdowns, the Mountaineers ran for just 34 yards on the day. Again, that’s against James Madison.

No. 10: Kansas

The Jayhawks picked up a Week One victory! Les Miles isn’t used to playing Indiana State down to the wire, but hey, a win is a win. Kansas has sure seen worse performances against FCS opponents, so tallying some numbers in the left-hand column will be important for Miles before the Big 12 gauntlet rolls around in Week Four.