With week 3 in the books and conference play just around the corner, the Big 12 is looking even tougher than expected. From here on out, the stakes only get higher. With Mayfield, Rudolph, and Grier leading the way, this conference features some of the best Quarterbacks in the nation. Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s Big 12 Power Rankings.
1. Oklahoma (#3): Even after a rather slow start, the Oklahoma Sooners continue to prove why they are considered one of the best teams in nation. This last week, Oklahoma gashed the Tulane defense for 631 yards total offense in a 56-14 blowout. Baker Mayfield and the Sooners look to keep this hot streak going as they head down to Waco to take on the winless Baylor Bears (0-3).
2. Oklahoma State (#6): Experts are starting to take notice of this year’s Oklahoma State team, and for good reason. Mason Rudolph is one of the elite quarterbacks in college football and he showed it this past week, throwing for 497 yards and 5 touchdowns on 23/32 passing in a dominating victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers. Next week the Cowboys face their first real test of the season as they host the No. 16 ranked TCU Horned Frogs to begin conference play.
3. TCU (#16): In what started off looking like a real contest, SMU was able to jump out to a quick lead by catching the TCU defense off guard, utilizing a variety of trick plays. The second half was where the Horned Frogs really took over the game, scoring on a pair of Darius Anderson touchdown runs, a Kenny Hill touchdown pass, as well as a pick six by senior Linebacker Travin Howard. Junior Quarterback Kenny Hill finished with 365 yards and 4 touchdowns in what turned out to be a 56-36 win over the Mustangs. With conference play here, all eyes will be on next week’s TCU vs Oklahoma State (3-0) matchup.
4. West Virginia: Last Week the West Virginia Mountaineers made quick work of a weak Delaware State team behind another stellar performance from Justin Crawford (105 yards and 3 touchdowns on 15 rush attempts) and Will Grier (304 yards and 3 touchdowns on 19/27 passing). WVU did however turn the ball over three times this game which could be a concern moving forward. The Mountaineers will begin Big 12 play on the road taking on the Kansas Jayhawks (1-2).
5. Kansas State: In last week’s matchup, the Wildcats struggled to get anything going against a stout Vanderbilt defense. Quarterback Jesse Ertz had a very rough game through the air, only passing for 76 yards on top of throwing 2 interceptions. KSU’s defense however was able to keep them in the game, holding Vanderbilt to 65 yards on the ground. Kansas State also had a D.J. Reed punt return touchdown called back due to a costly block in the back call, as well as a Kendall Adams fumble return TD called back due to a booth review that is being questioned by the Big 12. At the end of the day, small errors killed the Wildcats, as they went on to lose 14-7. Next week Kansas State will serve their bye week before hosting Baylor (0-3) on September 30th.
6. Texas: Texas is improving fast. In Saturday’s overtime thriller versus Pac 12 powerhouse USC, the Longhorns showed flashes of being a really tough team. Their defense forced Sam Darnold into throwing 2 interceptions, one of which was a pick six. On the offensive side of the ball, despite having hardly any run game (averaged only 1.9 yards per rush attempt), sophomore receiver Collin Johnson proved he is a matchup nightmare for any team, recording 7 catches for 191 yards against an undersized USC secondary. Unfortunately for Texas, All-American tackle Connor Williams went down with season ending knee injury. Without Williams, the Texas O-line gave up 5 sacks, which could spell trouble moving forward. In overtime, the Longhorns ended up losing on a Sam Ehlinger fumble leading to a chip shot game winning field goal for USC. After serving their bye week this weekend, Texas will head up to Ames to take on Iowa State (2-1).
7. Texas Tech: Coming off of their bye week, Texas Tech took on Arizona State in what turned out to be an offensive shootout. Texas Tech seems to be back to their trademark “all offense, no defense” style of play, giving up nearly 500 yards of offense. Quarterback Nic Shimonek did however prove his worth throwing for 543 yards and 6 touchdowns in an eventual 52-45 win over the Sun Devils. Next week the Red Raider will take on the Houston (2-0) in what should be a good test for them.
8. Iowa State: In their final non conference game, the Iowa State Cyclones dominated the Akron Zips 41-14, behind a 317 yard and 2 touchdown day from quarterback Jacob Park. The Cyclone O-line also shined, clearing way for running back David Montgomery (127 yards and 2 touchdown) while not allowing any sacks. Up next for the Cyclones are the 1-2 Texas Longhorns next week.
9. Baylor: On the bright side, Baylor actually looked like a FBS team this week. After Anu Solomon’s poor performance the week prior, Baylor decided to start sophomore Zach Smith at QB against the Blue Devils. Unfortunately for Baylor, Smith went on to throw 3 picks, and their run defense looked awful giving up 246 yards on the ground. Duke went on to win this one 34-20. Next, the Baylor Bears will take on Oklahoma (3-0) in a game the could get out of hand really fast.
10. Kansas: If you thought the Central Michigan loss hurt, this one was worse. More and more missed assignments are showing up which is very concerning. Last Saturday, Kansas traveled up to Ohio to take on the Bobcats. After looking completely shell-shocked in the first quarter the Jayhawks found themselves playing from behind early, which if you’ve watched this team before you know is not a good sign. KU did manage to get back in this game due to one of the loan bright spots of the Jayhawk offense, running back Khalil Herbert—who ran for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, it was too little to late and Kansas ended up losing 42-30. After back to back losses, KU will look to bounce back next week as they host West Virginia (2-1).