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Despite losing, Oklahoma debuts at #1 in RCT’s Big 12 Power Rankings

With a surprising slate of results, the first edition of the Big 12 Power Rankings probably are not at all what you were expecting.

Houston v Oklahoma Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The first week of the season is in the books, and while there were varying levels of competition, we’ll still make an attempt at determining which Big 12 teams looked the best compared to one another. Every week we will add to our impressions of each team, re-ranking them and trying to make sense of the conference at that particular moment. Please remember that these are power rankings, or projections about how well we think each of these teams would do if they were matched up head to head, so it’s highly likely that we will have teams with worse records higher in the list than you think they should be. Now on to the rankings:

1 - Oklahoma Sooners (0-1)

Despite the loss to Houston on national television, the Sooners still have the most talent in the conference. Running into a buzzsaw like Houston exposed some weaknesses, but having this game so early also give the coaching staff plenty of time to fix them before conference play starts.

2 - Texas Longhorns (1-0)

If you like defense, this was not the game for you (nor the conference for you either). Texas has a lot of holes to fill when they don't have the ball. But in the Big 12, the only team really known for it's defense gave up 41 points to an FCS team. There is a lot of talent on this team, but the expectation was that the youth would need some time to mature before making a big push. Instead, Texas has a chance to do something special this year after being a relative pushover the last few.

3 - Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0)

Both OSU and Baylor had relatively boring outings, demolishing overmatched opponents. However, given the fact that this Oklahoma State team is at full strength and doesn't have distractions surrounding the program, I'll slot the Cowboys ahead of the Bears at the moment.

4 - Baylor Bears (1-0)

It's tough to really evaluate this team, other than we knew they weren't going to completely fall apart the first year after their scandal. Without a strong freshman class to build on for the future, you should see lots of veterans making a big push to try and do something this year. Baylor fans should enjoy this big win, because it may not be many years before they struggle with even these opponents.

5 - Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0)

The big performances against overmatched opponents continues, and the Red Raiders took full advantage of the chance to tune up. The defense last year was atrocious (and that's putting it kindly), so the solid improvement in this first game is somewhat encouraging for their fans. However, we'll get a chance for a real evaluation against Arizona State this week.

6 - TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)

Being down by two scores in the first half of the first game of the season happens, but it shouldn't happen to a team that is expecting to contend for the title in a Power 5 conference. The debut of their new quarterback went fairly well (even with 2 first half interceptions), but the defense looked lost at times and downright incompetent at others. There is obviously plenty of time to get it turned around, but Arkansas is no pushover.

7 - West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0)

I wanted to put them so much higher than this, mainly because they took out Missouri and pretty much ended any hopes the Tigers might have had for the season. The offense had too many miscues for me to feel comfortable jumping them over any of the teams ahead of them. And while the defense locked Missouri down until the game was well out of reach, it's not like Missouri is an offensive juggernaut. A date with Youngstown State this weekend should give them much more of an opportunity to showcase their talent.

8 - Kansas Jayhawks (1-0)

I know, I know, I'm such a homer. But honestly, if you didn't have all that Turner Gill/Charlie Weis baggage from the last half-decade weighing you down, would you really have such a hard time thinking that Kansas might be better than Kansas State or Iowa State? The Jayhawks showed off all that talent that David Beaty worked so hard to recruit, and it paid off in a big way. A win over Ohio this week may not move them any higher in the rankings, but at least we are talking about it as a real possibility.

9 - Kansas State Wildcats (0-1)

A loss to Stanford on the road is nothing to be ashamed of, and they did actually perform pretty well. However, the QB situation is in flux already, and we all saw last year how that sapped their early season momentum. Hopefully for their fans the defense continues to hold up well and that QB Jesse Ertz's cramps were just a one-time thing. An early off-week will give them a chance to get that situation sorted out.

10 - Iowa State Cyclones (0-1)

I am not one to kick a fanbase while they are down, especially since we've been in this position before, so I'll just say that the loss to Northern Iowa was pretty ugly. Unfortunately, the game against Iowa on Saturday won't likely be any better for them.