Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Big 12 power rankings: Week 2
By David Ubben
Not a ton of movement this week, but congratulations to Kansas, out of last place for the first time since beating Colorado last season.
1. Oklahoma (1-0, last week: 1) The Sooners didn't mess around with a very good Tulsa team and finished with a solid result. Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles did what they do, and no concerns about replacing DeMarco Murray reared their heads against the Golden Hurricane. The running back situation in Norman will be fascinating to watch throughout the season. Roy Finch, last season's change-of-pace back, has currently gone MIA, while walk-on Dominique Whaley is dominating.
2. Texas A&M (1-0, LW: 3) I said A&M would have an opportunity to move ahead of OSU based solely on strength of opponent, and the Aggies' 46-14 win over SMU was about as impressive as anyone could have expected. SMU isn't the top-20 team Mike Sherman says it is, but the Mustangs are quite good. A&M made them look awful.
3. Oklahoma State (1-0, LW: 2) Oklahoma State got jumped more than it fell. The Cowboys' win was easy, albeit flawed with three Brandon Weeden interceptions, but OSU gets a tough test on Thursday night with Mike Stoops' Arizona team headed to Stillwater.
4. Missouri (1-0, LW: 4) Miami (OH) is better than its name suggests, but Missouri's performance was uninspired. James Franklin will get better, but the defense gives him a much bigger margin for error. The Tigers are getting bit by the injury bug of late, though.
5. Baylor (1-0, LW: 5) Baylor nearly jumped Missouri here, but the gap between the two was pretty large for me entering last week. The Bears have closed the gap, now. The Bears had the best win of any Big 12 team in Week 1, and are in great position to start the season 5-0 before a trip to College Station.
6. Texas (1-0, LW: 6) The Longhorns showed some nice upside in their opener against Rice, but will get a nice gut check in Austin against BYU this week. It looks like a toss-up, but Texas can give some tangible evidence that it's back to its old ways with a solid win on Saturday.
7. Texas Tech (1-0, LW: 7) We won't learn much about Texas Tech until it hosts Texas A&M on Oct. 8, but few will take notice of Texas Tech's awful first half, which had it trailing Texas State, 10-9. The Red Raiders bounced back for a huge second half and a 50-10 win.
8. Kansas (1-0, LW: 10) The Jayhawks legitimately looked good against McNeese State, with a newfound athleticism that simply wasn't there in 2010. This time last year, I was lamenting Kansas' lack of talent after a loss to North Dakota State. They've made up a ton of ground by redshirting much of last year's class and signing a good class in 2011. The influx of freshmen for the Jayhawks may pay off very soon.
9. Kansas State (1-0, LW: 8) If you're trailing in the fourth quarter to an FCS team, you have no room to argue any placement on these power rankings. Kansas State and Iowa State both needed late-game heroics to escape embarrassing losses, so take your pick with these two. John Hubert emerged as the go-to running back in Week 1.
10. Iowa State (1-0, LW: 9) Steele Jantz shook off an awful start to rally the Cyclones back, but he'll have to be better for Iowa State to sneak into a bowl game. Three interceptions won't beat many teams with the skill position talent around him needing help from the quarterback spot.