Monday, September 24, 2012
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 5
By David Ubben
As expected, we've got a big shake-up in the Big 12 Power Rankings after Kansas State's upset. The Big 12 race is even more wide open now, but we've got a brand-new squad at No. 1.
Without further ado, get your Wabash Cannonballs on, folks.
1. Kansas State (4-0, 1-0, last week: 4) The Wildcats take over the No. 1 spot and have the best two wins of any team in the Big 12. K-State edged Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday and blew out Miami. When K-State plays like that, it's nearly impossible to beat. Controlled game plan. No big mistakes.
2. West Virginia (3-0, last week: 1) Don't fret, West Virginia. The 'Eers are much flashier than K-State, but are they better? The truth is we have no idea, and we'll find out in the weeks to come. Still, for now, there's no debate: Kansas State has beaten better teams than West Virginia and looked pretty good doing it. WVU is prepping for a hyped home game versus Baylor to start the Big 12 era.
3. Texas (3-0, last week: 3) Texas was idle this week, but the Longhorns get to spend the next week waiting to see which Oklahoma State quarterback they'll see. In the meantime, they've got plenty to work on in Austin. Can David Ash keep it up, and can the defense fix its out-of-character tackling woes?
4. Oklahoma (2-1, 0-1, last week: 2) The overreaction in Oklahoma is on. Yes, Oklahoma didn't look very good. Yes, Landry Jones made a lot of big mistakes. But hey, Kansas State is pretty good, and the Wildcats won by five in a game that came down pretty close to the wire. With a late defensive stop, this could have ended very differently. The mood in Soonerville is somber, but the Big 12 race is still wide open. You can't count OU out because of one game just yet. Like coaches always say: "It's never as good as you think, and it's never as bad as you think." That goes for K-State, too.
5. TCU (3-0, 1-0, last week: 6) Virginia's just OK, but if TCU can fix its red zone turnover issues, it'll be a force. The defense has already exceeded expectations, giving up a garbage-time touchdown as its first of the season. The offense is banged up in the running game, but Brandon Carter is the league's breakout star so far this season. For now, give me the Frogs back over the Bears.
6. Baylor (3-0, last week: 5) You can look at that Monroe win in one of two ways: Did Baylor have any business going down two touchdowns? Were you more impressed by Baylor's poise in the comeback, unfazed by a hyped crowd and a pretty good team? Either way, the Bears are undefeated and we'll get a good idea of just how good they are next week in Morgantown.
7. Oklahoma State (2-1, last week: 7) OSU's already got a loss, and Arizona lost a bit of its sheen with a 49-0 loss at Oregon. That's bad news for the Pokes' fortunes. Still, they get a big chance to get back on the national radar with a prime-time game against Texas this week, the first time Texas has visited Stillwater since 2009.
8. Texas Tech (3-0, last week: 8) Texas Tech blew out three bad teams to start its season. The wins looked good, but we still have no idea how good this team is. The Red Raiders got a week off to prepare for Iowa State, but a win there would be a good start toward proving Tech is back. Tommy Tuberville is 0-2 against the Cyclones, including a 41-7 embarrassment in Lubbock a year ago.
9. Iowa State (3-0, last week: 9) Iowa State is doing it ugly, but 3-0 is 3-0, and that doesn't happen very often in Ames. Iowa State is knocking on the door of the top 25, and gets to host Texas Tech next week, a team it's proven it can beat. Will the Cyclones do it again?
10. Kansas (1-3, 0-1, last week: 10) KU blew yet another fourth-quarter lead, and could still easily be 3-1. As the Big 12 tide rises and the nine teams above the Jayhawks play better and better ball, KU looks like it's spinning its wheels a little bit. Somehow, the gap between KU and the rest of the Big 12 seems to be widening a bit. We'll see in conference play. KU is off this week before traveling to Manhattan for a rivalry game against the red-hot Wildcats.