It should be an axiom of college football rankings that wins, no matter how large the point spread, over bad football teams do not affect the rankings. Truthfully, you just cannot judge a football team based upon drubbings of Northern Connecticut Paranormal and Southeastern Schenectady Pentecostal. And that's the caliber of competition most Big 12 schools played this lightning-plagued weekend. There was one conspicuous exception, however, and that's where the biggest shakeup comes in this week's power rankings.
1. Oklahoma: Prior to this weekend I was slightly skeptical of all the praise being heaped upon the Sooners. No more. Oklahoma went into a hornets' nest in Tallahassee, faced off against a talented, highly motivated football team, and left town with a solid victory. In what was one of the most bruising football games I've witness in a long time, it was the Sooners who landed the haymakers. Barring injuries, the rest of the Big 12 may well be playing for second place.
2. Texas A&M: The final score of the Aggies' 37-7 victory over Idaho may not sound terribly impressive, but this was nonetheless a game A&M dominated, and dominated with their defense. The Aggies held the Vandals to 10 first downs, 187 total yards, and 2-14 on third down conversions. For a team whose defense is considered a weakness, the Aggies have been looking pretty stout on that side of the ball.
3. Oklahoma State: It just doesn't get much more bizarre than this. Because of thunderstorms in Tulsa, the game between Oklahoma State and Tulsa didn't start until after midnight and concluded at 3:35 a.m. But the result was anything but bizarre as the Cowboys, as expected, handled the Golden Hurricane with ease, winning 59-33. As with Oklahoma's victory over Tulsa earlier this season, Oklahoma State jumped out to a massive first half lead and allowed the Hurricanes to score meaningless points in the second half. The Cowboys knocked Tulsa starting quarterback G. J. Kinne from the game in the first quarter, and any hopes for an upset were gone at that point.
4. Texas: The Longhorns now have consecutive victories over "name" programs in BYU and UCLA, but I wouldn't read too much into those wins. BYU was murdered by the Utah Utes 54-10 this weekend, while the Bruins lost to a Houston football team that barely slipped by Louisiana Tech. Still, the Longhorns showed surprising offensive productivity in their 49-20 decision over UCLA and are gelling into a solid club.
5. Texas Tech: Early returns, as suggested by Tech's 59-14 thrashing of New Mexico, suggest that the Red Raiders may have an offense comparable to Mike Leach's best. And quarterback Seth Doege could be very special indeed. But the jury is still very much out on the defense, and the Red Raiders have yet to play anybody.
6. Missouri: When some guy named Henry Josey rushes for 263 yards in a single half of football you know the opposition is little more than a glorified high school team. And so it was with the Tigers' 69-0 win over FCS school Western Illinois. Something tells me Mizzou may find the going just a bit stickier when the Tigers travel to Norman, Oklahoma this weekend.
7. Baylor: In yet another weather-marred Big 12 snoozer, the nationally ranked Bears laid the lumber to the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks 48-0 before the thunderbolts arrived and forced a merciful cessation of activities. You really wonder if the NCAA should step in and forbid games against FCS schools, and that includes the Texas State Bobcats.
8. Iowa State: Don't look know, but the Cyclones are now 3-0, although their wins have come by a combined total of eight points. Still, they've beaten the University of Iowa and now count a road win over the Connecticut Huskies as part of their resume. Iowa State is certainly not a pretty team, but they're getting the job done, and they'll have a bye week to prepare for the Texas Longhorns. Win that one, and there may be something worth talking about in Ames, Iowa.
9. Kansas State: The Wildcats netted only 335 yards of total offense against Kent State, but the defense was stout enough to propel them to a 37-0 victory. And that is an improvement of sorts over KSU's last second win over Eastern Kentucky in the Wildcats' previous outing. Bill Snyder's club next travels to Miami to take on the Buckeye-slayers of Al Golden. If KSU manages a double digit point total, it will be an accomplishment.
10. Kansas: The NCAA should step in and forbid programs like this from being in automatic qualifier conferences. Ah well, with the whole conference realignment kerfuffle at full tilt, perhaps that will happen. Just for the record, the Jayhawks may have the worst defense in D1 college football. Georgia Tech made Turner Gill's kids look plum silly.