Big 12 Football Power Rankings – Week 1

By Brendan Dzwierzynski | @BrendanDzw on Twitter

One week down and the Big 12 is undefeated. It was a breeze of an opening weekend for a few teams, while it was nerve racking and too close for comfort for others.

For the most part, things are still status quo throughout the league. The best programs dominated and remain at the top. The bottom segment of the rankings are in similar spots for easy-to-assume reasons. But, like the expectations for the standings were before the season kicked off, we’ve already got plenty of chaos in the middle ranks.

1.     Oklahoma (LW: 1) If Jalen Hurts does anything like what he did against Houston on Sunday all season and if the Sooners play a lick of defense, Oklahoma is going undefeated and back to the College Football Playoff. Their offense operates like a hot knife through butter. That is a terrifying squad to face on offense, and defensively there were signs this week that they may not be dreadful. That alone should be filling the rest of the Big 12 with dread.


2.     Texas (LW: 2) The Longhorns did exactly what they needed to do in their opener against Louisiana Tech. Show up at DKR, beat down on a less talented G5 team and stay healthy. Sam Ehlinger looked good and the defense was good enough. The real test for Texas comes up in Week 2 when it hosts LSU. That game could say a lot about the ceiling for the Longhorns.


3.     Oklahoma State (LW: 6) Oklahoma State gets a big bump this week for beating a Power 5 opponent handily, even though the Oregon State Beavers were able to hang around for a while. Spencer Sanders looks like the truth at quarterback, especially with weapons around him like Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace. The Cowboys’ historically effective offense was back to its old ways against in Week 1.


4.     Baylor (LW: 5) Stephen F. Austin isn’t exactly stiff competition for a Big 12 school (or at least it shouldn’t be), but Baylor did what a team in its position should do: Whip up on a weak program. It’s hard to glean anything from a team expecting to go to a bowl beating down on a weak FCS program, but the Bears got the job done.


5.     TCU (LW: 4) The Horned Frogs were 52-point favorites against Arkansas-Pine Bluff this weekend, which was ridiculous in and of itself, but they didn’t exactly look stellar against an FCS team with 13 wins in the last six years. Things got better after the field goal-heavy first half and Alex Delton getting benched, but it wasn’t a particularly impressive Week 1 for TCU.


6.     Iowa State (LW: 3) Iowa State should have lost to Northern Iowa this weekend. They won, but they shouldn’t have. Not to say this is anything more than a blip for the Cyclones, but there are a lot of issues Matt Campbell’s group needs to fix. UNI is a traditionally strong FCS program (and ranked 18th in the preseason FCS top 25) but Iowa State, a program with eyes set on a Big 12 title game appearance, had no business going to three overtime periods with them.


7.     Kansas State (LW: 8) The Chris Klieman era started off on the right foot when K-State bullied Nicholls into submission in Manhattan. It was far from a flawless game, but the early ground-and-pound attack gave us a glimpse at what to expect from the post-Snyder ‘Cats. It was a dominating performance from the whole team deserving of a bump over another team that won a game.


8.     Texas Tech (LW: 7) Texas Tech didn’t do anything to deserve dropping in the rankings this week, in fact the Red Raiders had few problems, if any, with the Montana State Bobcats. K-State was just that dominant in its game. Alan Bowman was as good as advertised in his return to the field, and he’ll continue to be the focal point of the somewhat new-look Texas Tech offense.


9.     West Virginia (LW: 9) The Mountaineers didn’t do themselves any favors with scheduling this year, considering even their FCS opponent was one of the best in the nation. James Madison kept things close against West Virginia even though the favorite was able to hold on. But numbers such as 1.4 yards per carry and a mere 294 yards of offense are still concerning. With more tough games in the nonconference slate and a gruesome Big 12 schedule, West Virginia will need to sort some things out quickly.


10.  Kansas (LW: 10) Given how bad Kansas football has been in the last decade, there were plenty of positives to take from the Jayhawks’ Week 1 win. Les Miles is 1-0, Carter Stanley was resilient, wide receivers stepped up, the defense was stout. At the same time, the offense was grueling to watch at times, the rushing attack wasn’t as potent as it will need to be and things were just somewhat disjointed. It’s a good start for KU, but there’s a long way to go.

For past editions of the power rankings, click here.