Well, that was an interesting week, wasn't it? Despite only two losses for Big 12 teams this week, there's movement throughout the rankings as the Big 12 continues to shake out what sort of conference its going to be this year (at the very least we can all be thankful that it's not the Big Ten, right? Ouch). How's it all look this week?
1. Oklahoma Sooners (2-0), Previous ranking: #1
The Sooners put the boots to their little brother's little brother in a big way, rolling up a 45 point victory without breaking a sweat. There's not really much to say about OU at this point, as Tulsa was pretty dang bad last year (but they did still beat Louisiana Tech, OU's other victim), but going on the road anywhere and putting up a 40+ point win is pretty good. OU is showing what everyone expected they'd be, so can't really move them. The next one will be much more interesting as a very young but talented Tennessee team heads to Norman.
Next week: Vs. Tennessee
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-1), Previous ranking: #2
The Cowboys had a few late struggles with their FCS feast of the week, but the important news to come out of their game against Missouri State is that quarterback J.W. Walsh broke his foot during the game and may miss between 6-8 weeks- which could be absolutely devastating to the Cowboys conference championship contention. Six weeks would have him miss tough games against Texas Tech and TCU, as well as possibly turning games against ISU and Kansas into much closer affairs, while eight would see him miss West Virginia and Kansas State as well- that's brutal. Still, the OSU defense has looked legit so far and there's no saying what the QB situation will look like without Walsh, so they'll hold at #2 until we see how they perform against UTSA next week (as well as seeing if any team, perhaps one in purple, has a reason to jump them).
Next week: Vs. UTSA
3. TCU Horned Frogs (1-0), Previous ranking: #4
Don't you just love it when you move up without having to do anything? TCU took the week off, but suddenly looks much better in the power rankings, with a game next week to give them a chance to make another move up. Somewhat surprisingly, a win over Minnesota may be the Big 12's best scalp in non-conference play this year- who would have guessed that at the outset?
Next week: Vs. Minnesota
4. Kansas State Wildcats (2-0, 1-0), Previous ranking: #5
The cats struggled mightily against the Cyclones, but going on the road to a rival and coming out with a win is always going to be rewarded in the power rankings, and with the performance of that team in burnt orange this week that's enough to move them up. With all of the injuries to quarterbacks in the Big 12, K-State dual threat Jake Waters may be a darkhorse for Big 12 offensive player of the year. The Wildcats will have a week off before the Big 12's biggest remaining non-conference game against 2013 SEC champion Auburn, and will either rocket or fall with the results.
Next week: Bye
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (1-1), Previous ranking: #6
FCS team disclaimers aside, a shutout from a West Virginia defense is something to write home about in any situation. The mountaineers held Towson to just 122 total yards, despite some interesting playcalls from Tigercoach Rob Ambrose. Clint Trickett continued to impress in his time on the field, and most importantly, managed to make it through the game without injury- I didn't know Big 12 quarterbacks could even do that anymore!
Next week: @ Maryland
6. Baylor Bears (2-0), Previous ranking: #7
Baylor played a Baylor non-conference opponent and Baylored them. This will be copied and pasted until conference play begins to save my time writing about it and your time reading about it.
Next week: @ Buffalo
7. Texas Longhorns (1-1), Previous ranking: #3
The first game of the Swoopes era at quarterback looked... okay? Swoopes was given very simple reads thanks to a BYU defense that loaded up against the run and completed a decent percentage of them (though not for the yardage that you'd like) and showcased a bit of that heralded speed and escapability- but Texas was still completely embarrassed by the mighty Mormons, as the Texas run game could do virtually nothing against the BYU defense. Meanwhile the Texas defense did a sterling impression of the 2013 TCU defense for one half, shutting the opposing offense down in spite of the offense putting them in bad positions, but then ended up reverting to an impression of the 2013 Manny Diaz Texas Longhorn defense- getting absolutely gashed, shredded and run over by BYU in the second half as the Cougars made it a laugher. Texas looked really bad against the Cougars, and if David Ash is out for an extended period it may get worse before it gets better- #12 UCLA is up next.
Next week: Vs. UCLA
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0), Previous ranking: #8
Over at VTM they're saying things like "We're 2-0, but I feel so much more like we're 0-2", and it's easy to understand why. The Raider defense has been abysmal, getting gashed by a totally one dimensional UTEP offense, and Davis Webb got off to another slow start (though he did rally late). The run game for Tech has looked greatly improved, but there are red flags all over that the Raiders may be in for a somewhat disappointing year. On the other hand, 2-0 is 2-0, and the rest of the Big 12 hasn't looked particularly unbeatable- there's a lot of time to work things out for conference play. That game against Arkansas looks a lot more troubling though.
Next week: Vs. Arkansas
9. Iowa State Cyclones (0-2, 0-1), Previous ranking: #9
First, the good news: The Cyclones have Jarvis West on their team, and that was almost enough for Iowa State to pull off the upset against the highly favored wildcats. The Big 12's offensive player of the week threw a touchdown pass, caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a touchdown to almost single handedly pull the Cyclones to victory. The bad news... close calls that don't quite work out appear to be becoming the norm in Ames, and it's still hard to see how this team is going to get to bowl eligibilitty.
Next week: @ Iowa
10. Kansas Jayhawks (1-0)
The Jayhawks collected three interceptions, held SE Missouri to under 50% completion and just 14 first downs. And still almost lost. The issue was that when the Redhawks did successfully throw the ball it went a long way, and the Jayhawks didn't exactly set the world on fire with their passing game either. The Jayhawks look like they're going to be hanging on to the ten spot for a long time to come, especially since the competition stiffens next week.
Next week: @ Duck.