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Power Rankings: Oklahoma State and TCU provide marquee Big 12 Opening weekend matchup

Three ranked undefeated teams headline our power rankings.

UTEP v Oklahoma

Conference play starts in earnest this week, so it is a perfect time

1. #3 Oklahoma Sooners (3-0, Last Week: 1)
Last Week: Won vs Tulane, 56-14

Oklahoma breezed through their nonconference, which is impressive given their game at Ohio State. Their first foray in the conference shouldn’t provide a challenge either given what we have already seen out of the Bears.

Up Next: @ Baylor (0-3) at 5:30PM on FS1

2. #6 Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0, LW: 2)
Last Week: Won at Pittsburgh, 59-21

Another game, another huge win for this dynamic offense. Expect a shootout when TCU comes to town, as neither team has faced an offense as strong as their next opponent.

Up Next: vs #16 TCU (3-0) at 2:30PM on ESPN

3. #16 TCU Horned Frogs (3-0, LW: 3)
Last Week: Won vs SMU, 56-36

TCU had troubles with SMU early, but a strong second half allowed them to leave SMU in the dust. They can’t afford the same slow start against the Cowboys in Stillwater this weekend.

Up Next: @ #6 Oklahoma State (3-0) at 2:30PM on ESPN

4. West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0, LW: 5)
Last Week: Won vs Delaware State, 59-16
For the second week in a row, West Virginia destroyed a low-tier opponent. Expect more of the same this week.
Up Next: @ Kansas (1-2) at 11:00AM on ESPNU

5. Texas Longhorns (1-2, LW: 7)
Last Week: Lost at #4 USC 27-24 (2OT)

Despite the loss, that was an impressive performance against the Trojans. It seems pretty clear that the first game against Maryland was more about new coach jitters than an indictment on the level of talent at Texas. This team is trending up.

Up Next: BYE

6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0, LW: 6)
Last Week: Won vs Arizona State, 52-45

The defense is still not good, and even a team like Kansas should be able to put up points against them this year. While they’ll have a chance in every week’s shootout, I’m having trouble pushing them up based on their body of work so far.

Up Next: @ Houston (2-0) at 11:00AM on ABC/ESPN2

7. Kansas State Wildcats (2-1, LW: 4)
Last Week: Lost at Vanderbilt, 14-7
That type of performance is what had me hesitant to put them up high early in the year. A mid-level SEC team was able to disrupt their offense all game long, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them have similar problems in conference games. Am I being a bit too harsh with this drop? Maybe. But I just don’t have any confidence in this team.
Up Next: BYE

8. Iowa State Cyclones (2-1, LW: 8)
Last Week: Won at Akron, 41-14

The win was big, but that’s what you expect when a competent Big 12 team plays a lower-tier MAC team. They’ll have an extra week to celebrate the victory.

Up Next: BYE

9. Baylor Bears (0-3, LW: 10)
Last Week: Lost at Duke, 34-20

It wasn’t a pretty loss by any means, but it also wasn’t the embarrassment that Kansas suffered against 2 MAC teams.

Up Next: vs #3 Oklahoma (3-0) at 5:30PM on FS1

10. Kansas Jayhawks (1-2, LW: 9)
Last Week: Lost at Ohio, 42-30

So the blow out I was afraid of happened. There is absolutely no reason to be confident that Kansas should be favored in any matchup for the rest of the year.

Up Next: vs West Virginia (3-0) at 11:00AM on ESPNU

Fun With Stats

For those of you that weren’t with us last year, this is the segment where we dive deep into the NCAA stats database to find anything that will show that Kansas is the best in the Big 12. That’s right, we grasp at straws to lie to ourselves and say we don’t have an atrocious football team. This week our stat is: Kickoff Return Defense.

I’m having some issues getting the table formatted, and I don’t want to delay getting these out, but I’ll try to come back later and put this in table format instead.

Kansas is 1st in the conference and 13th in the nation with a 15.25 yard average, followed by TCU (2nd in conference, 16th nationally, 16.00 yard average), Oklahoma State (3rd, 33rd, 17.83), Baylor (4th, 52nd, 18.86), Kansas State (5th, 67th, 19.88), West Virginia (6th, 71st, 20.06), Iowa State (7th, 86th, 21.30), Texas Tech (8th, 89th, 21.71), Texas (9th, 114th, 27.20) and Oklahoma (10th, 119th, 29.25).