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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 3

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After a slow Saturday for the Big 12, let’s see where the teams line up heading into the conference only schedule.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Not much has happened within the Big 12 since last week, Oklahoma State was the only team that played and well frankly, they played like the majority of Big 12 teams did week 1: subpar. A big reason for the Cowboys struggles was starting quarterback Spencer Sanders left the game in the 1st quarter due to an injury. A tough break for the Pokes.

This week we can all look forward to a full slate of Big 12 matchups in what will be the season opener for both TCU and Baylor, the rest of the conference has already played their first game.

Some games to look out for this Saturday include Iowa State @ TCU and West Virginia @ Oklahoma State. Originally, I would have expected WVU vs OK. State to be a big win for the Cowboys, but after their lackluster performance in game 1, I’ve got a feeling it could be a close game.

Let’s get into the third installment of the Frogs O’ War Big 12 Rankings:

10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-1)

Big surprise, the Jayhawks are still the bottom of the bunch. Their best chance at a gimme win against a smaller school has already passed and they did not capitalize. KU will need a big improvement from their defense this week if they want any chance at stopping Baylor’s (usually) high-powered offense. I’m not saying there’s no chance for the Jayhawks to get an upset in Waco, remember this is a relatively new Baylor squad who we haven’t seen play yet. I’m not saying I’m rooting for Kansas but…. Rock Chalk.

Movement:

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0)

Even though Texas Tech didn’t play this past weekend, they still found a way to lose off the field. Starting running back SaRodorick Thompson was arrested on Monday, Sept. 21. on a charge of Racing on a Highway. It’s still unclear whether or not Thompson will be playing this Saturday against Texas. Last week vs Houston Baptist, Thompson ran for 118 yards. If he doesn’t suit up for the Red Raiders, Tahj Brooks and Chadarius Townsend will likely handle the majority of the workload out of the backfield. Similar to the Jayhawk’s situation, the Red Raiders will need a big turnaround if they want to compete against Sam Ehlinger and co. on Saturday.

Movement: ↔

8. Kansas State Wildcats (0-1)

Kansas State had one of the tougher non-conference opponents week 1 compared to other Big 12 teams, and it won’t be getting any easier for the Wildcats as they travel to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday. K-State needs to eliminate the big plays such as the kick return and punt return touchdowns they allowed last week against Arkansas State or else Oklahoma could stomp ‘em.

Movement: ↔

7. Baylor Bears (0-0)

Baylor joins TCU in being the only Big 12 programs to have their season opener postponed due to COVID-19 complications. In some ways, this might benefit the Bears. Their new first opponent of the season is Kansas at home this Saturday, which should be a worry-free win for Baylor. Key word: should… Baylor will be led onto the field by returning starting quarterback Charlie Brewer, and if he can stay healthy this year he could have a big year statistically. There isn’t much to improve from last year’s 11-3 campaign, if anything the Bears will be aiming to reproduce a similar performance.

Movement: ↔

6. West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0)

West Virginia is a team that I think might surprise a lot of people this year. There was little to no hype surrounding the program coming into the 2020 season, but after a dominating week 1 performance against Eastern Kentucky, the Mountaineers looked to be significantly improved from last year, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I’m excited for West Virginia’s matchup against Oklahoma State in Stillwater this Saturday. It’s a matchup of a team who outplayed their week 1 expectations against a team that significantly underplayed their expectations; anything could happen.

Movement: ↔

5. Iowa State Cyclones (0-1)

It’s always tough to judge a team after only one game played, especially an upset loss at that. The Cyclones have a lot of potential this year, but simply didn’t execute at the level they were expected to last Saturday. Rank 5 and 4 are truly up in the air, it could go either way, but considering TCU technically hasn’t lost a game I’ll give us the benefit of the doubt. Speaking of the Horned Frogs, Iowa State will start their Big 12 schedule in Fort Worth against TCU on Saturday looking to bounce back from their week 1 woes.

Movement: ↔

4. TCU Horned Frogs (0-0)

TCU football is FINALLY among us, and the Horned Frogs received some excellent news ahead of their season opener vs Iowa State. Last year’s starting quarterback, sophomore Max Duggan, was cleared to play after undergoing a medical procedure to correct a congenital heart defect. Even though transfer QB Matthew Downing has earned the start against the Cyclones, Duggan will still see the field on Saturday, assumedly rotating in & out with Downing. The Horned Frogs match up against an Iowa State team that could be fired up after an upset loss at home in week 1. It’s a big game for both schools, and I can’t wait to watch them battle it out in the Carter.

Movement: ↔

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0, 16-7 W vs Tulsa)

Like I said last week, I couldn’t justify ranking Texas above this Oklahoma State squad until I saw them play and well, I’ve seen them play now… Week 1’s struggles most likely stem from the fact that starting quarterback Spencer Sanders left the game with an injury in the 1st quarter. Chuba Hubbard had a decent game, but nothing near his standard. Hubbard finished with 93 rushing yards and -7 receiving yards, snapping his 11-game streak with over 100 yards rushing. I have to give credit where credit is due — Tulsa’s defense played a fantastic game to contain OK. State’s explosive skill players. The Cowboys will aim to bounce back after a rough season opener this Saturday when they face the West Virginia Mountaineers at home.

Movement: ↓ 1 (Rank 2 last week)

2. Texas Longhorns (1-0)

Well here we are, after Oklahoma State proved me wrong Texas has claimed the number 2 spot. After stomping UTEP at home last week, the 8th ranked Longhorns look ahead to a road battle as they take on Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Red Raiders gave up over 550 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air against Houston Baptist in their opener. Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorn’s solid receiver core should have a field day against the Red Raider’s lackluster secondary.

Movement: ↑ 1 (Rank 3 last week)

1. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)

Of the Big 12 teams that have played a game already, Oklahoma looked as good as anybody. The Sooners dominated Missouri State 48-0 in their season opener though things get a bit tougher for game 2. Kansas State will make the trip down to Norman for a Big 12 showdown that resulted in a major upset just a year ago when the Wildcats beat the 7th ranked Sooners 48-41 in Manhattan. Oklahoma will be looking for a much different result than last years showdown and if they play anything like they did in the season opener, it should be a smooth ride to victory for the Sooners.

Movement:

Concerning the power rankings, there really wasn’t a lot to take away from a Saturday of college football with only 1/10 Big 12 schools playing. We have officially reached the conference only portion of the 2020 season, with the exceptions of make-up games such as TCU vs SMU, and it’s turning out to be an eventful year already.

Cheers to hoping COVID-19 holds off so the football season can play on, and cheers to Big 12 football!