The Big 12 has had two weeks of play under its belt and the conference looks like it will be as wide open as ever.
We take a look at the Big 12 Power Rankings after two weeks of play. One thing is certain, this conference season should be one to remember.
Yes, that is a shrug emoji. Why? Because there isn't a team that could truthfully hold this spot at this time. The conference is in trouble if a team doesn't come out of nowhere. The media thought that would be Texas, but after not wearing suits on the plane to Cal and then losing to the Golden Bears, they have taken the fall. Baylor and West Virginia are both undefeated and are the last hope of the conference for the playoff, but one team is still struggling to find offensive identity and the other isn't even ranked. Baylor or West Virginia would have to go undefeated in conference play to make the playoff and that aint happening. NO way, NO how.
2. Baylor Bears/West Virginia Mountaineers
These teams are here, well, because they are the last two undefeated teams in the conference. They took care of business, despite the overall lack of strength in their schedules. Joking aside, Baylor and West Virginia do have talent to win the Big 12. Probably moreso Baylor than West Virginia, but teams will have to face the Mountaineers in Morgantown and that is a very difficult place to play. I still believe both of these teams will likely lose 2 games, but the other teams already have 1 and 2 + losses, so these two teams are ahead of the curve for now.
4. Oklahoma Sooners
Despite their 1-2 record and despite their beatdown to the hands of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Sooners are still extremely talented. The have one of the top QBs in the country, in Baker Mayfield. They have one of the top RB duos in the country, in Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, but their OL is bad and they lost one of their starters to injury last week. On defense, they have a very good defensive line, but the LBs and secondary leave something to be desired. The corners were constantly beat off the LOS and Ohio State had a field day throwing against their corners. True freshman Parrish Cobb played but was picked on a ton. He will be very good, but the talent is too good right now for him to make a significant impact. The Sooners have a much needed bye week, this week, before beginning Big 12 play at TCU and the Red River Rivalry against upstart Texas.
5. TCU Horned Frogs
Honestly, I'm not sure who is better at this point, the Horned Frogs or the Longhorns. Its a toss up to me. Both have decent QBs and good RBs. TCU has a better OL and I would give the edge to a Gary Patterson defense over a Vance Bedford defense any day. The Horned Frogs haven't shown to be as good as everyone thought they were and Kenny Hill Jr. is still growing at the QB position. TCU is really missing the players from the OL, Josh Doctson and Travone Boykin. Those guys were electric. Still, I think you have to give the edge to TCU here since their defense will always keep them in the game. The offense will have to find a new playmaker, with electric sophomore, KaVontae Turpin likely out for several weeks with a knee injury. The Horned Frogs play out of conference this week against the SMU Mustangs.
6. Texas Longhorns
How the mighty fall. Two weeks after being declared "back" by major media outlets, the Longhorns went out to Cal and laid an egg in a 50-43 loss to the Golden Bears. The defense was completely lost on both sides of the ball and has to be a big concern for the Longhorns, heading in to Big 12 play. Shane Buechelle was hurt after taking a big hit to the chest area. It will be important for them to keep him healthy, as senior Tyrone Swoopes did not seem to lead the offense well at all when Buechelle was out. The Longhorns can certainly play with anyone, but will they win enough games to save their coaches job? That will be the 5 million dollar question. If the defense continues the way it has, the answer will be no.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys, like TCU and Texas, have the talent to make noise in the Big 12, but their offense is one dimensional and their defense has holes. Still, though, Mason Rudolph is one of the top passers in the league and James Washington can make anyone look silly. Games the Cowboys are in will likely end in a shootout, but if they can't make a stop or two, they will end up in the middle of the pack.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Patrick Mahomes puts the Red Raiders over the Wildcats in this poll, this week. That isn't to say that defense won't put them back at the bottom pretty quickly. Mahomes a beast. That defense though? Yikes. They could literally be in a 80-70 shootout every game and be the losers. That is how bad their defense is. The seat is likely getting hot for Kliff Kingsbury if he can't find some way to get some stops. Just 1, maybe 2, would be nice.
9. Kansas State Wildcats
The Wildcats are a very quiet 1-1. The opened the season with a loss to Standford and followed it up with a 63-7 win over a terrible Florida Atlantic team. No one really knows what to expect from this team, but it would not surprise me if they were in the thick of it for a Big 12 Championship or running 7th or 8th in the league at the end of this thing. Does the wizard have one more magic run in him?
10. Iowa State/Kansas Jayhawks
One is worse than the other if you can believe it, but I'll let you argue over who is worse. Neither will put up much of a fight in conference play and I'd suspect they will both stay here for the year.