[Note by Stacey Dean: I will not necessarily adjust these from week-to-week rather I might wait two to three weeks but I will make changes soon, if needed. Right now, I think these power rankings are money. So let's get to them and let's learn more about what the Big 12 teams are bringing to the table in the still relatively new 2007 season.]
T6. Missouri Tigers: If you're wondering what Mizzou has to do to move into the top six of the Big 12 Power Rankings, keep in mind I still have them tied for sixth. So essentially, they're a Top Six team, just getting the short end of the stick two weeks editions of the Big 12 Power Rankings in a row, where they're listed in the bottom half of the rankings. Chase Daniel has thrown 10 TD passes against only 2 INTs and can virtually do no wrong. And if you look at their record thus far, still unbeaten, and cruising into their game against Illinois State 3-0, they certainly look the part of a team who will be 4-0 going into conference play. The problem I have with ranking the Tigers any higher, at least at this point in the game, is the most difficult part of their schedule looms after the getting a bye week September 29, although that's not as bad spot to have your bye week, since they'll be meeting North Division favorite Nebraska October 6. It doesn't get any easier the following week when they must travel to Norman, Oklahoma where they'll meet the best the Big 12 has to offer (Oct. 13). Get out of that contest as healthy as possible and they face the Mike Leach/Graham Harrell air assault in a home game (Oct. 20). Guess what I am saying is we're going to all find out a lot more about this Mizzou team then as opposed to what we've learned thus far. That said, I perfectly understand if Tiger fans are upset about their respective ranking in our first two editions of the Big 12 Power Rankings. After all, they went into Big 10 Illinois' house and slapped a knot on Ron Zook and Cos. Head 40-34. They then proceeded to go into SEC country to whip Ole Miss at Ole Miss 38-25. Not to be outdone, they faced a good MAC team in Western Michigan and blew them out 55-24. So, I've been paying attention and Gary Pinkel and Co. ought to be cursing the name of Stacey Dean right about now. Having said all of that, kudos to their representation of the Big 12 conference so far and I look forward to their match up against conference heavyweight Nebraska, It ought to be a good one and they get the Huskers at home. Win that game, and Illinois State of course, and the Tigers will make a move up into the upper-echelon of the Big 12 Power Rankings for sure. One more thing: Chase Daniel is flat out wrecking shop so far and has proven to be every bit up to task as some of the more ballyhooed Big 12 QB brothers, Graham Harrell, Sam Keller, Josh Freeman, Colt McCoy, Bobby Reid, Stephen McGee, etc. So keep on keepin' on Mizzou. You're making the Big 12 Conference look good with road wins in Big 10 and SEC country.
[Next Game: Saturday @ 1pm: Illinois State @ Mizzou]
8. Oklahoma State: If you skipped our Big 12 Power Rankings-Part One capsule on Texas Tech then you missed my biting commentary on the QB controversy in Stillwater. Essentially, I said OSU has no chance of beating TTU this weekend in Stillwater because they got their 6-foot-5, 220-pound Donovan McNabb-esque QB assigned to hold Larry Fedora's clipboard. Kid got no reps this week in practice and it appears that Mike Gundy/Fedora and Co. actually think Zac Robinson can move the Cowboy offense better than Reid. Okay, we know Reid was yanked in the Florida Atlantic game where Robinson came into ignite what was a stagnant offense at the time. And he did a very good job, I must admit. And then we saw Robinson start off quickly and impressively (albeit for no longer than a quarter, if even that, if my memory serves me correctly) against Troy before flat out looking like a JV QB for the rest of the game. For whatever reason, Gundy/Fedora and Co. were not so quick to yank Zac. Why not? They did not hesitate to yank Reid, and that was in a game against lowly Florida Atlantic. Despite the fact the Bobby was the lone bright spot in their tough road contest against SEC powerhouse Georgia, they decided to yank Reid in an otherwise meaningless game the next week against the Owls, where they could have reinserted Reid back into the game after Robinson ignited the O because it would have been the right and smart thing to do. But I'll live with the decision of Fedora and Gang because those guys can coach offense as well as anybody in the country. What I cannot live with, though, is why on God's earth, when Robinson proved incapable of buying time with his feet (since the OSU OL needs to get better in a hurry), making good throws, good decisions, and the Troy game was on the line, did they overlook the idea that Reid could have come in and ignited the Cowboy O (a la Robinson the week before verse Florida Atlantic)? Sorry Coach, I don't get it. Now, having said all of that, I'd like to make a few more things clear here. No. 1, I am not privy to the OSU game film, nor am I privy to the routes and hot routes, and progressions Reid is supposed to go through. So I know that without all of that yada yada I have to give Gundy/Fedora and Co. far more slack. After all, they know what they want from the QB position and who's to say that they're wrong in sitting Reid because they're not getting the productivity from him they expect. That's only fair. And you have to consider that too. After all, they know the Xs and Os as well as anybody in the biz. So I considered it and will still ponder it all for quite a while to tell you the truth. That said, the OSU coaches darn sure weren't getting the productivity from Robinson in the Troy game. So what in the heck was Reid doing on the sideline for the rest of the game while Robinson clearly struggled? Did Reid get that bad overnight? I don't think so. This Cowboy team is soft in the middle of its defensive line, had some poor tackling from its linebackers and secondary last week against Troy, something I know they can correct since they have a very solid line backing unit and secondary. But they have issues in the interior portion of their defensive line as well as issues with respect to their offensive line unit. Also, it would help the Boys out on O the faster they can get Dez Bryant more touches, opportunities and reps because he's just nervous right now, as he's trying to acclimate himself in the Big 12 as a solid No. 2 wide receiver. OSU has a good team. And, they can certainly overcome some of their deficiencies. And, they're probably better served opening up the competition at some of the positions on the offense and defensive lines because they've got some problems to address. However, Reid ain't the problem. And the sooner the OSU coaches figure that out, the sooner they'll be able to correct the problems they need in order to climb back into the top of the Big 12 Power Rankings. That's my opinion, and you can take it for what it's worth, which maybe to some, not worth much. But I've studied the NFL Draft for over two decades, the NFL and College Football for even longer than that, and I think I can spot talent (player personnel aspect, keep in mind) as well as anybody in the biz. And, I think Reid is "Tha Man." Always have, always will. Now, having said that, I wish Zac Robinson and the OSU coaches, players, fans and alumni the best in the world not only in tomorrow's contest against Texas Tech but in the weeks to follow. And I will be personally rooting for Robinson, Gundy and Fedora after personally talking so much smack, evidenced above. But I know this OSU team and its staff well and I am disappointed right now. I want to see them excel because they've been recruiting especially well, have a bunch of bad ass coaches on their staff, and the facilities and fans to become a major player in the Big 12. Right now, though, I just think it'll happen that much quicker for them if they put my man Bobby Reid back into the starting role. And if not tomorrow against Texas Tech, then if Robinson struggles in their contest against the Red Raiders, do not hesitate to give him the quick hook. That's all I'm saying…
[Next Game: Saturday @ 2:30pm on FoxSportsH: Texas Tech – 6 @ OSU]
9. Kansas Jayhawks: Mark Mangino and Company continue to impress albeit against lesser competition than I would have liked so far at least in terms of being able to gauge just how good they are. Right now, I think we have them pegged reasonably close. But I will be the first to admit that we could be wrong on this KU team. They could be a lot better than anybody expected save the Kansas coaching staff and players busting their tails to make some headway in the rough and tumble Big 12. But I must admit, I need to see more, and I spent too much time covering Oklahoma State and their QB controversy this week so I apologize for not giving the Jayhawks a better look and more pub. But that will come and SOON! For now, let's just say that I am more than pleasantly surprised and very happy for the Jayhawk alumni, fans, coaches and players. And they've made by Big 12 conference look good as they remain unbeaten, still. The Big 12 Race is that much more interesting because the conference has ten good teams, maybe even eleven. That's pretty darn good and perhaps the most balanced I‘ve seen the Big 12 since it began.
[Next Game: Saturday: Florida International @ Kansas]
10. Colorado Buffalos: It's really a toss up right now on who is No. 8, 9 and 10 in the Big 12. The Buffs could just as easily say they're no worse than eighth-best in the conference and it would be hard to argue with that. But the Buffs have a lot more to prove under Dan Hawkins and I'll be watching how they perform as often as possible in order to see where they really stack up in the Big 12 Power Rankings. Right now, though, I think No. 10 belongs to the Buffs. We will be breaking down the Buffs and some of their personnel better in our next edition of the Big 12 Power Rankings. So stay tuned Colorado fans. [FYI: See edited/updated Big 12 Power Rankings-Part 2 later tonight for some additional commentary on the Buffs.]
[Next Game: Saturday: Miami (OH) @ Colorado]
11. Baylor Bears: Baylor bounced back from the spanking they suffered at the hands of TCU in week one, winning their next two games, albeit narrowly against Texas State just this past Saturday. Advertsided to be a bigger, quicker and faster, not to mention more talented and better depth, perhaps now Guy Morriss and Co. are on their way to proving that to be true... With a likely victory over Buffalo this Saturday, the Bears could go into College Station with upset on its mind. And, if they want to sniff a chance at bowl eligibility they'll need to jumpstart the process in College Station, and then win four more games, highly unlikely, but that's why they play the games…
[Next Game: Saturday: Baylor @ Buffalo]
12. Iowa State Cyclones: Despite losing to Northern Iowa and Kent State in consecutives weeks Gene Chizik got his first win as a head coach by kncoking off their non-conference rival, making the W that much sweeter. Bad news is they face another MAC conference team (Toledeo) capable of pulling the upset and then have a difficult Big 12 slate to tackle. You can probably book two teams in conference unlikely to becoming bowl eligible this season, the Bears and Cyclones. The Buffs are also on the bubble in my opinion. Having said that, in upcoming editions of the Big 12 Power Rankings, we will only feature those that are mathematically still in the mix for a bowl berth. Having sad that, in the end I believe the Big 12 conference might very well boast a total of nine bowl eligible teams. Not too shabby.And we shall see. [Next Game: Saturday @ 6:00 pm: Iowa State -3.5 @ Toledo]