#1 Texas (1-0)
Let's take a look at Ohio State and Texas. For Texas to win or Ohio State to win, there must be a defining moment from the quarterback position from Colt McCoy or Troy Smith. And for that team, that quarterback will win the game. I think the skill positions on offense are a wash between the two, but on defense I give Texas the nod. However, the loss of cornerback Tarell Brown could cause a major match-up problem on the coverage of Ohio State receiver Ted Ginn Jr.
Last week: 56-7 win over North Texas in Austin
Up Next: Ohio State (Austin)
#2 Nebraska (1-0)
I was thrown off by Nebraska and their three-tight end set up. I thought I was looking at Boston College or a Big East team. Bill Callahan has worked very hard to bring a tough-minded set to the offensive line in the way they try to overpower teams on offense. They mixed the running game and the passing game very well on Saturday. Zach Taylor had three touchdown passes and the running backs for Nebraska ran with conviction — total offense yards were 585. When you look at the defense, they have two outstanding defensive ends. The defense showed up and was ready to play. Overall, I was impressed with the offense and defenses character to begin the game.
Last week: 49-10 win over Louisiana Tech in Lincoln.
Up Next: Nicholls State (Lincoln)
#3 Oklahoma (1-0)
I thought Paul Thompson played better than most of the media critics thought he would. He was very productive. Adrian Peterson was able to win the game for them, and he is going to continue to win a lot more games for them. They got caught in the 'catch 22' — do you win this game with Adrian Peterson or do you give valuable experience to Paul Thompson in such a crutial time in the game? On defense, in the spring they knew who their quarterback was and they ran full-speed against Oklahoma's offense. Towards the end of the fall they couldn't do that as Thompson was learning the neuances of Kevin Wilson's offensive schemes, which slowed down the defense. The offense needed time to grow and the defense lacked its agressive nature at full-speed which, created problems for them in the UAB game. A lot is also being made out of Adrian Peterson being an 'I' formation running back and Paul Thompson a "shotgun" quarterback. Let me say as a coach, as well as an analyst, he (Adrian Peterson) can play out of any formation they want. He is that good. He is simply the best in the country.
Last week: 24-17 win over UAB in Norman
Up Next: Washington (Norman)
#4 Texas Tech (1-0)
Mike Leach may have his best quarterback ever in Graham Harrell,
who threw for five touchdowns and 342 yards. I think this could be the best offense in the Big 12 and quite possibly the best in the country. It is the one high-octane offense that no one in the Big 12 might be able to stop.
Last week: 35-3 win over SMU in Lubbock.
Up Next: at UTEP (El Paso)
#5 Iowa State (1-0)
The Cyclones put themselves over the hump by winning a game in overtime. Perhaps this can catapult their confedience if they are ever in this situation again. Now they can put their eyes on the prize and focus on the Big 12 North. The defense is still a big question mark.
Last week: 45-43 OT win over Toledo in Ames.
Up Next: UNLV (Columbia)
#6 Missouri (1-0)
I was very impressed with quarterback Chase Daniels. He looked like a really good quarterback and had that presence. He threw the ball really well with five touchdown passes. He had quick footwork in the pocket and in the end had great results. I think, with Daniels, Missouri could be the real deal. They may be better than a lot of people think by the time confernece play begins.
Last week: 47-7 win over Murray St. in Columbia
Up Next: Mississippi (Columbia)
#7 Texas A&M (1-0)
You can't say enough about Texas A&M's offense, led by quarterback Stephen McGee. But it is their defense that has to continue to prove to me that they belong in the upper-echelon of the Big 12 conference. A huge key is to get the ball any which way they can into the hands of their 5-star recruit Micheal Goodson.
Last week: 35-3 win over The Citadel in College Station
Up Next: UL-Lafayette (College Station)
#8 Kansas (1-0)
They were very impressive. Quarterback Kerry Meier passed for two TD's, as well as rushed for 2 TD's, and that is great play out of a freshman quarterback. Great special teams with Brian Murph and Marcus Herford on kick and punt returns. But when you look at it, the competition they went against can't give you a full look at how good Kansas may or may not be.
Last week: 49-18 win over Northwestern St. (Lawrence)
Up Next: UL-Monroe (Lawrence)
#9 Oklahoma State (1-0)
I thought Oklahoma State was a team that had a chance to be
much improved, but now that I have seen them I think quarterback Bobby Reid, wide receivers D'Juan Woods and Adarius Bowman, and special teams player freshman phenom Parrish Cox, can play with anyone in the Big 12 conference. But they'll need the the defense to play well and get key games out of Donovan Woods and Chris Collins, along with strong play through the defensive
Last week: 52-10 win over Missouri St. in Stillwater
Up Next: at Arkansas State (Little Rock)
#10 Kansas State (1-0)
They have really struggled on the offensive side of the ball. It will take some time to understand Ron Prince's offense, and in saying that Kansas State might have a very long season.
Last week: 24-23 win over Illinois State in Manhattan.
Up Next: Florida Atlantic (Manhattan)
#11 Baylor (0-1)
Out of all the teams in the Big 12, Baylor played the toughest oponent (TCU) in week onw. When Baylor lined up on offense, I was impressed with Shawn Bell, the quarterback. He looked good and can handle this offense. This is the type of offense that does not need a quarterback to sit back in the pocket and Shawn Bell can make plays any which way possible. He can throw the ball on a 35-yard rope and has quick nimble feet. On defense, Bill Bradley probably does the best job in the conference as defensive cooridinator for the type of talent that he has. They are fundamentally sound and his players also have motors that won't quit.
Last week: 17-7 loss to TCU in Waco.
Up Next: Northwestern State (Waco)
#12 Colorado (0-1)
Montana State. That is all you have to say. A bad loss! A really
bad loss!! This will hurt them in the national perspective thoughout the entire season unless they can knock off one of the powerhouses in the Big 12. This is bad for the students, for the players of the program. It is just plain devistating.
Last week: 19-10 loss to Montana State in Boulder.
Up Next: Colorado State (Denver)
Sherrill's Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 1
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