The impossible has happened. I won’t spoil it (not that you can’t see down that far on the page anyway), but bad things have happened, and we're not happy talking about it.
Also, despite the fun we had last week laughing at former Big 12 mates, I’m dropping them back off this week because we had a good laugh, but that’s a bunch of extra work (and I’m already behind). Just know that we’re still laughing at Nebraska and Colorado, who are both terrible and should feel bad for being terrible.
I just threw up a little.
But the Jayhawks are 2-0* in conference play, and have started the season 3-0 for the first time since 2009. You know, way back in the Before-Times, before Mark Mangino
ate grabbed a player and tanked the season and then got fired. It definitely seems like behind Lance Leipold and the stunning play of QB Jalon Daniels, the Hawks might have actually turned a corner. Of course it helps that they’ve been gifted one of the easiest starts to a season that includes two P5 games in the first three....but I digress. Next up is a visit from fellow 3-0 surprise team Duke. And yes, again, both of these teams are 3-0 on the football field, not the hardwood. Wild.
I’ll finally give the Sooners credit for coming out and summarily destroying a team that should have a pulse. At least one with Power 5 talent, anyway. Again, they started slow, but once that prairie schooner got rolling, it stayed on it’s wheels and rolled right over the Huskers. Next up is a visit from K-State. And despite the Wildcats week 3 performance, this is a game that should have Sooner fans at least a little nervous.
The Cowboys did exactly what they were supposed to do against a middling FCS team, and pantsed Arkansas-Pine Bluff to the tune of 63-7. This one was over in the first quarter, with the Pokes scoring four TDs in the opening period to cruise to a victory. But it gets exponentially more difficult in a week, as they get to travel to Waco to face off with the Bears to open October after getting a break this weekend.
4. Iowa State
The Cyclones did what they were supposed to do against Ohio, winning 43-10 over the visiting Bobcats. Against middling FCS and MAC competition, the Cyclones have given up 10 points/game, while scoring 42.5 points/game. Against a P5 team they scored 10 points and eked out a win thanks to Iowa’s complete offensive ineptitude. They’ll need to do much better this weekend against a visiting Baylor Bears team that’s looking to re-take their grasp as a Big 12 front-runner.
The Horned Frogs got the weekend off, so they move up just for lack of not losing. Good work not losing to BYE (and we’ve seen it happen, so don’t laugh too hard). They’ve got an interesting matchup this weekend, as they head across the metro to face off against SMU, who is 2-1 after dropping a close one in Maryland to the Terrapins. Oh, and it’s where TCU’s new head coach Sonny Dykes arrived from in the offseason. So #storylines!
I’m still not sure what to make of the Longhorns, and this spot still feels almost too high. But they survived a trap-game against a decent UTSA team in Austin — a game that was tied at halftime after UT tied it up going into the break. But it was all Longhorns in the second half, and they are now 2-1 on the season. Next up is a trip out to west Texas to take on the Red Raiders, and Tech is looking suspiciously not good right now.
BYU takes a tumble this week after struggling against Oregon in Eugene. Sure, I could argue to leave them above Texas this week, but the Cougars never really felt like they were in the game against the Ducks, and needed two late touchdowns to make it look respectable. They’ve got a couple should-be easier ones up next before a big game against Notre Dame in a few weeks. Wyoming is in Provo this weekend, and the Cowboys do sport a 3-1 record that includes a nice win over Air Force. But all three wins have come in Laramie.
The Bears struggle to move up this week because a 42-7 win over Texas State in Waco isn’t enough to push them very high. They did what they needed to do, and are now 2-1 on the season. They’ve got another big test this weekend, as they travel to Ames to face the Cyclones. The Bears dropped their only other game outside of Waco this season, the 26-20 loss to BYU two weeks ago. If they want to win the Big 12, they’re going to have to win on the road.
The Bearcats improved to 2-1 with a 38-17 win over Miami (OH) in what was technically a road game, but played across town at
Paul Brown Paycor Stadium for what was effectively another home game. The Bearcats started slow, falling into a 10-0 hole before starting to come alive. Clearly they are still reworking things after losing so much talent after their run to the College Football Playoff last year, but they are still good enough to beat average teams. Next up is a visit from Indiana, and the Bearcats should feel comfortable about this one.
10. Kansas State
I’ve dropped the Cats probably farther than necessary this week, but things around here feel pretty deflated after the disappointing 17-10 loss to Tulane. Sure, the Green Wave are well coached and have some talent (and may well compete for the American crown this year), but the Wildcats looked opposite of that this week — at least on offense. Next up is a trip to Norman, opening Big 12 play for the 100th time on the road, to face a Sooners team led by former Wildcat linebacker and coach Brent Venables. If the Cats can get the lights turned back on on offense, this could be a good game. But another outing like last week and it could be a very long evening in Oklahoma.
UCF moves up a smidge this week just because things below them don’t look great, and they won a true road game to move to 2-1 on the season. Sure, Florida Atlantic isn’t a world beater, but they did win 40-10 away from Orlando so that improves the difficulty rating. Next up for the Knights is a visit from Georgia Tech. And the Yellow Jackets sure are struggling this season, so expect UCF to be 3-1 next week (and not really move up much in the process).
12. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders double-overtime win against Houston looks much less impressive this week after the Cougars got dismantled by the Jayhawks in Houston. And for their own part, the Red Raiders struggled pretty mightily on the road against NC State, falling 27-14 in a game that felt less-close than that much of the time. The Red Raiders are 2-1, and will look to bounce back against the Longhorns, who visit Lubbock this weekend.
14. West Virginia
No, 14 is not a typo. The Mountaineers finally got their first win of 2022 thanks to a visit from poor Towson. The Tigers made a break-out run in 2013, eventually losing to North Dakota State in the FCS championship game, but have been right around average in FCS most of the rest of their time in D1. To be fair, WVU, did trounce them (65-7) like you’d expect, but that’s not enough to overcome the stench of losing at home to KU from the week before. The ‘Eers are back at it early this week, with a Thursday match-up on the road in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech. Even a solid showing against the Hokies could move them back up off the floor.
What the heck is happening in Houston? The Cougars opened the season as a favorite to win the American in their final season, and as a darkhorse candidate for the CFP. Now they’ve dropped two straight ugly games, and have players literally fighting on the sidelines. Dana Holgerson has a huge mess right now, and if he can’t get things figured out quickly, he might not be the Cougars coach when they finally make it officially into the Big 12. They get a break of sorts this week, with a visit from cross-town rival Rice on the docket.
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