Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 4

The teams of the Big 12 have gone through the first three weeks of the season, and we have learned a lot about the strength of this conference. BearsIllustrated dives in to the first three weeks of the season and gives our first Power Poll of the season.

Heading in to week 4, we take a look back at the previous three weeks and rank the teams in the Big 12. Leading in to the season, the Big 12 was considered weak, as many in the media did not know what to expect from TCU, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. Well several questions have been answered, and it looks like the Big 12 will be strong than initially anticipated.

Oklahoma and Baylor both cruised in their non-conference portions of the schedule. Oklahoma looks to be a little ahead of Baylor at this point, based on the teams that both played in non-conference. Kansas State has been strong, and Tyler Lockett is one of the top WR in the Big 12, if not the Country. The surprises of the conference have been West Virginia and TCU. With West Virginia, the play of Clint Trickett has been impressive. Against Maryland, this past weekend, Trickett threw for 400+ yards and was named as a National Player of the Week. TCU has always had a strong defense, but the play of their offense has been a bright spot. The Horned Frogs steamrolled the Gophers of Minnesota, this past weekend, but face a rival this weekend in SMU.

The bottom half of the Big 12 has been less impressive, minus Oklahoma State. The Pokes came in to this season with question marks, but at the very least had no questions at the QB position. J.W. Walsh was injured, and the Cowboys have turned to Daxx Garman to carry the load. OSU took care of an upset-minded UTSA team, but will most likely hang around the middle of the pack in the Big 12 this year. Texas and Texas Tech are a mess. Texas has suffered from the loss of several key players that were kicked off the team, and with the inexperienced Tyrone Swoopes at QB, the Longhorns seemed poised for another 7-8 win season. Texas Tech is just in a lot of trouble after being pummeled by Arkansas this past weekend. Their defense will be exposed by the much faster offenses of the Big 12, and Davis Webb has had a ton of trouble locating receivers on his own team. As for Iowa State and Kansas? Well they are who we thought they were. Terrible. Although, give props to ISU for winning their rivalry game against Iowa, who is a part of the awful and overrated B1G.

Here's how things sit after week 3:

1. #4 Oklahoma Sooners 3-0, 0-0. This week: @ West Virginia: Oklahoma has cruised in their first 3 games, and head in to their conference opener against the upstart West Virginia Moutaineers. The Sooners are only a 10 pt favorite on the road, so the Sooners could be on upset alert.

2. #6 Baylor Bears 3-0, -0. This week: Idle: The Bears also cruised in their non-conference schedule, although that wasn't a surprise based on who they played. Bryce Petty returned from injury and looked superb in a 3 quarter outing against Buffalo. The Bears get 2 weeks to recover, which should be unwelcomed news to the Cyclones, whom the Bears play on the 27th.

3. #20 Kansas State Wildcats 2-0, 1-0. This week: #5 Auburn: Kansas State has looked great in their first two games of the season, but face a very stiff test against the Auburn Tigers. The Tigers will bring a potent offense to Manhattan, against a veteran defense of the Wildcats. It will be interesting to see the strengths of these two teams against each other, although, I believe that the Tigers will be too much for the Wildcats. It should be a very entertaining game on Thursday night.

4. West Virginia Mountaineers 2-1, 0-0. This week: #4 Oklahoma: The Mountaineers have played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the Big 12. After a close opening week loss to Alabama, West Virginia hammered Towson, before winning on a last second kick to knock off the Maryland Terrapins. The Mountaineers will need to bring their A game against the Sooners, as Oklahoma can be dominate on both sides of the ball. The game is in West Virginia, so this could be one to watch.

5. TCU Horned Frogs 2-0, 0-0. This week: Idle: Coming in to this season, the Horned Frogs were wondering how their new offense would look. Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meachem came over from Texas Tech and Houston, respectively, and have rejuvenated an offense that was abysmal last year. Add that to an already dominate defnese, and you have what could be one of the scariest teams in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs have played a softer non-conference than some, so we will see if they can continue to put up the numbers as they go through the Big 12 slate of games.

6. Oklahoma State 2-1, 0-0. This week: Idle: Oklahoma State played well in their opening game against the defending National Champions, Florida State Seminoles, but since then have lost their starting QB J.W. Walsh for the year, to injury. Enter Daxx Garman. Garman led the Cowboys to a good win against UTSA, but OSU looks as though they will be a middle of the pack team that is capable of knocking off one of the teams ahead them. They will be difficult at home.

7. Texas Longhorns 1-2, 0-0. This week: Idle : The Longhorns are a mess right now. After an impressive opening game against North Texas, the Longhorns were demolished by BYU. This past weekend they played an overrated UCLA team and were very close to pulling off a big win for the Big 12. Tyrone Swoopes has been a serviceable replacement for David Ash, but the offense has been very stagnant. It may be time for Jerrod Heard to step in, but the coaches may want to see what they can get out of Swoopes first. The Longhorns get a break to try and work some things out, before playing Kansas.

8. Texas Tech 2-1, 0-0. This week: Idle: The Arkansas Razorbacks came in to Lubbock, this past weekend, and just ran the ball down the Red Raiders throat. They ran for over 400 yards and scored all 7 TD's on the ground. Defense has always been an issue for Texas Tech, but another possible problem came up this weekend. The play of QB Davis Webb. Over the off-season, Texas Tech lost two of their top QBs in Baker Mayfield and Michael Brewer, respectively, and Webb has been average over the past two games. Texas Tech will need Webb to improve or else they could be looking at a bottom 3 finish in the Big 12 this year.

9. Iowa State 1-2, 0-1. This week: Idle: The Cyclones scored a big win in their rivalry game against Iowa, this past weekend, but the Cyclones are in for another long year in the Big 12. They are, however, good for one upset win in Ames and I think they will score one again this year. The #6 Baylor Bears come in to town on the 27th, so look for Ames to be rocking that night.

10. Kansas 1-1, 0-0. This week: Central Michigan: Not much can be said about the Kansas Jayhawks. They are just a mess right now. It will be another long year Charlie Wiess.


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