Despite poor performances by Texas Tech and Iowa State, it was a pretty impressive opening week for the Big 12. Oklahoma State and West Virginia acquitted themselves admirably in close losses to the top two teams in the nation, while Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, TCU and Kansas State took care of business against outclassed foes.
1. Oklahoma: No reason to think the Sooners aren’t legitimate after they dismantled Louisiana Tech. QB Trevor Knight wasn’t terribly accurate (19 of 34), but he was efficient and made few mistakes. OU’s defense held the Bulldogs to 245 total yards, which is roughly what one would expect.
2. Kansas State: Unlike last year at this time, there would be no upset loss to an FCS team for the Wildcats. KSU jumped out to a 21-point lead on Stephen F. Austin and never looked back. Oddly enough, however, terrific wideout Tyler Lockett caught only one pass for nine yards, although it was for the Wildcats’ opening points of the season.
3. Baylor: Well it didn’t take Baylor long to vault themselves into the top three of this guy’s rankings. The Bears scored 45 points against SMU, which is not the least bit surprising. What is shocking is the fact that Baylor shut out the Ponies, held them to 67 total yards and -24 on the ground. Baylor may not be quite as potent on offense this year, but if their defense is really this good, the Bears will be a better team than the one that won the Big 12 in 2013.
4. Texas: The Longhorns did to North Texas basically what Baylor did to SMU. In other words, they methodically racked up the points (38 to be precise), and mauled the Mean Green’s offensive unit. NTSU gained only 94 total yards and completed a paltry three passes for 15 yards. Texas’ great defensive talent is now in the hands of a great defensive coach. That’s bad news for the rest of the Big 12.
5. Oklahoma State: A supposedly rebuilding Cowboys squad took on the defending national champs and presumed best team in the nation (that would be Florida State), and came up a mere six points short in a 37-31 loss. OSU limited Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston to one TD pass while intercepting him twice, and outrushed the Seminoles 161 to 106. Once again, the Cowboys will be a tough out for everybody.
6. West Virginia: Dana Holgorsen certainly recouped some credibility with his team’s solid performance in a 10-point loss to mighty Alabama. A healthy Clint Trickett scalded the Tide defense for 365 yards on 29 of 45 passing, and Rushel Shell showed promise as a runner. Still a concern, however, is the rushing defense: both T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry ran for over 100 yards.
7. TCU: In Samford, TCU probably drew the weakest opponent of any Big 12 team. Still, one can’t fault the Frogs for failing to take care of business. TCU held Samford to 143 total yards, while piling up 555 of their own. Trevone Boykin may actually have had the best day of any Big 12 QB, passing for 320 yards on 29 of 45 attempts with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
8. Texas Tech: Was it real or was it Memorex? The Red Raiders looked pretty danged miserable against FCS foe Central Arkansas, particularly on defense where improvement was promised and most needed. If a totally different ballclub doesn’t show up against UTEP next weekend, the natives will begin to get restless.
9. Iowa State: The only consolation for Texas Tech is that at least they didn’t lose, unlike the Cyclones who absorbed a home drubbing at the hands of FCS powerhouse North Dakota State. Where Dana Holgorsen may have dissipated some of the heat coming his way, Paul Rhoads cranked up the BTUs under his already warm seat.
10. Kansas: The Jayhawks were off this week and Off won by a touchdown.
Yeager’s Week 2 Big 12 Power Rankings
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