Big XII Power Rankings
*The Power Rankings are based solely on the teams performance in their opening game and nothing else. Factors included margin of victory and performance vs. relative strength of opponent. Has nothing to do with their poll rankings, team potential or talent or how I will rank them in my upcoming ranking.
1. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys were one of only three conference teams to play an opener against a BCS-conference opponent. Yes I realize it was Washington State and the Cougars only have three wins in the last two seasons, but OSU did what they were supposed to do. They crushed a lesser opponent by 48.
2. Nebraska – We all knew the Huskers would roll over Western Kentucky and they did just that. They got contributions from all three QB’s and took care of business with a 39-point win, though at times it looked pedestrian.
3. Kansas State – The Wildcats had arguably the toughest opener against a UCLA team that by most opinions was supposed to be progressively better. Kansas State took the lead early in the third quarter and hung on hanging a nail late in the game. Defending Big XII running back Daniel Thomas ran for 235 as the Wildcats put the north on notice.
4. Missouri – The Tiger’s rushing defense looked suspect at time in the first half against Illinois put the big play passing defense kept Mizzou close enough with three interceptions and Missouri rallied back with a 10-point win. The offense was certainly in preseason form and the Tigers lack of a rushing game was quite apparent.
5. Texas – The Longhorns appeared to be going through the motions for most of this game. A 24-point second quarter propelled Texas to a 34-17 win over Rice, a team they were favored over by 28. In his regular season debut, QB Garrett Gilbert wasn’t stellar, but good enough.
6. Texas Tech – An eight-point win over Southern Methodist is hardly impressive on the surface. However if you take into account that new head coach Tommy Tuberville is sticking with the high octane offense that is out of his comfort zone and that Tech took a 35-14 lead late into the 3rd quarter before giving up some points late, consider it a good performance. Had I put out a preseason poll, I would have had Tech in the top 15 above Oklahoma and Texas, but I’m not quite sure they are there yet.
7. Oklahoma – This may still be too high this week. The Sooners could legitimately fall to No. 9 in this week’s power rankings. A returning quarterback, an NFL prospect running back and a much heralded defense only managed a seven-point win over Utah State? Oklahoma is clearly over rated.
8. Iowa State- Austen Arnaud and Alex Robinson showed impressive steps toward making Iowa State relevant again and they clearly, at least after week one, are not going to be the cellar-dweller in the north. Beating Northern Illinois 27-10 was more impressive if you watched the game. The Cyclones were in control throughout.
9. Texas A&M – I wanted to put the Aggies at No. 6 thanks to a 41-point drubbing of Stephen F. Austin, but they I realized its Stephen F. Austin. A blowout against a 1-AA is nothing to gloat about and tells nothing about the team. Still good win.
10. Baylor – Congrats on your 31-point win over Sam Houston State. Robert Griffin was stellar in his comeback from knee surgery and led the Bears to three scores in the rout. The defense was solid.
11. Colorado – The Buffaloes started the year by beating their in-state rival at Invesco in Denver. But Colorado State isn’t expected to be good, and neither is Colorado. A 24-3 win doesn’t tell us much. There is much turmoil in Boulder and the team cannot work through it all.
12. Kansas – The only Big XII team to lose this week and it hurts me to say that. Turner Gill’s debut didn’t go well although the defense only gave up six points. Problem is the offense managed just a field goal and lost 6-3. The cupboard in Lawrence is fairly empty and things may get ugly for Rock Chalk this year.