Week two of some consistency for the power rankings. Our top team remains the same, in fact, our top three teams and four of our top five remain unchanged this week, just with a slight reorder. So much for things getting crazy in the middle of the Big 12 slate.
The biggest loser this week was KU, who has dropped two straight and falls into the middle-tier of Big 12 teams. Oklahoma also proved to finally have a pulse, while Baylor has us scratching our heads.
So let’s put everyone in order this week, and let the braying commence!
The Horned Frogs are the unquestioned number one team (at least until this Saturday). The Frogs joined K-State at 3-0 in conference play with a come-from-behind 43-40 win in double overtime in Ft. Worth over Oklahoma State. The Cowboys went up 30-16 late in the 3rd quarter, but didn’t score against until the first overtime period as the Horned Frogs slowly reeled the Pokes back in. TCU never led in regulation, and that will be something Sonny Dykes’ crew will want to avoid this weekend. Next up, the Horned Frogs face your Kansas State Wildcats for sole possession of first place.
2. Kansas State
The Wildcats are still undefeated in Big 12 play, thanks in part to getting a much0needed bye week in the middle of the schedule. The Wildcats are number two this week in our rankings and in actual the standings because they do hold that one loss from non-conference* play. The Wildcats hopefully used the bye week to get all the key starters healthy, like Deuce Vaughn and Khalid Duke, who both left the game against Iowa State before it’s conclusion due to injury. Because the Cats are going to need everyone healthy to face a good TCU team this weekend on their turf.
3. Oklahoma State
This week the Cowboys drop only to third after taking just their first loss of the season, on the road in double-overtime. The Cowboys looked to be poised to run away with things headed into the fourth quarter, but then the offense just...stopped. Even in overtime, it took them five plays to go the 25 yards to tie the game back up, and actually lost 10 yards in four plays before settling for a field goal in the second overtime. The Pokes are a good team, but they’ll need to hope the Wildcats stumble either this week or next for them to climb back up. But they can’t look too far ahead, as they have a visit from the Longhorns this weekend. (2:30pm CT, ABC)
The Green Wave are on a roll, and have won their third straight to move to 3-0 in the American conference and first place in the standings after a 45-31 victory over South Florida that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate. The angry water have lost just the one game, dropping a stunner to Southern Miss the week after their slugfest with K-State. Tulane gets a serious test this week as they host Memphis, who is coming off a tough quadruple-overtime loss to East Carolina this past weekend. (2:30pm CT, ESPN2)
The Bearcats hold serve this week thanks to getting their bye this past week, and not a lot of chaos around them. They are still the top ranked American team despite being second in the standings for now. They get consecutive road games to close the month of October, with a trip to Dallas to face SMU this weekend. (11:00am CT, ESPN)
The Longhorns aren’t “back”, but they have won three straight to move to 3-1 in Big 12 play. Of course, those three wins are over three of the bottom-dwellers this season, and their lone loss was to a tough Texas Tech team. And really, they probably should’ve lost to Iowa State this past weekend, if the Cyclones could’ve mustered a competent offense for more than a couple series. But in the Big 12, a win is a win, and it’s on to next week. Texas finally runs into a stiff test this week, as they are headed to Stillwater to take on the Cowboys before they hit their bye week.
The Knights actually trailed briefly in the first quarter against Temple, before finding the gas pedal and mashing it to the floor on the way to a 70-13 blowout in Orlando. There aren’t many superlatives to find in a mashing like that. But the Knights have yet to be tested outside the state of Florida, including playing five of their first six at home, and their sole road game being a cross-state trek to Boca Raton to face FAU. That changes this week, with a visit to a tough East Carolina squad. A win there might just push them up a few spots next week. (6:30pm CT, ESPNU)
So many things this season echoed 2009 for the Jayhawks. Scoring, winning, etc, etc. But now we’re in to the second part of that echo. After starting 5-0, that 2009 team lost 7 straight and saw their head coach fired. The 2022 Jayhawks won five straight, but have lost their last two, and still might lose their head coach at the end of the season, regardless of how they finish. It was a bad week to struggle on defense, as the Sooners managed to re-find their offense in the 52-42 shootout. KU needs to hope that Jalon Daniels recovers quickly. But no rest yet, as they head to Waco this weekend for their second-straight road trip to face a struggling Bears squad. (11:00am CT, ESPN2)
9. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders dropped two straight headed into their bye week this past week, but they look better than their 3-3 record. Joey McGuire has some things going on in west Texas, and it will be something to keep an eye on. They will have a good, though tough, chance to get back above .500 these next two weeks, and that starts this weekend with a visit from an odd West Virginia squad. (2:00pm CT, FS1)
Big credit to Houston for not losing to BYE this week. That feels like something a Dana Holgorsen-coached team would do, especially with the turmoil they’ve already had at times this season. But they hit their bye week on a high note, with a gritty 33-32 win over Memphis two weeks ago to get back to .500 overall. They’ll get right back into this week with a trip to Annapolis to face Navy, who currently sits above them in the American standings. (11:00am CT, ESPNU)
11. West Virginia
Despite an ugly contest, the Mountaineers finally picked up their first Big 12 win of the season, dropping Baylor 43-40 in Morgantown thanks to a field goal from the aptly-named Casey Legg in the closing minute of the game. The ‘Eers are in a group of four schools right now that have just one conference win, and will break out of that group one way or another this weekend on their long road trip to Lubbock.
Normally, beating the Jayhawks in Norman is just another day for OU, but this weekend it felt like a big break for the much-maligned Sooners. The defense was still porous, but managed to hold the Hawks enough for the offense to actually score points for the first time in a couple weeks. It will be an interesting battle next weekend in Ames, as the sometimes-anemic OU offense faces off against one of the best defense in the league. Expect it to be a close affair. But first, the Sooners get a bye week to keep trying to get their defense figured out.
The Bears are struggling right now, and after a win over Iowa State to open Big 12 play, they’ve now sandwiched losses around their bye week, which is never a good sign. The Baylor defense, which should be the calling-card for the Bears under Dave Aranda, has struggled against every Power 5 team they have faced, going just 1-3 against “better” competition. The most glaring example might be giving up 24 points to the struggling Cyclones, their most points scored against a Power 5 team. That will be extra concerning for the Bears this weekend as they host a KU team with plenty of offensive explosiveness.
Two Three Four weeks in a row the Cougars have done something for us to give them the five-letter word. This week it was losing to a mediocre Arkansas team at home. At this rate, they are going to struggle to stay above .500 in their final season of independence, with four very tough opponents still waiting among their final five games. They are just a below-average team right now. The offense is “okay” but the defense is “meh”, and they haven’t played a particularly tough schedule. They finally head back away from the western half of the country this week to go to Lynchburg, Virginia to face off against Liberty. The Flames are 6-1 in their own final season as an independent before moving off to Conference USA. (2:30pm CT, ESPNU)
15. Iowa State
The Cyclones have finally found their way to the bottom of the rankings after falling to the Longhorns this past weekend to remain the sole team without a Big 12 victory this season. Iowa State has a really great defense, but an equally terrible offense, and so far Big 10-style football has not led them to any Big 12 victories. Matt Campbell’s star is sure earning some tarnish right now. The Clones get a very much-needed week off this weekend, where they will look to find an offense before OU visits Ames on the 29th.
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