Half the league was off last week and the other half is off this week. A very good game going on down in Austin as Texas or WVU will take a step into the "big time game winners" circle along with Kansas State. At that point we should have our two front runners and our second tier with things preparing to heat up tremendously a week later.
1. Kansas State
How They Fared: Bye Week
Next Up: Kansas
Previous Ranking #1
West Virginia exploded offensively and Texas was able to put an offense on the field to support their defense as well. Neither effort was enough for me to swing my opinion that K-State is currently the most impressive team in the league. Bill Snyder is a better coach than Mack Brown and I think he would have a chance to make the WVU game ugly. We'll get to find out, but for now I'm sticking with Snyder.
How They Fared: 41-36 win over Oklahoma State
Up Next: WVU
Previous Ranking #3
I'm moving the Longhorns over the Mountaineers despite the Geno Smith show and I'm doing it for one reason. Defense, on a good day Texas has it. I'm not even sure WVU cares about it. At some point there will be somebody who will slow that machine down and I think Texas could be that team this weekend. That's not to say that WVU is going to be held down for long, but somebody will do enough.
3. West Virginia
How They Fared: 70-63 win over Baylor
Who's Next: Texas
Previous Ranking #2
600+ yards, 8 TD's!!!!!!!! That's some impressive work. Until of course you look at Baylor's numbers. Here's the thing, WVU is an offensive juggernaut, but they clearly have nothing in the way of defense. That's the area they need to work on. This is Oklahoma State from last year, maybe more potent. Either way you don't garner as much respect nationally when you are giving up 63 points, even if you are scoring 70 at the same time.
How They Fared: Bye
Who's Next: Texas Tech
Previous Ranking #5
This week has actually turned into a pretty big game for the Sooners. Texas Tech looks more legit after beating Iowa State and they look like one of the few teams in the league below the Sooners that might have a solid defensive unit.
5. Texas Tech
How They Fared: 24-13 win over Iowa State
Next Up: Oklahoma
Previous Ranking #9
Tech knocked off everyone's favorite darkhorse candidate with a win over Iowa State. Now they have a huge opportunity in front of them to prove just how good they are when they play against Oklahoma. Tommy Tuberville does seem to have things somewhat stabilized in Lubbock at the moment. Red Raiders at five with a chance to make some serious noise next week.
How They Fared: 70-63 loss to WVU
Who's Next: Bye
Previous Rankin: #4
Baylor can score with anybody, but they haven't been able to stop anyone either. That was the concern heading into this year and it remains the concern today. To their credit they don't seem to be missing Robert Griffin all that much, but they're going to have their hands full this year as they will continually have to work to outscore the opponent.
7. Oklahoma State
How They Fared: 41-36 loss to Texas
Up Next: Bye
Previous Ranking #8
Oklahoma State was able to hang against a tough Texas defense so they'll actually move up one spot this week despite the loss. Call it a good loss maybe? A week off to prepare for a stretch run that looks as though it is going to hold quite a few ups and downs for the Cowboys.
How They Fared: 24-16 win over SMU
Next Up: Iowa State
Previous Ranking #5
This is a team that seems to play to their competition and that's a dangerous thing to do. A year ago the were playing in the MWC and every game against a BCS opponent was a chance to knock off the big dogs. Now they are the big dogs and life against a pretty poor SMU team wasn't so easy.
9. Iowa State
How They Fared: 24-13 loss to Texas Tech
Up Next: TCU
Previous Ranking #7
Just when I start to give these guys credit they go and lose. This is still a solid team that is well coached but they are going to have to use every bit of that in order to get wins in this league. TCU this week provides an opportunity to regain some confidence against a team that is undefeated and maybe slightly overrated outside of Big 12 circles.
How They Fared: Bye
Up Next: K-State
Previous Ranking #10
Bye week last week so everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. Unfortunately this week is Kansas State as the top and the bottom in the power rankings face off for Kansas superiority.