With a week of Big 12 play under out belts and everyone but Kansas having a game under their belts there's a lot of upheaval in the rankings in only one week. That's how we like it, of course- but do remember that this is a power poll, not a prediction of where I expect teams to finish. That said...
1.) Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0)
Previous ranking: #3
The Cowboys beat an SEC team that went to a bowl last year and did it in a convincing 18 point fashion. What's shocking about the score is that it didn't take more firepower to achieve, as the Cowboys put up 21 points without a passing TD and held Mississippi State out of the end zone entirely. Could there be signs of an effective defense in Stillwater? If so, look out!
2.) Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0)
Previous ranking: #6
The Raiders impressed with a convincing 18 point victory of their own, which could have been 25 if not for an SMU touchdown in second string time. Freshman QB Baker Mayfield looked solid throughout, though happily for the Big 12 he doesn't appear to be as much of a rushing threat as the last freshman quarterback Kingsbury coached. SMU may not be particularly good this year, but they are technically an AQ team (I'm as surprised as anyone) and Tech could've beaten them by four scores without much more effort. Like Oklahoma State, the Tech defense looked improved, though against Garrett Gilbert anything less would be a disappointment.
3.) Texas Longhorns (1-0)
Previous ranking: #2
I dinged the Longhorns a bit for tailing the Aggies late into the second quarter. That said, once the Longhorn offense started to feel it it moved like a well oiled machine, putting up a Baylor-esque 715 yards of offense on the table while shutting the Aggies out for three quarters on defense. Next up is a step up in competition on the road against BYU, so there will be an opportunity for advancement next week if they put out another strong performance.
4.) Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)
Previous ranking: #5
On the one hand, new quarterback Trevor Knight looked bad throwing the football, completing less than 40% of his passes. On the other hand, he rushed for over 100 yards on the ground as part of an impressive rushing output by the Sooners. Much more impressive is the shutout of a team that went bowling last year in Louisiana-Monroe, though, as OU was expected to struggle with so little returning talent on defense. If the Sooner D is legit the road to the Big 12 championship will continue to go through Norman.
5.) Baylor Bears (1-0)
Previous ranking: #4
The Bears did what was expected of them in absolutely demolishing Wofford, which is what you'd expect a Big 12 team to do to an FCS team (Something the power polls lower teams should take note of). Of note is that the Bears defense surrendered only 3 points to an above average FCS offense, but they get bumped down because of impressive performances from the teams above them. Still, at least they won a game, unlike...
6.) TCU Horned Frogs (0-1)
Previous ranking: #1
I know LSU is a very different kettle of fish from a New Mexico State, Louisiana Monroe or SMU type of team. Still, on field results count in these things, and the Frogs came up short against the highly ranked Tiger squad. Areas for concern? Third down defense, where LSU converted at an astounding clip even on longer distance, playcalling, where the gameplan of putting the game on the clearly rusty shoulders of Casey Pachall in the first half seems ill advised, and that aforementioned rust from the quarterback that will still be starting going into SE Louisiana. On the one hand, if Casey can revert to his late 2011/early 2012 form he's the best quarterback around, so he needs to play. On the other hand, Boykin looks greatly improved and I think he gives the team a better chance to win when the rubber meats the road in Lubbock. Still, a loss is a loss, and even a win against the FCS beats a loss. With the possible exception of...
7.) West Virginia (1-0)
Previous ranking: #9
North Dakota State is the best FCS team, as back to back titles will attest to. Northern Iowa is an okay FCS team, as their presence as a playoff regular will point out. William and Mary is a bad FCS team that went 2-9 and were only kept out of the bottom of their conference by winless Rhode Island. Against this powerhouse, West Virginia trailed by 10 at the half and only took the lead late in the fourth quarter. Things will get real for the Mountaineers in a hurry against Oklahoma last week, but at least they have a victory to enjoy in the meantime, not like...
8.) Kansas Jayhawks (0-0)
Previous ranking: #10
The Jayhawks move up in the world courtesy of the teams behind them who thought that the Jayhawks spending all year at the bottom of the power rankings was just too sad. That's the spirit of cooperation and camaraderie that I love about the Big 12. Sadly, at some point Kansas is going to have to win a game to move up in the rankings, as the season starts next week for the Jayhawks. Still, it's good to be the best team in the state for the first time in a long time, it must be sweet to look down on...
9.) Kansas State Wildcats (0-1)
Previous ranking: #7
They really did look like they had it won after taking a 14 point lead in the second half, but the North Dakota Bison fought back with the heart of a champion (a back to back champion, no less) while the Big 12's own champion went conservative. Despite the relative strength of North Dakota to the rest of the FCS, a loss by the defending Big 12 champ shows quite clearly that the Wildcats are no threat to repeat. They may be able to make a bowl game this season, but don't expect too strong a showing against any of the top 6 teams.
10.) Iowa State Cyclones (0-1)
Previous ranking: #8
After looking at the Iowa State schedule, I'm somewhat less optimistic about their bowl possibilities than I was in the weekend warzone. Still, knowing Iowa State they're likely to knock off Oklahoma State and Texas and still somehow salvaging a bowl bid in the end- at the very least they don't have much to fear from teams 7-9, but neither do teams 7-9 have much to fear from Iowa State.
Think I've got something wrong? Think I'm totally right? Feel free to make your arguments either way in the comments and it may be addressed in next week's Power Poll.