1) Oklahoma (2-0)
The Sooners have the top spot on the strength of last week's blowout victory over Florida State, the conference's top win to date. The victory answered a lot of the questions people had after Oklahoma's close week one win over Utah State. Landry Jones was transcendent, utilizing a variety of receivers to roll through the Seminoles' defense, while the Oklahoma ‘D' took a huge step forward after allowing 24 points to Utah State.
Last time out: W 47-17 vs. Florida State
Next time out: Saturday vs. Air Force
2) Texas (2-0)
We should have a better view of where the Longhorns are after this week's showdown at Texas Tech. Lubbock has been a difficult spot to play for Texas, though the Longhorns have yet to be really tested in the 2010 season. The offense looked more balanced against Wyoming, with Texas discovering playmakers at running back (Fozzy Whittaker) and wide receiver (Mike Davis). Meanwhile, the defense has looked every bit the elite unit people expected before the season.
Last time out: W 34-7 vs. Wyoming
Next time out: Saturday at Texas Tech
3) Nebraska (2-0)
Taylor Martinez has given the Cornhusker offense a dimension it didn't have last year: a decent quarterback. Thus far, Martinez has been better than decent, ranking third in the conference in rushing while averaging 13.5 yards per carry. He has only thrown 16 passes per game, and doesn't have a touchdown pass to his credit (he has rushed for five scores). But Martinez's quick feet underscore one of the always true statements in college football: If you can run the ball and play strong defense, you're going to win a lot of football games.
Last time out: W 38-17 vs. Idaho
Next time out: Saturday at Washington
4) Texas A&M (2-0)
The Aggies have yet to be really tested, and the offense is firing on all cylinders. Quarterback Jerrod Johnson leads the Big 12 in passing yardage, while completing 68 percent of his throws. Running back Christine Michaels averages more than 100 yards rushing per game, while receiver Jeff Fuller does the same in receiving yards. The offense should be great. No surprise there. But we'll have to wait until the Aggie defense plays a real offense to see just how far Texas A&M is capable of going.
Last time out: W 48-16 vs. Louisiana Tech
Next time out: Saturday vs. Florida International
5) Missouri (2-0)
After a shaky first half against Illinois, the Tigers have played strong football. Missouri won the second half against the Illini 20-0, then went on to mash McNeese State by 44. Some people wondered who quarterback Blaine Gabbert would click with in a somewhat new receiving group, and the answer appears to be shifty slot guy T.J. Moe. Moe only averages 7.8 yards per catch, but those yards add up when he's snaring 11.5 catches per game. Defensive end Aldon Smith has continued on his torrid pace from a year ago, racking up 14 tackles and two sacks.
Last time out: W 50-6 vs. McNeese State
Next time out: Saturday vs. San Diego State
6) Texas Tech (2-0)
Texas Tech will have a big shot to move up these rankings this weekend when the Red Raiders host Texas on national TV. Tech seemed to work out several of the kinks from its first game against SMU in thrashing New Mexico on the road. Still, there's some concern whether the Red Raiders will be able to run the ball against a quality opponent. That might not matter as much, with the way Taylor Potts is winging the ball. Defensively, the Red Raiders are more aggressive than they've ever been, grabbing nine sacks in two games. Freshly minted defensive end Brian Duncan is responsible for four of those.
Last time out: W 52-17 at New Mexico
Next time out: Saturday vs. Texas
7) Oklahoma State (2-0)
Oklahoma State appears to be loaded offensively, especially at running back where Kendall Hunter is back and better than ever. He's rushed for 414 yards and six touchdowns in two games. Brandon Weeden has had a strong start at quarterback, while Justin Blackmon appears to be the next Cowboy playmaker at receiver. The Cowboys' close victory last Saturday over Troy underscored some of the concerns about the OSU defense, however. The Cowboys rank first in the Big 12 in scoring offense, but are tied for last in scoring defense. The latter stat will have to improve if the Cowboys want to make noise come conference play.
Last time out: W 41-38 vs. Troy
Next time out: Saturday vs. Tulsa
8) Kansas State (2-0)
This weekend's game with Iowa State will be one of the more intriguing early games in conference play. For their part, the Wildcats defeated offense-challenged UCLA 31-22, then let Missouri State move the ball a bit in a 24-point Kansas State win. Carson Coffman is one of the country's top-rated quarterbacks, but how long can that last? One thing's for sure: the Wildcats can run the ball. Daniel Thomas has picked up where he left off, rushing for 371 yards and four touchdowns. His progress has likely vaulted him into consideration for the first round of the NFL Draft.
Last time out: W 48-24 vs. Missouri State
Next time out: Saturday vs. Iowa State at Kansas City, Mo.
9) Baylor (2-0)
The Bears will be the underdogs when they travel to Fort Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs, but quarterback Robert Griffin III gives them a puncher's chance. Griffin hasn't played up to his potential just yet, completing 54.3 percent of his passes. But Baylor currently has the Big 12's top rated scoring defense, allowing just 4.5 points per game. While the competition will obviously get tougher, that's a pretty impressive stat, no matter who you're playing. The Bears have accomplished that feat without any standout individual performances to date, just solid, flow-to-the-ball defense.
Last time out: W 34-16 vs. Buffalo
Next time out: Saturday at TCU
10) Kansas (1-1)
The Jayhawks may be the hardest team to rank in this power ranking. On one hand, the Jayhawks have the conference's worst loss, a 6-3 week one defeat courtesy of North Dakota State. On the other, the Jayhawks have the league's second best win (and the North's best win), after defeating a ranked Georgia Tech team a week ago. Three major differences between the two weeks: starting quarterback Jordan Webb, playing freshman running back James Sims and returning center Jeremiah Hatch to the lineup. The Jayhawks were actually up 11 (28-17) before going conservative. This week's game isn't an easy one – at Southern Miss – though it should provide more perspective on this year's Kansas team.
Last time out: W 28-25 vs. Georgia Tech
Next time out: Friday at Southern Mississippi
11) Iowa State (1-1)
Like Kansas, it was a tale of two weeks for the Cyclones. In week one, they showed toughness and improvement throughout the roster in a 17-point win over Northern Illinois. Then they went up to Iowa City and were sent back to Ames with a blowout. Crazy things can happen in rivalry games, but some disturbing trends, including the deterioration of quarterback Austen Arnaud from week one to week two, emerged. The Cyclones have a great chance to rebound this week against a vulnerable Kansas State team, but will need to bring their ‘A' game to do it. A week after struggling against the run, getting a red-hot Daniel Thomas isn't exactly what the doctor ordered. Still, Iowa State has the players to move the ball on offense itself … if the Cyclones play well.
Last time out: L 35-7 at Iowa
Next time out: Saturday vs. Kansas State at Kansas City, Mo.
12) Colorado (1-1)
Welcome to the Pac-10, Buffaloes. Colorado's defense was impressive in its 24-3 rivalry win over Colorado State, but the whole team laid an egg in Berkeley. The offense struggled, only putting up seven points, while California hung 52 on the Buffaloes. There's still some talent there for a rebound, and Colorado can win some games this year, but the margin of error is so small. The Buffaloes don't appear to have much on offense, and there are only so many games you can win without putting the ball in the end zone at a consistent clip. Defensively, the Buffaloes have some players, but they must mesh well, and overcome a lack of speed in the defensive backfield, to become one of the conference's better units.
Last time out: L 52-7 at California
Next time out: Saturday vs. Hawai'i