Welcome back to the Bring on the Cats Big 12 Power Rankings!
Now that everyone has played at least a couple games in this weird weird year, it’s finally time to try to rank all 10 teams in the Big 12. And after two weeks of conference action, things have gotten a bit crazy — hey, it’s still 2020 after all.
So without further adieu, lets see where everyone rates through two weeks.
Yes, most teams have played three games, but not all, so we’ll just go with weeks in the conference schedule and not overall.
Let’s be real here, the only reason that the Cowboys find themselves in the top spot is this week is that they are the only team in the conference that is 3-0. Seriously. The Pokes struggled with Tulsa in their opener, and had KU this past weekend, so the jury is still out on how good Cowboys actually are this year. However, Chuba Hubbard is still a beast, and the OSU defense actually looks like it might be decent this year. They’ll be in Waco next weekend trying to retain their top spot.
After a come-from-ahead loss to open the season, the Wildcats turned things around quickly with a road win at then-#3 Oklahoma before shaking off losing Skylar Thompson before halftime to hang on to beat Texas Tech this weekend. K-State is starting to put some things together, and even that loss looks less-bad in hindsight. There’s no rest for the weary, however, as the Wildcats head to Ft. Worth next weekend to face a TCU squad that has officially taken over ownership of UT from K-State.
Talk about a joke. In the latest AP poll, the Cyclones are ranked and the Wildcats are not. Even though Iowa State beat OU this past weekend, it was in Ames and after K-State showed college football how to beat the Sooners. Pfft. Oh, and the Cyclones season-opening loss to Louisiana was way more embarrassing than the Wildcats close loss to Arkansas State. Iowa State opened the season ranked, and let the Rajun’ Cajuns pull away from them late. But Matt Campbell is beloved by the media, so I guess that’s good enough. Oh well, just more opportunity for a surprise upset when Texas Tech visits Ames next weekend.
TCU is an interesting case. They were one of the two Big 12 teams that didn’t get a non-conference game in before conference play started. Even so, they took Iowa State to the wire in their season opener before ultimately losing by just three points. And this past weekend fully claimed their ownership of the Longhorns by winning their seventh game in nine tries against Texas since joining the conference. Yeah, that’s better than any K-State streak against UT. We’ll know a lot more about the Horned Frogs this next week as they host K-State for the Purple Clash.
WVU is 2-1 on the season, with a blowout win over Eastern Kentucky to open the season followed by a road trip loss to the Cowboys. They needed five periods to beat Baylor at home this weekend, but a win is a win. Verdict is still out on the Mountaineers, but they are going to be more dangerous than they were at this point last year. Next up is KU, so they’re getting all their easy games out of the way early in the season.
6. Baylor Bears
Baylor is the other Big 12 team that didn’t get a non-conference game in. They had about a billion opponents lined up, but they kept falling through. But luckily for Baylor, they got to open the Big 12 slate against KU in Waco, so it was probably an easier game then any they were going to pay for. Either way, a blowout win and an overtime loss is still 1-1 in conference, which keeps them out of the bottom third of the standings. They’re hosting Oklahoma State this weekend, so don’t be surprised if they end up falling a bit more next week.
7. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Coastal gets a slight nod over Louisiana here due to the Chanticleers win over Arkansas State this weekend. Certainly the Ragin Cajuns have a better conference win, but a blowout win over KU, plus a big win over the Red Wolves (who beat K-State), gives them two wins via the transitive property. But we’ll know more this weekend, as the Chanticleers and Cajuns rumble in the Bayou.
Louisiana took their win over Iowa State and turned it into their first Top 25 ranking in forever. And despite a couple of close calls with Georgia State and Georgia Southern, the Ragin Cajuns are still undefeated on the season, and if things hold, this weekend’s game could be a preview of the Sun Belt conference championship game.
Texas is back. Back in the conference standings that is. Sure, they smashed through UTEP to open the season, but needed a late comeback and overtime to beat Texas Tech, and didn’t have enough in the tank to come back to beat TCU last weekend. Yet, somehow, Texas is still ranked and K-State isn’t. Whatever. The Red River
Shootout Rivalry game is this weekend, which is critical for both schools, as the winner’s season isn’t quite dead yet, and the loser is bound for the basement.
Arkansas State saw the stars align a few weeks ago when they beat K-State a week after a season opening loss to Memphis. But they came back to Earth this past weekend after travelling to South Carolina to face the Chanticleers. The Red Wolves finally get a home game next weekend, where they will face FCS Central Arkansas, who had the honor this past weekend to be NDSU’s lone win* in this strange season. *Because NDSU is only playing one game this season.
11. Oklahoma Sooners
The Wildcats broke the Sooners. That’s the only plausible explanation. After demolishing Missouri State to open the season, the Sooners have dropped two straight to start the conference slate for the first time since 1998. I don’t think you even need to guess what happened to John Blake at the end of that season. Normally the Red River Rivalry game has a ton of hype, as national minds like to look at it as a precursor of the eventual Big 12 champ. But this season, it’s going to be a critical game for the Sooners, moreso than even the Longhorns. You just can’t start the season 0-3 in Norman and expect to stay off the hot seat, regardless of how many recent trips to the CFB Playoff you’ve been to or how weird this season is.
The Red Raiders struggled with FCS Houston Baptist to open the season (HBU is the kind of team that NDSU would roll over without issue), before losing a late lead to allow Texas to force overtime and eventually take away Matt Wells’ chance at a program-defining win. And then last week a third-quarter surge wasn’t enough to beat K-State in Manhattan. At 1-2, Tech isn’t the worst team in the league, but they’re darn close.
13. Kansas Jayhawks
Last Place is brought to you by the University of Kansas — or at least it should because their Jayhawks football team has occupied this spot nearly uncontested for over a decade. Getting smashed by a Sun Belt team is one thing; heck, Iowa State did too. But getting blown out from the kick at home, plus the lack of showing much more than a very weak pulse against Baylor and no pulse against the Pokes...well, yeah, KU is still not good. It was a running joke last year, but still just as true today: they’ve still got Miles to go in Lawrence. KU’s next best chance for a win comes in *checks notes* December against the Red Raiders. Yikes.