The first few weeks of the season played havoc on pre-season expectations. Surprising wins (K-State over Miss State, KU over Boston College) and losses (Mizzou over WVU, SMU over TCU), among other closer than expected wins and losses have created a lot of chaos.
But after a couple weeks worth of Big 12 games, order is beginning to return, and teams are beginning to generally look more like we thought they should have been. Except Iowa State— those guys have looked much, much worse.
1. Oklahoma Sooners
No, Texas Tech is not great, and it was at home, but OU has continued their trend of walloping the teams they should wallop. There’s not much to say about the Sooners that hasn’t already been said this season. They are bigger, stronger, and faster then everyone else, and unless they trip over their own...feet in a couple weeks, they should go undefeated this season.
2. Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns return to their expected spot at #2 thanks no being in action this week. They hold the best conference win on the season, and their close loss to LSU is looking better and better. We’ll see if they still look good after their bye week as they travel to one of their two games outside of Texas this season. And they also need to avoid looking ahead to the big game in two weeks.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
I maintain that the Cowboys should have beaten the Longhorns last week. As long as Mike Gundy doesn’t get Chubba Hubbard killed by running him eleventy-billion times a game, the Pokes are going to win a lot of football games. They may even win all the rest. Except for that one at the end of November.
4. Kansas State Wildcats
A tough road loss drops the Wildcats this week. They still have the best non-conference win of the season, and losing to a really solid Oklahoma State team in Stillwater is nothing to be ashamed about, at least on paper. And yes, while it was technically the worst loss to the Pokes since the late 80’s, the fact that those games have been so close the last 30 years is in itself rather impressive. Expect the Wildcats to return to the win column next week when the Baylor Bears visit Manhattan.
5. Baylor Bears
The Bears are still undefeated, but...yikes. Matt Rhule’s bunch survived a late charge by the visiting Cyclones to pull out a 23-21 victory in Waco, but the win didn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in Baylor. Their first real test comes next week in Manhattan against a Wildcat squad that should be looking for a little revenge after their first loss of the season.
6. TCU Horned Frogs
TCU had the perfect pick-me-up game after their first loss of the season, and exorcised all sorts of frustrations against the visiting Jayhawks. Gary Paterson made a great decision at QB this week, and Alex Delton did Alex Delton Things against the Beakers. Should things go “as expected” next week, the Horned Frogs should return to the Top 5.
7. West Virginia Mountaineers
No movement this week thanks to having a bye week. The Mountaineers welcome the Longhorns to Morgantown next week and will look to surprise a UT squad that will be likely have a hard time not looking past WVU with the Red River Rivalry up in two weeks.
8. Iowa State Cyclones
No team in the Big 12 is under-performing preseason expectations more than the Cyclones. This was a preseason Top 25 team that many expected to be dueling in the Top 3 of the conference. But right now the ‘Clones are 2-2 and looking for answers. Things don’t get any easier next week either with the Horned Frogs headed to Ames.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Losing to OU this season isn’t exactly a huge black mark this season. For just about everyone besides Texas, the OU game is almost a certain loss for everyone in the Big 12. Plus, the Red Raiders were in Norman and have several key players out with injuries. There’s no moral victories, and getting blow-out is getting blown-out. But it’s not enough to drop the Raiders down a spot, especially when the team at #10 has an even worse blow-out on the road.
10. Kansas Jayhawks
While yes, the actual score was about the same, getting blasted by a TCU team that’s showcased an anemic offense so far this season just looks worse than only giving up 55 to the best offensive team in the conference. And we’ll get a really good comparison this week as the Sooners travel to Lawrence. The Jayhawks have once more chance to avoid a loss this season, and that’s their bye week two weeks from now. But it is KU, so anything is possible.