After the first week of the 2016 season, we have already shifted our expectations and there is a new leader in the clubhouse.
1. #11 Texas Longhorns – Record, 1-0 (0-0)
It wasn’t always pretty, but Texas looked like it was back in dominant form Sunday night against a very good looking Irish team. Behind their freshman savior, quarterback Shane Buechele, the Longhorn offense amassed 517 yards in the two overtime win.
Texas is indeed back.
Next Three – UTEP, @California, @Oklahoma State
2. #14 Oklahoma Sooners – Record, 0-1 (0-0)
I’m not going to penalize the Sooners too much for losing, on the road, to a rising Houston program. Yes, it’s a bad look for the conference’s most consistent program, but there is time to re-group in Norman and the Sooners will soon have a shot at redemption when Ohio State pays them a visit in two weeks.
Next Three - La-Monroe, Ohio State, @TCU
3. West Virginia Mountaineers – Record, 1-0 (0-0)
West Virginia did their part to help the SEC start the year 7-7 by beating old Big 12 member, Missouri, in Morgantown. Granted, there isn’t enough evidence out there that Missouri (or the SEC, for that matter) will actually be decent this year (chances are, they won’t be), but this was still a solid victory over a Power-5 school that plays in the "best conference in the land."
Next Three – Youngstown State, BYU, K-State
4. #22 Oklahoma State Cowboys – Record, 1-0 (0-0)
Scoring 61 points is impressive - I’ll give the Cowboys that nod at least - but Southeastern Louisiana was not put on the schedule to provide the fans with a nail-biter outcome or high-praise win. Oklahoma State was not challenged in this game, which is probably for the best as their next three opponents will be more likely to show us what really lies beneath the mullet this year.
Next Three – Central Michigan, Pittsburgh, @Baylor
5. #23 Baylor Bears – Record, 1-0 (0-0)
Although the score may not indicate much has changed in Waco – the Bears beat Northwestern State 55-7 in their season opener – new head coach, Jim Grobe, chose not to continue to run up the score on their overmatched opponent in the second half.
I can’t imagine Art Briles was overly pleased to see that.
Next Three – SMU, @Rice, Oklahoma State
6. #15 TCU Horned Frogs – Record, 1-0 (0-0)
If scoring 61 points against an FCS opponent is impressive, having 41 scored against you by South Dakota State, when your program is as highly regarded as TCU’s, is downright embarrassing. And, yet, the 13th ranked Horned Frogs allowed 432 yards of offense to the Jackrabbits, who turned out to be as elusive as their name would imply. Still, TCU managed to win this game 59-41 behind A&M transfer quarterback, Kenny Hill, and his 484 yards of total offense and 5 touchdowns.
Next Three – Arkansas, Iowa State, @SMU
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders – Record, 1-0 (0-0)
The Red Raiders beat Stephen F. Austin 69-17. Patrick Mahomes II threw for 483 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also ran 10 times for 57 yards and two more TD’s. More surprising than those stats, however, is the Tortilla’s defense allowing only 361 total yards on the day.
Next Three – @Arizona State, Louisiana Tech, Kansas
8. Kansas State Wildcats – Record, 0-1 (0-0)
Opening the season with a loss is never ideal. However, losing that game in somewhat respectable manner to a highly ranked opponent on the road, when your team is supposedly on a destination to mediocrity, may not be all that bad. The Wizardcats did what Iowa failed to do in the Rose Bowl - keep the nation’s best player, Christian McCaffrey under 200 yards of total offense.
Next Three – FAU, Missouri State, @West Virginia
9. Iowa St. Cyclones – Record, 0-1 (0-0)
Losing to UNI was not the start any of us were hoping for. But we’re still better than Kansas.
Next Three – @Iowa, @TCU, San Jose State
10. Kansas Jayhawks – Record 1-0 (0-0)
Kansas got their win, as predicted. Now get back in your hole, Jayhawk fans, and don’t come out till November.
Next Three - Ohio, @Memphis, @Texas Tech