An interesting week for the Power Poll as a few teams steamrolled over lesser opposition, some teams had narrow defeats against top opposition, one team had a scare against lesser opposition and one team lost. What does it all mean? That the Power Rankings are totally different, of course, but you probably already knew that. Controversy will no doubt abound, but as always I stand by my rankings- until next week.
1. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0), Previous ranking: #2, High: #1
Despite the many hard choices that make up this edition of the power rankings, this was not one of them. Oklahoma looked every bit as good as advertised in their season opener, and could have made the score against an admittedly mediocre Louisiana Tech team anything they wanted. I don't know that they go undefeated, but right now I don't see anyone else winning the conference other than OU.
Next week: @(!?!) Tulsa.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (0-1), Previous ranking: #4, High: #2
Despite what every coach in America would say, sometimes losing is okay. The Cowboys went into a game that few gave them a chance to be competitive in (myself excepted) and really showed off a solid defense to go along with the usual OSU offensive creativity. The Cowboys did fairly well on the ground and may well have won the game if not for an unfortunate fumble during a cartwheel by J.W. Walsh. I'm still a believer in FSU this year, so OSU's long awaited inaugural visit to Fort Worth just got a lot scarier.
Next week: Vs. Missouri State
3. Texas Longhorns (1-0), Previous ranking: #5, High: #3
Enjoy the view from #3, Longhorns, you beat a UNT team that I actually have penciled into a bowl at present. Sadly the easy victory came with a price, as David Ash seems to have sustained another concussion, leaving Tyrone Swoopes (who did not look good in limited action last year) as the starter for at least a while, and frankly I think it would be in the best interest long term for David Ash if he didn't come back at all- he's getting concussions at a rate comparable to Troy Aikman's last football days, and there's no need to continue to subject your body to repeated punishment and risk of brain injury at this point. With that said, the running game looked good! I still expect Texas much lower in the rankings next week though.
Next week: Vs. BYU
4. TCU Horned Frogs (1-0), Previous ranking: #1
Despite the drop in the rankings, TCU played well against the Bulldogs and might have done much better
if Joeckel had started if they kept pressing the up-tempo, because Samford just could not stop it. It was just a game against Samford, but it's hard to say that any area on the team underperformed on Saturday. TCU was dominant in every phase of the game and the offense looked both well called and well understood by the players on the field. I expect to see the Frogs higher up on future Power rankings, but this week we get punished for no quality of competition.
Next week: Bye
5. Kansas State Wildcats (1-0), Previous ranking: #3
Another dismantling of a FCS school, so things are finally back to normal under Snyder's rule. At least until next week when conference competition kicks off for the wildcats with Iowa State before diving back into the non-con against Auburn and UTEP. Jake Waters took a firm hold of the starting job in his debut and carved up the Lumberjacks in an impressive performance. I'm not sure how good K-State is yet, but early indications are good.
Next week: @ Iowa State for FARMAGGEDDON
6. West Virginia Mountaineers (0-1), Previous ranking #8
I gave the Cowboys a big boost as a result of their loss to the defending national champs, so why not do the same for WVU in their close loss to 'bama? Well for one, although Clint Trickett looked good, the West Virginia offense only put up one touchdown, with the other coming off of a kickoff return, and the Crimson Tide rolled up 538 yards of offense against the Mountaineers. Not a great defensive effort against an Alabama team that I'm predicting will take a big step back this year (in Saban standards) and lost a ton of offensive talent, so against the high flying offenses of the Big 12 I think that's going to be a problem once again. I'm penciling West Virginia into a bowl at present, but right now it's whatever-they're-calling the Copper Bowl or worse.
Next week: Vs Towson. 1-1 here we come!
10. Baylor Bears
Baylor Delenda Est.
7. Baylor Bears (1-0), Previous ranking: #10
Baylor looked good against SMU, even if Briles did get up to his old tricks to make the score look better. I'm not necessarily buying that shutting out the ponies means that the Bears defense is great this year, but it's still impressive, even if that wacky genius June Jones is trying to run a throw-the-ball-50-times-a-game with a bad group of signal callers. I'll go on record and say that I expect SMU to start the year at least 0-9 in their inaugural AAC season and show Conference USA 2.0 just why it took so long for SMU to get an invitation to CUSA 1.0. On the Baylor front, it will be interesting to see how much Bryce Petty's back injury will slow him down this season once the Bears finally play someone that can potentially hit him a few times in the same game. Since it's Baylor OOC scheduling though, that probably won't happen until conference play.
Next week: Vs. Northwestern State
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0), Previous ranking: #6
A drop for Tech as they looked pretty awful against their FCS whipping boy of choice, Central Arkansas. Davis Webb threw two picks, one of them pretty awful, but came along to have a decent game and the Tech running game looked surprisingly decent... then there was the Tech defense. It's really quite bad (especially against the run), and has a lot of Raider fans wringing their hands with a game against Arkansas looming. Those Tech fans shouldn't overlook UTEP though, strange games happen out in El Paso, even with teams that are a lot better than the Miners, and UTEP did rush for 330 yards last week. I'm not calling for the upset at the moment, but the Raiders need to take it seriously.
Next week: @ UTEP
9. Iowa State Cyclones (0-1), Previous ranking: #7
Scheduling NDSU was always going to be a losing proposition, but the Cylones made the worst of it by losing to the defending FCS champs. After a strong start, ISU gave up 34 unanswered points and just struggled mightily in every phase of the game. Sam Richardson threw two picks and had under 5 yards per attempt, but was also forced to be the leading rusher for the Cyclones a dangerous position to put your quarterback in. Losing to an FCS team is rough, but having them gain over 500 yards on you is not a good sign heading into a brutal early season stretch of games including K-State, @ Iowa, Baylor and @ OSU. I'm pretty sure coach Rhoads will be coaching in 2015 no matter what happens this year, but winning at least one of those games to avoid starting 0-5 would be a very good idea.
Next week: Vs. Kansas State
10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-0), Previous ranking: #9
Still idle speculation for the Jayhawks, but I have no idea where their offense is going to come from this year. Maybe we'll find out this week, but I'm thinking much more along the lines of a 17-3 game than a TCU-esque new offense shocker debut.
Next week: Vs. SE Missouri State
Agree? Disagree? Consider me to be a preening rooster? Let me know in the comments.