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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 1

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The Lone Star State received a damaging blow to their Texas-size egos in Week 1.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Texas John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

In Austin, Texas, an offseason of sledgehammers, locker-room TVs, and big-time recruiting momentum had the Walmart/Dallas Cowboys fans back on the UT bandwagon. And who could blame them? The media was so very ready to see the Longhorns pick up where Tom Herman’s Houston Cougars left off — so excited that Texas was voted No. 23 in the preseason AP Top 25 — despite a total of zero winning seasons since 2014. All of that preseason buzz came to a sobering end in Week 1, when the storied Maryland Terrapins rolled into town and put up 51 on the Longhorns. And so we’ve been had again. Yes, I had Texas at No. 2 in last week’s power rankings. And while I was duped, at least my projections weren’t based on some hokey gimmick.

So, here’s where we stand heading into a huge Week 2 for the conference.

1.Oklahoma: The Sooners took care of business with a 56-7 win over UTEP for head coach Lincoln Riley’s first win. This week they’ll carry the Big 12 banner into Columbus, Ohio, in one of the game’s premier nonconference matchups. Ohio State won at Oklahoma last season, 45-24.

2. Oklahoma State: With most of America looking to watch anything but baseball, the Cowboys got a few more eyeballs on their early Thursday game against Tulsa. They didn’t disappoint, scoring three touchdowns on their first three possessions en route to a 59-24 win. They’re becoming a sexy pick nationally, but remember, Iowa State should have beaten them last season. That’s enough to keep them at No. 2 for now.

3. Kansas State: The Jesse Ertz-led Wildcats were slow out of the gates before eventually crushing Central Arkansas, which was tough for me, as that’s my favorite part of the state.

4. West Virginia: It’s never a good sign when the fourth-ranked team in the conference is 0-1, but here we are. Sure, Virginia Tech is a nice team, but the Big 12 is once again missing opportunities to create high-profile matchups later in the season.

5. TCU: The Horned Frogs are the lone representative of the state of Texas in the AP Top 25 this week. TCU comes in at No. 23 with a big game against Arkansas this Saturday.

6. Iowa State: I’ve got the Cyclones at six by process of elimination. They avenged their loss last season to Northern Iowa in a 42-24 win over the Panthers in Week 1. Jacob Park’s decision to hide his ponytail in his helmet made the Cyclones a strong contender for the fifth position.

7. Texas Tech: It’s September which means all is well in Lubbock. The ball is flying around with no resistance. Kliff Kingsbury’s tan is well-balanced, his five o’clock shadow well-maintained. The Red Raiders were kind of impressive last week, beating Eastern Washington, 56-10, in a game some had predicted as an upset.

8. Kansas: Welcome to the Big Show, Jayhawks. I’m not a power ranking archivist, but I have to think this is the first time Kansas has been above ninth in years. I’m also starting to worry about the game in Ames.

9. Texas: My first instinct when watching Maryland decimate the Texas defense was to lament the Big 12’s loss. But, as their fans threw garbage on the field, and you remember all of the expansion drama, the abysmal Longhorn Network programming, the perpetually empty stadiums and arenas on campus, and worst of all, the loafers - oh my god, these freakin’ loafers - you can’t help but feel real and lasting happiness.

10. Baylor: KARMA REIGNS SUPREME. Welcome back, Bears!