Monday, September 13, 2010
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 3
By David Ubben
The Big 12 had a nice week, going 10-2 with two wins over ranked teams and once again, Kansas caused me to miss the elusive perfect week of picks.
In this week's power rankings, there's a shift at the top, a shift at the bottom and a muddled middle we still don't know very much about. I still think teams four to eight teams could be ranked in almost any order.
Here's last week's rankings for comparison.
1. Oklahoma (2-0): Call Florida State overrated if you must, but we won't know for sure until October at the earliest. For now, the Sooners have by far the most impressive win of any team in the Big 12 and ascend to the top of my power rankings for the first time as a result.
2. Texas (2-0): Garrett Gilbert's been OK. So has the defense. The running game has been serviceable. Texas has been mostly boring in the season's first two weeks, but they've done nothing to fall below Nebraska and the Huskers have done nothing to hop the Horns. Texas' two wins have been by 17 and 27 points.
3. Nebraska (2-0): Taylor Martinez has injected new hope into the Nebraska offense, but let's hold off on crowning the freshman until he keeps doing what he's been doing in conference play. Competition steps up a notch this week with Washington at Seattle, but we'll probably learn more about Nebraska's defense than its offense. Good to see the Blackshirts come alive against Idaho.
4. Missouri (2-0): Missouri will be a pretty covert operation with two weak nonconference teams on their way to Columbia, but the task in front of Missouri is simple: Take care of business against both with 20-plus point wins, beat Colorado, let teams in front of it lose and the Tigers might slide inside the coaches' Top 20 before a trip to College Station for their first major test.
5. Texas A&M (2-0): Two good wins to start the season, and another looks like its on the way. The Aggies will need a healthy Von Miller to beat Oklahoma State in Stillwater, so his ankle has two and a half weeks to get back to 100 percent.
6. Texas Tech (2-0): Tough to take much away from beating New Mexico 52-17, but the Red Raiders know a huge opportunity awaits on Saturday with Texas coming to Lubbock.
7. Kansas State (2-0): Though the season-opening win against UCLA might look less impressive at the end of the season, Carson Coffman's 280 yards and three touchdowns are both a career-high and a good sign for the Wildcats' mostly one-dimensional offense. Through two games, he's equaled his touchdown total in his four starts a year ago without throwing an interception.
8. Oklahoma State (2-0): Came back down to earth a bit with a sloppy 41-38 win over Troy, but 2-0 is 2-0, and that's more than last year's team could say. The offense continued to move the ball despite the mistakes, but beating teams like Texas A&M and Texas Tech will boil down to which team can stop the other team's offense first.
9. Baylor (2-0): Baylor jumps a spot for taking care of business. Robert Griffin has put up solid lines in his first two games, and you can silence those Kendall Wright worries now. He caught five balls for 128 yards, including a 61-yard score. The defense hasn't been truly tested, but it's given up just nine points combined in games against Buffalo and Sam Houston State.
10. Iowa State (1-1): My guess is this had more to do with Iowa being that good and less to do with Iowa State being that bad. They could have been much, much better, but Iowa won't lose much this year and made sure early that Iowa State didn't deliver the first. The Hawkeyes defense is one of the nation's best, and it turned in a focused performance against its in-state rival.
11. Kansas (1-1): The enigmatic Jayhawks took a big step with the win against Georgia Tech, but I'm not sure anyone knows what to expect when they go on the road for the first time this week for a Friday nighter against Southern Miss on ESPN. I'd tell the Kansas fans who rushed the field after the game to act like they'd been there before, but most of them hadn't. Kansas' last win over a ranked team was in November 2008 against No. 13 Missouri, and that was on a neutral field. The last home win over a ranked opponent? Missouri in 2003, when the Tigers were ranked No. 23. Saturday was a big one. Storm away, Jayhawks fans.
12. Colorado (1-1): Kansas' win came over a ranked team that played in a BCS bowl last year. Colorado's came against lowly rival Colorado State with a true freshman starting his first game. Yes, the FCS loss was embarrassing, but that was Turner Gill's first game with a brand-new team and a different quarterback. A 45-point loss to anyone in a coach's fifth year is much more discouraging. Welcome to the cellar, Buffs.