6) Baylor (2-0)
S&P+ Rank: 28 (Offense: 20, Defense: 49)
Focusing too much on the Sam Houston State result could cause you to miss what has the potential to be an awfully good football team. Sure, the Bears trailed the FCS squad at halftime, but Baylor exploded for a 38-3 advantage in the second half. So far, the Bears have done what they've set out to do: continue to field an explosive offense, and pair it with a much-improved defense. The Bears don't have to be lights-out on the latter unit … just solid enough to get a few stops and get the offense out in front. But beware: up this week is a road trip to take on the Warhawks, who have sent two SEC teams to overtime, winning one of those contests.
UP NEXT: at Louisiana-Monroe, on Friday
7) Texas Tech (3-0)
S&P+ Rank: 10 (Offense: 27, Defense: 13)
What's this? A Texas Tech team that ranks higher on defense than on offense? That's precisely what the Red Raiders have shown. Oh, and the offense isn't bad either, scoring at least 44 points in each contest so far. Still, if Tech is going to make a jump this year, it will need that other group, the one often pegged as an afterthought in Lubbock, to show massive improvement over last season. This week is a bye, but next week is a trip to Iowa State, which will be a matchup of two 3-0 teams.
UP NEXT: at Iowa State (Sept. 29)
8) Iowa State (3-0)
S&P+ Rank: 48 (Offense: 107, Defense: 17)
It's always too easy to count out Paul Rhoads's Cyclones, yet there they are, season-after-season, outplaying their talent level. Rhoads has Iowa State at 3-0 after a 9-6 win at Iowa. And the question remains: which giant will the Cyclones knock off this year? Could this be the season that Iowa State emerges beyond the giant-killer label and simply becomes a giant? Beating an undefeated Texas Tech would be a great step before a killer duo of TCU and Kansas State. We'll know a lot more after then.
UP NEXT: Texas Tech (Sept. 29)
9) Oklahoma State (2-1)
S&P+ Rank: 11 (Offense: 2, Defense: 62)
Is Oklahoma State really the No. 9 team in the Big 12? Probably not. Shoot, the S&P+ ranks the Cowboys No. 9 nationally, and puts Oklahoma State fifth in the league. The latter spot might be turn out to be a good one, but with the Cowboys being one of two Big 12 teams to lose a game, this seems like as good a spot as any for right now. The Cowboy defense was absolutely torched at Arizona, raising question marks about whether Oklahoma State's group will be good enough to defend Big 12 offenses this season. Last year's group was surprisingly salty, finishing in the top 20 of S&P+.
UP NEXT: Texas (Sept. 29)
10) Kansas (1-2, 0-1)
S&P+ Rank: 80 (Offense: 102, Defense: 54)
If there's a bright spot in the Jayhawks' season so far, it's that the defense has been much improved over last year's debacle. Thanks to an influx of new talent, the Jayhawks were able to hold high-powered TCU to 20 points, and have shown some potential, especially on the defensive line. Now, the offense, led by Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist at quarterback, will have to catch up. The Jayhawks face a must-win — if any game this early can be a must-win for a non national title contender — at Northern Illinois on Saturday. Win, and the Jayhawks actually have a decent chance to better last year's record.
UP NEXT: at Northern Illinois, on Saturday