I don't think Oklahoma has done anything tremendously impressive but they did survive a rocky preseason camp in August that was littered with distractions. The Sooners three wins are Louisiana Tech, Tulsa, and Tennessee. Their first real test will be on the road at West Virginia as the Mountaineers are much better than we previously thought and Morgantown is a challenge to get to and a challenge to play in.
2. BAYLOR (Previously ranked 2nd)
As it turned out the Baylor non-conference schedule was worse than initially thought. SMU was awful, and Northwestern State and Buffalo worse. Bryce Petty has overcome the back injuries and the entire offense has overcome the top four receivers being injured. Freshman K.D. Cannon has helped with that receiver situation and he will challenge for not only Newcomer of the Year honors, but for all-conference.
3. OKLAHOMA STATE (Previously ranked 4th)
Let's see, the defense is nearly as good despite the loss of so many veteran players. The next man up motto is alive and well, both on defense and at quarterback on offense. Daxx Garman takes over for the injured J.W. Walsh. The vertical passing game is great, but the head coach wants to run the football and establish it in order to get better passing on the perimeter. Even though it was with Walsh at quarterback, the close loss to top-ranked Florida State makes a difference.
4. KANSAS STATE (Previously ranked 3rd)
Nothing really to count off for with the gang in purple. They have blown out an FCS opponent in Stephen F. Austin and had to play it close and down to the wire against Big 12 foe Iowa State in Ames. Here's the deal for this week, if Kansas State beats fifth-ranked Auburn on Thursday then they move up to third and maybe higher. If they lose a competitive game then they stay fourth.
5. TCU (Previously ranked 5th)
The very weird game-open week-game-open week start to the schedule has kept us from learning as much about the Horned Frogs as we would like. The new offense with former Oklahoma State assistant Doug Meacham coordinating and former Texas Tech assistant Sonny Cumbie assisting is outstanding. The Gary Patterson defense is very similar. Minnesota did not have much fun in Fort Worth last weekend. We'll know more about TCU after October games with Baylor and OU.
6. WEST VIRGINIA (Previously ranked 8th)
If this were an eye test alone then West Virginia would be at third or second. OU comes calling this weekend and Dana Holgorsen has suspended his best corner. His team is thin on depth, but Trickett has come alive and the defense is big and mean (some of the time). I like the Mountaineers attitude.
7. TEXAS (Previously ranked 6th)
The close call with UCLA showed improvement but the real failure here had to start somewhere toward the end of the Mack Brown routine, during the transition, as many players were suspended for various problems since the arrival of Charlie Strong and company. The depth is thin and sometimes it appears the talent, which is ample, isn't highly motivated.
8. IOWA STATE (Previously ranked 9th)
The Cyclones pulled out of the tailspin with the huge win over Iowa. Yes, I know they lost to FCS champion North Dakota State and a close loss at home to Kansas State. However, pulling out the Iowa game at the end gives the Cyclones plenty of good feeling and momentum. Depth is an issue because of injuries, so they are in distinct danger of dropping.
9. TEXAS TECH (Previously ranked 7th)
A close call in the opener after trailing most of the game at home to Central Arkansas, another close call on the road at UTEP, and then being throttled by SEC bottom feeder Arkansas. People ask if a losing record can be better than a winning one and the truth is absolutely. Iowa State's win over Iowa trumps anything on the Texas Tech resume.
10. KANSAS (Previously ranked 10th)
Bad football that may be getting worse. The Jayhawks are 1-1 and they could lose at home to Central Michigan. New offensive coordinator John Reagan has a good plan but no real players to accomplish a lot. Defense appears to be thinner. They did hang on for the win in the opener over SEMO.