Time to start shaking things up. Week two provided some surprises and some impressive debuts. Nearly every year we stumble through week one and make judgements based on a small and typically odd sample only to have those theories proven completely wrong the following week. 2012 has been no different. Some teams that played very well took a dip. Others that didn't look as sharp in week one took a big step forward. I still think we're looking at a very strong league and several teams could vie for the Big 12 crown.
1. West Virginia
How They Fared: Off
Who's Next: James Madison
Previous Ranking #1
West Virginia had a week off after their impressive opening week win and now they might as well have another as they host James Madison in week three. I guess we'll continue to wait and see what the Mountaineers can do against serious competition.
How They Fared: Bye Week
Who's Next: Sam Houston State
Previous Rankin: #3
Baylor moves up here by default. Oklahoma State was destroyed by Arizona which drops them a notch. Oklahoma played their cupcake opponent of the year so I wasn't ready to catapult them too far up the charts. Texas probably had the best argument but I'm still one good performance away from jumping back on the Longhorn bandwagon. Baylor probably won't finish things out here, but in week one they looked very strong and without playing a game I have no reason to argue against them. They will need to be very impressive in week three against an inferior opponent if they want to retain the ranking.
3. Kansas State
How They Fared: 52-13 win over Miami
Next Up: North Texas
Previous Ranking #6
Very tempting to move the Wildcats even higher. They looked extremely sharp this week against a solid opponent. No Miami isn't the Miami of old, but Kansas State dismantled them with a very efficient offensive attack and a solid defensive effort. Things will balance out as the season goes on, but for now it's hard to argue against the Wildcats effort in week two, especially when you compare it with anyone else in action across the league.
How They Fared: 45-0 win over New Mexico
Up Next: Ole Miss
Previous Ranking #4
New Mexico was a one win team a year ago so despite being from the Mountain West they might as well be in the same category as a lower tiered team from the FCS. Texas does continue to look like a program that is getting their business back in order but after the last two seasons and the offensive struggles, there will be skeptics until they go out an beat someone that can compete physically. Next week is a decent start.
How They Fared: 69-13 win over Florida A&M
Who's Next: Bye
Previous Ranking #5
Much improved performance from the Sooners in all aspects of the game on Saturday. They will compete for the Big 12 title and the probably have the best chance of competing with WVU. I just need to see something against better competition before I can fully by in. This is probably being overly hard on the Sooners, but they have raised the bar under Stoops and the concerns from week one are still there.
How They Fared: 56-0 win over Grambling
Next Up: Kansas
Previous Ranking #7
TCU was very effective against Grambling. Not sure what to make of Grambling but I do think TCU is going to compete with everyone on the schedule in year one. That said, we won't really get a great read on things until week four when they play Virginia (maybe?). Could they be higher? Absolutely. It's just hard to make a convincing argument over anyone else above them. This is the beauty of the full round robin. Everything will sort itself out.
7. Texas Tech
How They Fared: 58-10 win over Texas State
Next Up: New Mexico
Previous Ranking #9
I guess we'll go with Tech here. The Red Raiders haven't played anyone, but they've looked good against the two teams they have played. They take on New Mexico next week so we'll see how they do against a team that Texas just beat fairly easily. This is where I started to struggle with Oklahoma State. Surely the Cowboys loss to Arizona had some flukish qualities to it, they can't be that off this year can they? At the same time Tech earned the jump this week with a good win.
8. Oklahoma State
How They Fared: 59-38 Loss to Arizona
Up Next: La-Lafayette
Previous Ranking #2
So far we have a sample that includes a dominating performance against one of the worst teams in all of football. That is followed up by a pretty significant struggle against an Arizona team that has a new coach, a new quarterback and finished 4-8 last year. Expectations anyone?
9. Iowa State
How They Fared: 9-6 win over Iowa
Up Next: Western Illinois
Previous Ranking #8
The Cyclones are doing what they need to do to make a bowl game in 2012. Iowa is down this year so it's not as big of a win as it has been at times, but it's still a win over a rival that moves the Cyclones to 2-0 with a chance to start 3-0 before league play begins. I keep wanting to put the Cyclones higher because I'm a believer in Paul Rhoads, but it's a tough, tough league.
How They Fared: 25-24 loss to Rice
Up Next: TCU
Previous Ranking #10
It is a long road ahead for Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks. There might not be another win on the schedule, but hopefully there is improvement.