Saturday could have gone a lot better for the Big 12 considering nearly half of the teams playing were upset. Kansas State fell to Arkansas State in a nail biter 35-31, Kansas lost 38-23 against Coastal Carolina, Texas Tech barely got away with a 35-33 victory over FCS team Houston Baptist, and the most surprising of them all: Iowa State got pummeled by Louisiana-Lafayette 31-14.
The Sun Belt Conference went an impressive 3-0 against Big 12 opponents in week 2. Ouch.
There is a lot of football left to be played in 2020, and I haven’t given up any hope yet. My honest prediction: the Big 12 will have a team in the 2020 College Football Playoff and that team will more than likely be the Oklahoma Sooners.
Not all of the Big 12 struggled in week 2, Texas dominated UTEP 59-3 as expected, West Virginia put on a show against Eastern Kentucky winning 56-10, and Oklahoma showcased their next star quarterback, Spencer Rattler, in a 48-0 win over Missouri State.
After seeing an almost full Big 12 slate of games, one can only imagine how TCU would have fared against the ponies in a Friday night showdown in the Carter. After seeing K-State and Iowa State struggle, I feel a lot better about TCU’s chances this season without QB Max Duggan. Without further adieu, let’s get into the second installment of the Frogs O’ War Big 12 Power Rankings:
10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-1, 38-23 L vs Coastal Carolina)
I can’t say the Jayhawks surprised me this week. This marks two consecutive seasons Kansas has fallen to Coastal Carolina, yikes. If you are a glass half-full type of person, Kansas won the second half by 10 points, though their first half performance put them in a hole too deep to crawl their way out of. Now that we are moving onto the conference only portion of this year’s schedule, maybe Kansas will sneak out an upset over a Big 12 opponent. Key word: maybe.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0, 35-33 W vs Houston Baptist)
Well that was a close one. After being favored to win by 40 points at home, the Red Raiders snuck by with a 2-point victory over an FCS program. Not the best start for the crew in Lubbock, though it could have gone worse. If Tech had lost, I would be tempted to do the unspeakable and move Kansas up in the rankings. Coastal Carolina is no glamorous program, though they are a significantly tougher opponent than Houston Baptist. Tech will need a major turnaround next week if they want any shot of upsetting the Longhorns.
8. Kansas State Wildcats (0-1, 35-31 L vs Arkansas State)
The Sun Belt Conference strikes again. As much as I’d like to, I honestly can’t rag on K-State for falling to the Red Wolves. Arkansas State is not a bad team, in my opinion there are the most well-rounded program that comes from the Sun Belt. My only complaint is that the Wildcats could have won the game if they managed the clock better in the 4th quarter; they allowed the Red Wolves a go-ahead score with 0:38 seconds on the clock. K-State is in the same boat as Texas Tech, they need a big turnaround, and I mean big, if they want any shot of competing with the Sooners in Norman.
Movement: ↓ 2 (Rank 6 last week)
7. Baylor Bears (0-0, DNP this week)
Unfortunately, Baylor had to postpone their season opener against Louisiana Tech due to issues stemming from Hurricane Laura. Without a game under their belt, it’s tough to move the Bears up any higher than the number 7 spot. I believe the bottom 3 teams performances so far support their rankings, so we will see if Baylor can outperform the bottom of the bunch. Their first test is a home game against Houston. I’m excited to watch this matchup as Dana Holgorsen makes his Big 12 return, this time on the opposing side.
Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 8 last week)
6. West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0, 56-10 W vs Eastern Kentucky)
West Virginia looked great on Saturday. The Mountaineers had 2 rushers break the 100-yard mark in a single game for the first time since 2017. On top of that, quarterback Jarrett Doege threw for 3 touchdowns. They did all of this after suspending 11 players the morning of the game. Not bad. Even though they were playing Eastern Kentucky, the offense looks much improved from last season. I’m curious to see if the Mountaineers can keep up the intensity next Saturday when they play Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 7 last week)
5. Iowa State Cyclones (0-1, 31-14 L vs LA-Lafayette)
The Cyclones had a tough time taking care of business against the Ragin Cajuns. Granted, it’s a lot harder to win when you give up a kick return TD and a punt return TD in the same game. I had a lot of praise for the Cyclones in my first Big 12 Power Rankings, and I still do. Louisiana is a good non power 5 program with a high-powered offense. I’m sure Iowa State fans would have liked to see more production from quarterback Brock Purdy, but maybe Saturday simply wasn’t his day; don’t give up on Purdy just yet. Hopefully the Cyclones aren’t too angry about this loss because they face TCU in Fort Worth next Saturday.
Movement: ↓ 2 (Rank 3 last week)
4. TCU Horned Frogs (0-0, DNP this week)
We’re undefeated baby! After a rough outing for the Big 12 on Saturday, maybe it was a good thing TCU didn’t play this week. You can’t lose games if you don’t play any, right? The only positive that comes from the SMU game being postponed is that the Horned Frogs have over 2 weeks to prepare for their first Big 12 matchup against Iowa State. The Cyclones are coming off an upset loss at home, so the Frogs need to be on their game if they want to remain “undefeated.” Look on the bright side: about half of college football fans can say their teams have not lost a game yet, and technically we are one of those teams.
Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 5 last week)
3. Texas Longhorns (1-0, 59-3 W vs UTEP)
Surprise surprise, Texas absolutely smashed UTEP at home in their season opener. Everything went according to plan for the Longhorns on Saturday. You know you are going to have a good day when you open the game with a 78-yard pass touchdown on the first play. Sam Ehlinger looked as good as ever throwing for 5 TDs and over 400 yards. I expect a similar performance next week against a Texas Tech team that allowed over 500 yards passing against Houston Baptist. Just want to make sure you processed that, 500 yards passing... to Houston Baptist… at home. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ehlinger threw for another 400 yards next week as the Longhorns cruise to victory in Lubbock. Texas looks good so far, but I can’t justify ranking them above Oklahoma State until I see the Cowboys play.
Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 4 last week)
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (0-0, DNP this week)
Oklahoma State is yet another Big 12 team that hasn’t played football yet this year. They start their season with a non-conference matchup against Tusla at home. As of Wednesday, Sept. 16, the Cowboys are favored to win by 23 points. If the offense is anything like it was last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they won by 50. If you have read my previous blogs, you know I am a big fan of Chuba Hubbard. I’m looking forward to watching him put up 200 yards and 4 TDs against Tulsa.
1. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0, 48-0 W vs Missouri State)
The Sooners did what the Sooners do every year: dominate inferior opponents. Spencer Rattler looks to be the real deal. He threw for 290 yards and 4 TDs before he was pulled from the game thanks to the Sooners hefty lead. This result was expected, and there isn’t much to take away from this game. With that being said, there is no reason to move the Sooners down from #1. Not until they lose to TCU in week 5 that is... it’s fun to dream.
Let’s hope for a better outing overall next week from the Big 12. It’s no fun when the media dogs you for going 0-3 against the Sun Belt. We’ve got to do better as a collective.