T6. Missouri: Mizzou QB Chase Daniel and Co. went on the road against an up-and-coming Illinois program and flat out took care of business. So why do I have them tied for sixth place in the Big 12 and not higher? Well, I get to watch them again, as well as most of the other teams in the Big 12 this week and I will adjust my Big 12 power rankings again, I'm sure. But I like where I have Gary Pinkel and Co. right now. I think they're in the middle of the pack, but have the capability of moving into the upper-half. They must win and win often though and that remains to be seen if they can do that in a much tougher Big 12 conference this season. That said kudos to the Tigers for going on the road and beating a good Illinois team in their house, and by ten points to boot. They definitely have the look of a Big 12 North team, with some consistency, to challenge KSU and NU for the North Crown. We shall see.
[Next Game: Missouri – 6 @ Ole Miss.]
8. Texas Tech: Red Raider fans do not fret, you have a much better team than I thought was even possible after having to fill so many holes. That said, the offensive line, a perceived weakness, looked more like a strength. So that's the good news. The bad news? They're in a loaded conference this year with at least 8-9 strong teams that it'll be difficult to move into the upper-half of the conference. Having said that, and as long as Graham Harrell is taking snaps in the Mike Leach O, the Red Raiders have a shot to beat anybody on any given Saturday. So I look forward to watching the Scarlet and Black as we go forward and could see myself moving them up the Big 12 Power Rankings sooner rather than later.
[Next Game: UTEP No Line @ Texas Tech.]
9. Kansas: KU head man Mark Mangino and Co. surprised everybody with their dominating performance in the opener against Central Michigan. And if some of the Jayhawk fans reading this right now think my No. 9 ranking is a slight, I do not blame you one bit. But I need to see more before moving them higher. Right now, though, make no mistake about it, they caught my attention and I cannot wait to see how they perform in the weeks ahead. They might be the surprise team in the North this year since K-State did in fact go bowling last year. But for now, I'm standing by my rankings and KU has to prove that they're a team to reckon with week in and week out before I can move them higher.
[Next Game: (D-IAA) SE Louisiana (No Line) @ Kansas.]
10. Colorado: The Dan and Cody Hawkins era started off with a bang after beating Colorado State in overtime. So if I offended anybody any Buffalo country I'm sorry. The truth of the matter is they're still not the Colorado of old, and not sure how close they are to becoming the Colorado of old. But, they won a tightly-contested overtime game against rival Colorado State and kudos are in order. Still, I must see this kind of effort time and again before I can really honestly say that I think they're better than seven or eight other Big 12 teams. Right now, ranking them No. 10, is a fair ranking. They have a lot to prove. But, they'll get a chance to do that on the field each and every week. Having said that, nice W against CSU, let's see what happens the next few weeks…
[Next Game: Colorado + 14 @ Arizona State.]
11. Baylor: Guy Morriss has got to be tired. Rebuilding Baylor is like rebuilding the Roman Empire. I'm not trying to smack on the coach or the program, but when you get blanked by TCU then it is "Houston We Got a Problem." No disrespect to TCU, who might be the best non-BCS team in the country, but Morriss and Co. were thought to be, at least going into that game, a team capable of hanging with the Horned Frogs until the end of the 3rd Quarter. I thought the Bears were going to have more team speed, more talent, more depth this season under Morriss and maybe that will in fact show up in the immediate future. But, until it does I got Da Bears sitting in eleventh place. As for the team residing at the bottom of the tank in this edition of the "Dean's List: Big 12 Power Rankings", it is Iowa State and Not Da Bears. So I'm showing some faith in Baylor but not much. Forgive me Lord.
[Next Game: Rice + 6 @ Baylor.]
12. Iowa State: The Cyclones are in a rebuilding year under new head coach Gene Chizik (former UT defensive coordinator) and they're implementing new schemes, new formations, and new terminology. I think that puts them behind the proverbial 8 ball. While I am in fact aware that they have talent, not to mention an awesome QB in Bret Meyer, a good coaching staff to move up the power rankings, I am very comfortable with calling them the worst team in the Big 12, at least for now. The fact is if Baylor and Iowa State were to line up tomorrow in a contest that I had to wager on, my money would be on Baylor all the while admitting that it could go either way. For now, they sit No. 12 due to the coaching change, new schemes and new terminology. By the way, Iowa State's loss to Kent State was expected, at least by me and probably many others. So I am not, I repeat not, penalizing them for losing to the Golden Flashes, who are arguably the team to beat for the MAC conference championship this year. Back to the Cyclones: I am simply stating that due to the circumstances, obstacles, and such, ISU is in for a long season. I'm sure Bret Meyer and Gene Chizik would have something to say about that. And I wish them all the luck in the world and hope they prove my ranking to be not only too low but way too low.
[Next Game: (D-IAA) Northern Iowa No Line @ Iowa State]