Week one is in the books, and while we have barely enough information to go on to make a real informed decision, we are still going to make sweeping statements about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the teams in the Big 12. There’s plenty to debate in most of the positions, but I think everyone reading this knows where the Jayhawks are going to land.
1. TCU – Sure, it was a close game. But TCU looks to have the most talent again in the league, and Minnesota is a quality opponent that is going to cause some teams some problems in the Big Ten this year.
2. Baylor – For a while it looked like SMU was going to hang tight with them all game long. In fact, going into the half, I couldn’t help but think that either the Baylor D was a lot worse than we thought, or the SMU offense was playing over their heads. We quickly found out in the second half, but it’s still a bit of a knock for one of the worse teams last year to play some competitively through the entire first half.
3. Oklahoma – Oklahoma played about as well as you can expect in their tuneup for the Top 25 matchup with Tennessee this week. The Sooners will get the first chance to really impress this season if they can get a solid victory in Knoxville.
4. Kansas State – Marching band mishaps aside, this team is the one I probably think will perform the best out of the next 4, just because they always exceed my expectations. But if you wanted to make a case for any of these 4 in any order, I wouldn’t argue about it too much at all.
5. West Virginia – The Mountaineers loaded up early on their feast of lesser opponents in 2014, but this year they will have to get started early if they want to hang around in the league race, with three of their first conference games coming against teams higher in this ranking than them. I’m not sure they get it done, but I still think they end the year in the top half of the league.
6. Oklahoma State – Having trouble with Central Michigan isn’t necessarily something to be ashamed of. After all, they gave Kansas all they could handle last…..oh wait, that’s hardly encouraging. However, playing on the road in your opener, you never really know what to expect. A 4th quarter comeback still counts as a victory.
7. Texas Tech – Oof, that defense is atrocious. And I know atrocious defenses, since we see them so often in Lawrence. If they don’t get that shored up, it doesn’t matter how good their offense is.
8. Texas – That was an embarrassing loss, and the only reason they didn’t drop down to 9 is because I’m trying not to overreact to one game.
9. Iowa State – Iowa State took care of a clearly undermatched team, but not before letting their fans feel the dread of another disastrous season creep up on them. If they can somehow take care of Iowa this week, then they could stand to move up and set themselves up for an interesting year.
10. Kansas – Well that was a debacle. Kansas is the only team that was supposed to win their game that didn’t, and they looked so bad during the first half that it’s hard to imagine that they will be able to put a full game together against any opponent this year.