It’s hard to make sweeping generalizations about the relative strengths of various teams based on a single outing for the season, especially when the opponents they played are all of varying strengths. But it’s so much fun to pigeonhole teams into the boxes that I want to that I’m going to try anyway.
So here is the first edition of your RCT Big 12 power rankings (gametimes in Jayhawk Time):
1. #5 Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)
Last Week: Won vs UTEP, 56-7
The Sooners didn’t have any problems in their first game of the season, as Baker Mayfield completed 19 of 20 pass attempts. UTEP answered the opening TD with one of their own, but couldn’t do anything else the rest of the game as Oklahoma scored 49 unanswered. The Sooners have a huge test coming up this weekend.
Up Next: @ #2 Ohio State (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 9th at 6:30PM (ABC)
2. #11 Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0)
Last Week: Won vs Tulsa, 59-24
Oklahoma State had no problems taking care of Tulsa in a mid-week game, and will now get an extra day to prepare for a Friday matchup on the road against South Alabama. They should be favored heavily in that game and will look to capitalize on any stumble from their in-state rivals.
Up Next: @ South Alabama (0-1) on Friday, Sept. 8th at 7:00PM (ESPN2)
3. #19 Kansas State Wildcats (1-0)
Last Week: Won vs Central Arkansas, 55-19
I’m not really sure what everyone else is seeing in this team that I’m not, but I’ll go ahead and trust all of the experts and statisticians until the Wildcats give me a reason to downgrade them.
Up Next: vs. Charlotte (0-1) on Saturday, Sept 9th at 11:00AM
4. Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0)
Last Week: Won vs Eastern Washington, 56-10
As usual, this should be a really prolific offense. Unfortunately, it’s not really possible to tell if the defense has come along when they start with a school like Eastern Washington. A strange time for them to already have a bye, but at least they can say they are the only Big 12 team guaranteed to be undefeated on Sunday.
Up Next: BYE
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0)
Last Week: Lost to Virginia Tech, 31-24
There really is no shame is losing a neutral site game to a rival by such a close score. But like Kansas State, I’m a bit baffled by how this team was ranked to start the season. East Carolina is no gimme game, and this team definitely can’t afford to start 0-2.
Up Next: vs East Carolina (0-1) on Saturday, Sept. 9th at 11:00AM (FS2)
6. #23 TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)
Last Week: Won vs Jackson State, 63-0
Again, the ranking appears to be more about pedigree and conference affiliation than actual results on the field. Obviously the first game was a positive development, but Sagarin has this team in the mid-40s, and I think this is more about the fact that someone has to be ranked.
Up Next: @ Arkansas (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 9th at 2:30PM (CBS)
7. Iowa State Cyclones (1-0)
Last Week: Won vs Northern Iowa, 42-24
Sorry, Cyclones fans. There just isn't much to say about this game.
Up Next: vs Iowa (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 9th at 11:00AM (ESPN2)
8. Kansas Jayhawks (1-0)
Last Week: Won vs Southeast Missouri State, 38-16
Kansas still has a lot of work to do, but at least they didn't get embarrassed at home over the weekend.
Up Next: vs Central Michigan (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 9th at 3:00PM
9. Texas Longhorns (0-1)
Last Week: Lost vs Maryland 51-41
That score looks a lot closer than the game actually was. Some fortunate special teams plays turned into 14 points, but Maryland completely dominated the Longhorns on offense and defense. Not the debut that Tom Herman was expected to have. At least they weren't Baylor though.
Up Next: vs San Jose State (1-1) on Saturday, Sept. 9th at 2:30PM (Longhorn Network)
10. Baylor Bears (0-1)
Last Week: Lost vs Liberty 48-45
Many people expected the Bears to be halfway decent this year. Obviously this team has a lot of rebuilding to do of their reputation, and now it's clear that the on field product has a long ways to go as well.
Up Next: vs UT San Antonio (0-0) on Saturday, Sept. 9th at 7:00PM
Fun With Stats, a recurring feature of our power rankings last year where we find a statistic where Kansas is the best team in the conference, will likely make its 2017 debut next week. This week, the only stats we lead in are winning percentage and 4th down conversions.