I thought this column would be fun to write throughout the season. Little did I know that the Big 12 had a Zoom meeting in August to say “What if everyone just beat each other and created no separation?” So through 3 weeks of games, Oklahoma State is the conference’s only unbeaten team. Kansas State and Iowa State are the only other teams without a conference loss. 3 of my top 5 teams from last week lost, including a Texas team that lost at home to TCU to fall from the top spot. Take this all with a grain of salt because in 7 days when we re-rank, I’m sure it will all be turned over again.
1. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 3, Beat Kansas 47-7)
Congrats to the Cowboys. The nicest thing I can say about them is that they take care of business. After a terrible opener, they’ve handled West Virginia and Kansas the last 2 weeks. With all the Big 12’s playoff hopes on them now, they travel to Waco where they’ll inevitably lose.
2. Kansas State (Last Week: 5, Beat Texas Tech 31-21)
Maybe we should throw out the non-conference games for every team as an indicator. After losing to Arkansas State, I wrote off the Wildcats. That was my mistake. Now with a road win over Oklahoma and a solid home win over Texas Tech, Farmageddon 2020 could eventually be for a trip to Dallas. Before we get that far, the Fightin’ Snyders have a huge road game at TCU. Again, this team could be in for a quick tumble down the rankings.
3. Iowa State (Last Week: 6, Beat Oklahoma 37-30)
Last week was what I like to call a “measuring stick” game. The Cyclones managed to take down OU in Ames for the first time in 60 years and the best thing for this fanbase is that they could’ve played better. The talent disparity that usually exists between Oklahoma and the not-as-strong recruiters was not present in this game. Breece Hall is making an early case for 1st team all-conference, and maybe the Doak Walker Award should be taking notice.
4. TCU (Last Week: 9, Beat Texas 33-31)
Kudos to the Frogs. Max Duggan looks like the most improved player in the league. Gary Patterson’s defense will keep improving. This team looks much better than expected, and again is probably due to rust from game 1.
5. Texas (Last Week: 1, Lost to TCU 33-31)
DEFINITELY NOT BACK. Tom Herman is the worst coach in the country as a favorite. It’s been beaten down over and over, but Sam Ehlinger is 6-5 in Big 12 games since the infamous Sugar Bowl moment. The Longhorns should not be given the benefit of the doubt at this point. This is an average team with a bad defense. The 2020 Red River looks like the worst one in years.
6. West Virginia (Last Week: 8, Beat Baylor 27-21)
Looks like the Mountaineers have their calling. The defense, specifically the defensive line, made things miserable for Baylor. They had a couple of nice breaks (the Baylor TD that wasn’t in the 4th quarter), and took care of business in overtime. Kansas comes to Morgantown this week, making a 2-1 start in Big 12 play likely.
7. Baylor (Last Week: 2, Lost to West Virginia 27-21)
I expected Baylor to lose at West Virginia. Winning on the road in conference play is hard. But my goodness did the offense look bad. I’m not sure if that means West Virginia is a good defense (probably!). But Charlie Brewer looks like himself. Decent, but not exactly a game breaker.
8. Oklahoma (Last Week: 4, Lost to Iowa State 37-30)
I’ll preface this by saying I know this is too low. But what choice have the Sooners given me? 0-2 in Big 12 play. Back-to-back losses to unranked teams for the first time since 1994. The good news is Spencer Rattler looks legit. They’ll be heard from again, probably after beating Texas this weekend.
9. Texas Tech (Last Week: 7, Lost to Kansas State 31-21)
Tech is in an interesting place this year. Their record won’t reflect the quality of the team. They just don’t know how to win yet. And as unpredictable as the Big 12 is this year, it looks like the bottom of the conference is coming into form. Of course, I’ll expect to be proven wrong about them soon, just hopefully not this weekend.
10. Kansas (Last Week: 10, Lost to Oklahoma State 47-7)
As the old saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.