Big 12: Dutch Meyer
Rising: Kansas' ballhawking skills
The Jayhawks forced a grand total of 18 turnovers last season, the lowest amount in the entire Big 12. That total ranked 91st nationally, too. This year? Kansas is just 1-1, but they've seen big improvement in that category. KU has already forced eight turnovers through just two games. That ranks second nationally, and the only team ahead of the Jayhawks is SMU, who forced zero turnovers against Baylor in Week 1, but forced 10 (!!) last week against Stephen F. Austin.
Falling: Oklahoma State's ballhawking skills
The Cowboys led the nation with 44 takeaways last year, but in last week's 59-38 loss to Arizona, the Cowboys were held without a single takeaway, something that hadn't happened at Oklahoma State since a win at Kansas back in 2010. That gives Oklahoma State just two takeaways through two games. The one silver lining for the Pokes: They had just three turnovers at this time last year.
Rising: Texas QB David Ash's accuracy
Ash completed just 56.6 percent of his passes as a true freshman last season, including eight interceptions to just four touchdown passes. That ranked ninth in the Big 12. This year, it's been a different story for the sophomore. He's completed 73.5 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions, adding a 49-yard touchdown run last week. Among QBs with at least 15 attempts, only West Virginia's Geno Smith has completed a higher percentage of passes, and Ash is one of just three Big 12 starting QBs without an interception.
Falling: Wins records for coaches
Last week, Gary Patterson notched his 110th career win, passing Dutch Meyer's half-century old record as the school's all-time wins leader. This week, it's time to make more history. If Texas knocks off Ole Miss in Oxford, Mack Brown will pass Ohio State's Jim Tressel for 13th all-time among coaches, with 230 wins. With three more wins, he'll pass Bob Stoops and Bill Snyder's mentor, Hayden Fry, on the all-time list. If Texas finishes with 11 wins this year, Brown will be tied with another Ohio State legend who made another less than sanctimonious exit: Woody Hayes.
Rising: Big 12 offenses ... again.
Two of them have played just one game, but the Big 12 enters Week 3 with three of the nation's top four offenses. Oklahoma State leads the nation with 659 yards a game, and West Virginia is right behind the Cowboys, with 655 total yards. Sitting in fourth: Baylor, who racked up 59 points and 613 yards in a win over SMU.
Meanwhile, when it comes to scoring offenses, the Big 12 has seven teams in the top 11. The entire league average is nearly 50 points a game, but West Virginia (69), Oklahoma State (61), Baylor (59), TCU (56), Kansas State (51.5), Texas Tech (51) and Oklahoma (46.5) are all among the nation's highest-scoring offenses.
Falling: Oklahoma's pass protection
The Sooners gave up just 11 sacks last season, good for seventh-fewest nationally and tied with Stanford. Only Texas A&M gave up fewer in the Big 12. This year, though? Oklahoma's already given up six sacks through two games. Part of it is the offensive line, and Jones has hung onto the ball a little too long at times, too. Still, that number has to be a bit alarming for the crimson and cream. It's going to get tougher in the Big 12.
Today, a simple question: What would a program look like without the winningest coach in program history? Which coaches had the biggest impact?
Here's how it breaks down for each program in the Big 12 (all-time record in parentheses):
- Winningest coach: Grant Teaff: 128-105-6
- Wins without winningest coach: 396
- Winningest coach: Dan McCarney: 56-85
- Wins without winningest coach: 444
- Winningest coach: A.R. Kennedy: 52-9-4
- Wins without winningest coach: 520
- Winningest coach: Bill Snyder: 159-83-1
- Wins without winningest coach: 316
- Winningest coach: Barry Switzer: 157-29-4
- Wins without winningest coach: 664
- Winningest coach: Pat Jones: 62-60-3 (Mike Gundy needs three wins to tie Jones)
- Wins without winningest coach: 468
- Winningest coach: Darrell Royal: 167-47-5
- Wins without winningest coach: 691
- Winningest coach: Dutch Meyer: 109-79-13 (Gary Patterson is tied at 109-30.)
- Wins without winningest coach: 484
- Winningest coach: Mike Leach: 84-43
- Wins without winningest coach: 440
- Winningest coach: Don Nehlen: 149-93-4
- Wins without winningest coach: 552
That's a wide variance of wins. It's clear that no man means more to his school than Bill Snyder does to Kansas State. The program has a rather depressing .358 winning percentage if you remove Snyder's win from the equation. He took two seasons to get Kansas State from a perennial doormat to a team above .500. Snyder then went on a historic run that included a Big 12 title in 2003 and two BCS bowl bids.
Don't ever doubt why some consider what Snyder has done in Manhattan as the single greatest coaching job in the history of the game. Snyder's career win percentage at Kansas State is .656, almost double what the program's overall win percentage is. No other coach comes close to those numbers. There's a reason why many of the nation's coaches are often in awe of Snyder and why he is so respected.
The biggest surprise for me was the relative dominance of West Virginia compared to the rest of the Big 12. That .601 win percentage is behind only Texas and Oklahoma over the course of the program's history. And you wonder why folks are so excited about their entrance into the league?
Looking elsewhere, Texas Tech's decision to fire Mike Leach looks worse and worse while the Mike Gundy hire at Oklahoma State looks better and better. Gundy is three wins from passing Pat Jones as the school's biggest all-time winner. He did so in just 89 games while Jones needed 125 matches to reach 62 victories.
Conversely, how about the job Gary Patterson has done at TCU? Sure, the schedule is different, but he's suffered the same amount of losses as Gundy with 50 more wins. He's also reached 109 wins in 62 fewer games than Dutch Meyer.
We're living in the age of some great, great coaches in this league. History shows us that.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
I got a chance to watch College Football Live's recent two-day look at the traditions and greatest players and teams from Texas.
Here are the most recent results of the viewers and readers poll taken in conjunction with the visit, which is part of the program's state-by-state tour leading up to the season.
The results of the poll are up-to-date through noon ET on Wednesday. I'm also including my thoughts on the vote.
Which team is the best in state history?
- 1939 Texas A&M 41 percent
- 2005 Texas 28 percent
- 1938 TCU 27 percent
- 1982 SMU 2 percent
- 1969 Texas 2 percent
Ballots cast: 2,586 votes.
Right or wrong: Wrong.
My take: It's hard to believe there are too many teams better than the 2005 Texas team. It looks like a lot of voters have read Mickey Herskowitz's fine book about that A&M team, elevating them above the others because of the mystique of being the "greatest generation's greatest team."
Who is the best player to play college football at Texas?
- Earl Campbell 55 percent
- Vince Young 27 percent
- Ricky Williams 7 percent
- Bobby Layne 6 percent
- Tommy Nobis 5 percent
Ballots cast: 3,622 votes.
Right or wrong: Right.
My take: Hard to argue with "The Tyler Rose" as the best player in the history of the school.
Who is the best player to play college football at Texas A&M?
- John David Crow 49 percent
- Aaron Glenn 16 percent
- Lester Hayes 15 percent
- Darren Lewis 10 percent
- Johnny Holland 9 percent
Ballots cast: 3,378
Right or wrong: Right.
My take: The school's only Heisman Trophy winner always epitomized to me what an A&M player should be -- tough and determined. But I was surprised that Dat Nguyen, the greatest modern-day defensive player in school history, wasn't included on the list.
Who is the best college player at a school other than Texas or Texas A&M?
- LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU, 36 percent
- Eric Dickerson, SMU, 22 percent
- Sammy Baugh, TCU, 19 percent
- Doak Walker, SMU, 17 percent
- Davey O'Brien, TCU, 7 percent
Ballots cast: 3,742.
Right or wrong: Wrong.
My take: Even with recent familiarity from watching him, how could voters elevate Tomlinson above three iconic figures in Baugh, Walker and O'Brien who all have trophies named after them? My pick would be Walker, but you can't go wrong with either of the other players.
Which coach is the best in state history?
- Darrell Royal, Texas 33 percent
- R.C. Slocum, Texas A&M 30 percent
- Mack Brown, Texas 17 percent
- Dutch Meyer, TCU 11 percent
- Bill Yeoman, Houston 8 percent
Ballots cast: 4,055
Right or wrong: Right
My take: The homespun Royal didn't attend college in Texas, but got there as fast as he could after his playing career.
Missouri remains the last of the Big 12 states to be profiled. The show will examine "the Show-Me State" in detail on July 29.