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Big 12 Power Rankings Week 3: BU and WVU Fall, UT and KU Rise

September 15, 2022

Multiple overtimes, Top 25 ramifications, and the first conference game of the year? Yes, and that's just a sampling of the storylines following a hectic week two in the Big 12. A conference filled with more uncertainty on the field than off for the first time in some time. 

How would I partially describe what we learned last weekend? Would it be strange to place two teams coming off losses at 1-2 in the rankings? Because that's what I'm inclined to do after Saturday, although I won't this time around. 

It's a fascinating time to follow this league, and clarity on the actual pecking order is waiting around the corner. But first, one more slate of non-conference contests following last week's deck shuffling. 

Entering weekend No. 3, here are my latest Big 12 Power Rankings. 

1. OKLAHOMA (W 33-3 vs. Kent State) 

The Sooners needed a TD right before halftime to take a 7-3 lead into the break. But, by the end, the final score was respectable, and certain parts of the stat sheet looked nice. WR Marvin Mims is thriving in this offense.

Some may balk at No. 1, but I'm not rewarding any team first place following a loss and uncertainty at QB. However, I'm also not convinced the Sooners will remain here for very long. 

Beyond the old-school rivalry factor, this is Nebraska, at home in front of another sold-out crowd, with an interim head coach in his first game following the sigh of relief that was Scott Frost's exit. Plus, it's Brent Venables' first road test. So I expect the Red Sea will be rocking with support for Mickey Joseph and their hometown Huskers, creating a challenging atmosphere. 

Up Next: @ Nebraska // Saturday, 11:00 am, FOX 

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

2. TEXAS (L 20-19 vs. No. 1 Alabama) 

The Longhorns were impressive on Saturday, and it's easy to see the reasons for optimism and the case for tops in the Big 12. I hate that 'the Bama loss' now has a sequel in Longhorn lore, but I understand, given their overall performance. If Quinn Ewers stayed healthy, yeah, there's a good shot they win that game. What matters now is how they respond with Ewers on the shelf for an undetermined amount of time. And what kind of time are we talking about before his potential return? The defense looks good, too. Signs of the Patterson effect? I think so, unfortunately. 

The Ewers timeline is the crucial piece of info, big picture, but while he's out, I am very interested to see how Sark handles who's up next at QB.  

For the team, up next is former UT assistant Jeff Traylor and his fearless, battle-tested Roadrunners, who have already played in four OT periods. The Roadrunners are scrappy, but they're probably also exhausted and certainly outmanned. Even then, as I've seen many joking, losing this game after the 'Bama showing would be the most Texas move ever. 

Up Next: Home vs. UTSA // Saturday, 7:00 pm, LHN

3. KANSAS STATE (W 40-12 vs. Missouri) 

The old Big 12 schools were down really bad this week. Nebraska fired their coach after another one-score loss, Colorado is abysmal, and A&M can no longer play pretend. And then there's Mizzou, which just sort of exists. The Tigers weren't a non-con opponent the caliber of 'Bama or BYU, but it was cool to see KSU reignite a rivalry and earn a victory. They pulled off what WVU was unable to back in week one. 

The Wildcats will be rocking some awesome uniforms this weekend with a 1988 retro touch. Adrian Martinez still hasn't found himself as a passer, which will be necessary, but the energy and positivity surrounding the program are clear. 

Up Next: Home vs. Tulane // Saturday, 2:00 pm, BIG 12/ESPN+ 

4. OKLAHOMA STATE (W 34-17 vs. Arizona State) 

Spencer Sanders continues to lead the way for the Pokes. He is their identity at this point, not the offense as a whole (although s/o to Dominic Richardson) or the defense like last season. Although, DC Derek Mason's new defense looked better this week. 

Up Next: Home vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff // Thursday, 6:00 pm, BIG 12/ESPN+ 

5. TEXAS TECH (W/2OT 33-30 vs. No. 25 Houston) 

Congrats to Joey McGuire on earning his first Top 25 win, and in dramatic double over-time fashion against a Top 25 future conference rival, at home. All the flavors were there for a big celebration and feel-good win, and that's what the Red Raiders earned last weekend. The feeling surrounding the program is one of optimism and growing confidence. Belief is a powerful thing, and that's what McGuire has this program high on right now. 

The trip to Raleigh, NC, will be the first road test for these Raiders, so that's an exciting subplot against a ranked team. If Tech wins this game, oh boy, there's no disrupting the hype machine. Back-to-back Top 25 wins would be an incredible start to the McGuire era. 

Up Next: @ No. 16 North Carolina State // Saturday, 6:00 pm, ESPN 2 

6. BAYLOR (L/2OT 26-20 @ No. 21 BYU)

There's no shame in falling to BYU on the road in 2OT last weekend. That dogfight should only benefit this team in the long run, especially since BYU appears to have a solid team. But that won't be the last loss if a few things don't get ironed out over the next few weeks. I've seen people poking holes at Baylor's potential because of the loss. And, I think that's fair until we see more from this offense and QB Blake Shapen. 

Up Next: Home vs. Texas State // Saturday, 11:00 am, FS1

7. IOWA STATE (W 10-7 @ Iowa) 

The unthinkable happened last weekend, as Matt Campbell was finally able to beat the Hawkeyes, and on the road at that. Even in the win, Campbells' bunch produced some of the same boneheaded, "only against Iowa" type of mistakes, as usual. But thanks to a putrid Iowa offense, all the 'Clones needed was 10 points. 

The Cyclones' special teams weren't good, allowing two blocked punts. 

Up Next: Home vs. Ohio // Saturday, 1:00 pm, BIG 12/ESPN + 

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

8. KANSAS (W/OT 55–42 @ WVU) 

How about them, Jayhawks? Lance Leipold and KU are 1-0 in Big 12 play following a thrilling victory in Morgantown, sealed by a pick-six, for the rare 2 TD overtime win. Like with K-State and Texas Tech, the fanbase's belief in the coaching is off the charts and makes a world of difference culturally. I hate they'll have to face speculation every day until jobs get filled. It's inevitable now. But the louder the attention, the more games KU must be winning. 

Houston has played in five overtimes, edging out UTSA in San Antonio and falling to Tech in Lubbock. The Cougars are another battle-tested team, and now at home, but how much did it cost them? 

KU's start added a little spice to yet another New Big 12 preview contest. 

Up Next: @ Houston // Saturday, 3:00 pm, ESPNU 

9. TCU (W 59-17 vs. Tarleton) 

The Frogs are 2-0 but haven't played anyone of substance. With Chandler Morris out, Max Duggan carved up Tarleton for 5 TD. I need to see more from TCU, but that will have to wait until next week when they battle an excellent SMU team for the Iron Skillet. 


10. WEST VIRGINIA (L/OT 55-42 vs. Kansas) 

Was there any doubt? There's not as much shame in losing to KU as there was even a year ago, but that's not a saving grace for Neal Brown. His buyout number of $16 million, on the other hand? Maybe a saving grace. 

The Mountaineers could be one of the best winless teams in the country. So, Towson is coming to town at the perfect time because Brown and company need a win to feel good about their efforts soon. After that, though, road trips to Virginia Tech and Texas. So, this seat is warm and probably not cooling off anytime soon, buyout or not. 

Up Next: Home vs. Towson // Saturday, 12:00 pm, BIG 12/ESPN+  

Discussion from...

Big 12 Power Rankings Week 3: BU and WVU Fall, UT and KU Rise

1,594 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Bakersdozen
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Well, I ain't no camel!
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Amazing how many people saw UT as strong instead of 'Bama as weaker. Good crowd in Austin, like in Provo, made a difference.
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