Week one of conference action saw two impressive comebacks, one by the home team, the other by the road squad. Additionally, Kansas State raised some eyebrows, while Texas Tech barely escaped an upset and Baylor continues chugging along.
1. Oklahoma: The Sooners looked merely mortal for a change, but still had more than enough to put away the improving Missouri Tigers. Perhaps suffering a hangover from the previous week's intense victory over Florida State, Oklahoma fell behind 14-3 in the first quarter before storming back. Missouri has not won on Oklahoma's home field since 1966.
2. Oklahoma State: In the first top-10 matchup at Kyle Field since 1975, Oklahoma State rallied from a 17-point first half deficit to stun Texas A&M. Oklahoma State has now won seven straight road games. But OSU's road winning streak looked in grave jeopardy at the halftime break as the Cowboys trailed 20-3. Oklahoma State rode Josh Weeden's school record 438 passing yards and saw three receivers catch 10 passes, however, and that was enough to secure the victory. The interception-prone Weeden didn't throw a pick, while his counterpart Ryan Tannehill threw three.
3. Texas: The Longhorns were idle, but will face a severe test when they travel to Ames, Iowa to take on the surprising Cyclones. The Longhorns don't have a true identity at this point, but they are 3-0. If they can knock off the Cyclones they may be more than just a pretender in the Big 12 this year.
4. Texas A&M: No matter how one slices it, the Aggies choked most unceremoniously in their loss to Oklahoma State. The Aggies—as well as yours truly—thought A&M was a legitimate championship threat this year, but this high-profile loss to a team of equal talent puts them against the ropes. A loss to Arkansas this weekend could fatally undermine their confidence and morale.
5. Baylor: Things seem almost too good to be true in Waco. The Bears are undefeated, ranked, and are led by quarterback Robert Griffin, who might just be the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. They continued their winning ways by clobbering the Rice Owls 56-31, and the game really wasn't as close as that score indicates. Like the Texas Longhorns, however, Baylor faces a fairly stern challenge this weekend when they venture to the Little Apple to take on Kansas State, whose defense is arguably better than TCU's this year.
6. Missouri: The Tigers are possibly the nation's best 2-2 team. Both of their losses have been hard-fought road defeats to nationally ranked teams. The latest came at the hands of the mighty Sooners who, for all intents and purposes, are impossible to beat in Norman. Still, there is promise in MU's future. Quarterback James Franklin is improving by leaps and bounds and running back Henry Josey is taking the conference by storm. Moreover, Mizzou has one of the best defenses around.
7. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders, thanks to the poise and talent of quarterback Seth Doege, narrowly averted an embarrassing home loss to the Nevada Wolfpack. Doege's touchdown pass to Eric Ward with seconds to play gave the Red Raiders their only lead of the game. Tech's offense is still among the conference's best, but until the defense picks up the pace, the Red Raiders will be very vulnerable.
8. Kansas State: The Miami Hurricanes are a far cry from the program that cranked out the likes of Michael Irvin, Jim Kelly, Warren Sapp and a veritable who's who of NFL stars, but they still probably have more NFL prospects on their roster than Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State combined. No matter. The Wildcats bumped off the Canes 28-24 in a thriller at Miami. And they did it the old fashioned way with solid defense and a potent running game. Their upcoming clash with high-flying Baylor should be most interesting.
9. Iowa State: The Big 12 may be structurally decrepit, but the league sure has some good football teams, and it's an index of that fact that the highly respectable Cyclones check in at No.9 in this week's rankings. A victory over the Longhorns this weekend would instantaneously establish Iowa State as a force with which to reckon. It would also almost certainly vault them into the nation's top 25.
10. Kansas: The Jayhawks are the lone indisputably bad football team in the Big 12. But they've had two weeks to ponder their humiliating loss at Georgia Tech and to prepare for another Tech, this one from Texas.