Sep 26, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; The Baylor Bears celebrate the win over the Rice Owls at McLane Stadium. The Bears defeat the Owls 70-17. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
An eventful opening weekend in the Big 12 made for some high-scoring and/or strange outcomes, with plenty of late-game drama to go around.
The conference certainly had it’s share of close finishes in games that actually mattered over the weekend, and a few other non-conference matchups that didn’t come anywhere close to equaling the excitement. Several other teams got the week off ahead of some rather big games.
Cincy on the Prowl
This past Saturday also marked the end of non-conference play, and things are now in full swing beginning this weekend, with plenty of meetings on the slate that will go a long way in sorting out this current mess.
The top of the conference is still wide open, although there appears to be some separation slowly happening, hence the new No. 1 this week.
With that said, here’s how this week’s Big 12 football power rankings fall to the Pokes Post committee of one, in ascending order — for maximum suspense.
10. Kansas (previous ranking: 10)
The Jayhawks fell to a head coach-less Rutgers on the road 27-14 on Saturday, earning them the FBS-record for consecutive non-conference losses with 31, so congrats to them.
It’s pretty easy to make fun of a team that is rebuilding and won’t be winning any games until next year, so how about some positives: True freshman cornerback Tyrone Miller Jr. had 11 tackles with a forced fumble and fumble recovery in the loss, and Kansas managed to allow the Scarlet Knights into the end zone only three times despite giving up over 500 yards and 30 first downs. KU travels to Iowa State this Saturday in what will be their last remotely possible chance of even coming close to a win.
9. Iowa State (9)
Iowa State enjoyed the weekend off, and now get to have another weekend off by playing Kansas at home. This team is incredibly balanced so far this season, but it’s not the good kind of balance:
23.7 points scored per game, 22.7 allowed.
367.0 yards per game, 362.0 allowed.
The Jayhawks will provide a good opportunity on Saturday to alter those stats a little bit. If something goes wrong, look for head coach Paul Rhoads to finally escape Ames for the sunny, warm beaches of Costa Rica, where nobody even knows what a cyclone is.
8. Texas (7)
Honestly, this team should be at least 2-2 right now, and probably even 3-1. Special teams gaffes, controversial penalties, hey — whatever it takes to lose. But really, Jerrod Heard is going to be a star, and this incredibly young team is going to get better and better as the year progresses. The Cowboys were extremely fortunate to escape that game with a win and have played this team so early on in the year. The defense turned a corner in the second half against Oklahoma State, and the Tyrone Swoopes package was incredibly effective. This team might not make a bowl this season, but they sure are going to piss off a few teams, it’s just a matter of who at this point. Beware next season.
7. Kansas State (7)
Not sure what to make of the Wildcats right now. They continue to post some pretty unattractive wins, including the triple-overtime victory over Louisiana Tech back in Week 3. Bill Snyder’s team probably needed the bye week to figure out some better ways to get Joe Hubener a little more up to speed in the passing game. Despite his minimal output, Hubener is yet to make a mistake this season, and probably won’t attempt more than 20 passes against OSU this Saturday. Look for Snyder to play conservative and leave the games in the hands of his defense, who have been extremely solid thus far this season.
6. Oklahoma State (5)
Not much left to say after that twilight zone game in Austin. Mason Rudolph will be fine going forward, and the running game will continue to struggle probably all season. Good thing the Cowboys are playing a Kansas State team that allows 78.3 rushing yards a game. Fortunately for Oklahoma State, the Wildcats are having trouble offensively this season, which should bode well for a Cowboy defense currently giving up just 15.5 points a game. Few teams are better than that — but one of them is K-State, who is surrendering 12.0 per matchup. Sounds to me like a defensive battle is brewing, which might actually be a little easier to watch right now.
Next: No. 5 thru No. 1