Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 1

First week is in the books and Joseph Yeager has the first power rankings turned in. See who's stock fell and rose after what turned out to be a wild week of college football.

It wasn't necessarily the most auspicious opening week in Big 12 history. West Virginia barely snuck past William and Mary (when a school containing the name Mary stays within three touchdowns of you, you know few sofas will burn this season), and yet the Mountaineers were impressive compared to Iowa State and Kansas State. Iowa State gave up the ghost to an FCS Northern Iowa club coming off a losing season, and Kansas State, more shockingly still, lost to North Dakota State. Sure, the Bison are defending FCS national champs, but for the defending Big 12 champs to drop a home opener to an FCS team is just mind-blowing. 

 

1.    (same) Oklahoma State: The Cowboys were far from scintillating, but an 18-point win over an SEC team is nothing to sneeze at. Historically, Mississippi State is one of the most punchless offensive teams in the country, but OSU's near shutout of the Bulldogs is still an accomplishment. And surprise, surprise, J. W. Walsh proved to be a better quarterback for the Cowboys than Clint Chelf.

 

2.    (same) Texas: The Longhorns beat New Mexico State 56-7. That was expected. But what was not expected was for Texas to be trailing 0-7 late in the second quarter. Only time will tell which Longhorns—the first or second half Horns—are the Longhorns we'll see for the rest of the season. And, oh, Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown combined for 31 yards on nine carries against the Enchanted Aggies.

 

3.    (same) TCU: Unlike the Cowboys and the Longhorns, TCU lost their opener, but it's entirely possible that the Horned Frogs were better than Oklahoma State and Texas in a losing effort. TCU battled the powerful LSU Tigers toe-to-toe for the entire game, and this contest was downright winnable for Gary Patterson's bunch. And oddly enough, it was the Horned Frog's offense rather than defense, which shone the brightest.

 

4.    (same) Baylor: Wofford is just wofful. Nevertheless, the Bears, unlike a couple other Big 12 programs, took care of bidniss against an outmanned foe. Baylor led this one 28-0 at the end of the first quarter. That's the way you do it.

 

5.    (+2) Oklahoma: Any school that gives up its traditional mascot in favor of something called the "Warhawks" deserves to get shut out, and that's what Oklahoma did to Louisiana-Monroe. Blake Bell, who has never given any indication that he's more than a short-yardage freak, did not start for the Sooners at QB; freshman Trevor Knight did. Knight doesn't pass much better than Bell, but at least he runs the forty in less than five seconds, and that's why he started.

 

6.    (+2) Texas Tech: It was a rather impressive debut for young Kliff Kingsbury and his walk-on freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Red Raiders took it to a solid SMU outfit, and looked like a pretty darn solid team themselves. Now they take on a Stephen F. Austin team that gave up 50 points to Weber State. Why? Just why?

 

7.    (-1) West Virginia: The Mountaineers were a shaky schizoid team last year when they had Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey to carry the weight. They looked just as unsound in the 2013 opener against FCS team William and Mary. Dana Holgorsen had better get this team untracked in a hurry if they don't want to get blown out by Oklahoma this Saturday.

 

8.    (+2) Kansas: The Jayhawks didn't play a game and still moved up two spots. Not a bad week's work. Now we'll see if the Jayhawks can do any better against South Dakota than Kansas State did against North Dakota State.

 

9.    (-4) Kansas State: Speaking of which…Bill Snyder's unit mustered only a little more than 300 total yards against NDSU. Jake Waters threw for 280 yards, but the Wildcat offense still sputtered terribly. It will be interesting to see how long Snyder goes before giving jet-powered Daniel Sams an opportunity to replace the great Colin Klein.

 

10.  (-1) Iowa State: Could Northern Iowa be the best college football team in the state of Iowa? After knocking off Iowa State and after Iowa lost to Northern Illinois, NIU could make a case for itself. Meanwhile, Paul Rhoads has a whole heap of damage control ahead of him. They love him in Ames, but geez!


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