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Big 12 Power Rankings: Week Three

An awful weekend for the Big 12

Just a brutal week for the Big 12, especially against non-Power Five opponents. Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, Houston, and Kansas State all lost with ISU, OSU, and Cincinnati losing to Ohio, Miami (OH), and South Alabama.

Teams who had a good week included Texas, Oklahoma and BYU, as the Cougars fought hard and stole a win at Arkansas. The top two remain untouched, but there was movement inside the top 6.

1. Texas (3-0)

This Wyoming game was more important than what some people would think. As we’ve seen these past couple of years, whenever Texas secures a big win, they come out flat and drop the next game. They did come out flat to start, but the Longhorns and Ewers turned it around in the fourth quarter to secure a 31-10 victory. Running back Jonathan Brooks contributed 164 yards on 21 carries to help out Texas as well. Now with conference play beginning, they head to Baylor in hopes of starting Big 12 play with a win.

Next Week: @ Baylor

2. Oklahoma (3-0)

The Sooners have scored 73, 28, and 66 in their first three games of the season. They have also allowed less than 18 points in each game. They are playing excellent on all sides of the ball as they turn to conference play. Gabriel connected on five passing touchdowns against Tulsa, while three Oklahoma receivers had over 110 receiving yards. Nic Anderson showed out with three catches, 120 yards, and three touchdowns on just three receptions. Can the Sooners keep up the great work on both sides in conference play?

Next Week: @ Cincinnati

3. Kansas (3-0)

A 31-24 victory over Nevada isn’t impressive usually, but after this past week in the Big 12 it’s better than most. Daniels was held to zero touchdowns, however he did end up throwing 298 yards. Devin Neal saved the offense with his 89 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. It was a solid road win as Kansas’ schedule gets a little rough. They get BYU at home, Texas on the road, and head back home to face UCF.

Next Week: vs. BYU

4. UCF (3-0)

No Plumlee no problem? Well it was fine for this week as the Golden Knights beat the brakes off of Villanova 48-14. Backup quarterback Timmy McClain threw two touchdowns and over 300 passing yards. Kobe Hudson also had himself a day, catching six catches for 147 yards. This was all fun and games but with conference play starting without their starting quarterback, it’s going to get a lot tougher. As of now, Plumlee is listed as out for the next two weeks. Will UCF be able to battle their way through it?

Next Week: @ Kansas State

5. BYU (3-0)

After the slow offense start in week one, BYU has turned it on. 41 points in week two and 38 at Arkansas as they head into Big 12 play 3-0. Slovis played well and protected the ball. Two touchdowns and 167 passing yards for Slovis as BYU took down Arkansas 38-31. Their defense racked up four sacks, one interception, and forced two fumbles as the Cougars are riding high.

Next Week: @ Kansas

6. TCU (2-1)

Now that’s a heck of a win to start conference play! 36-13 and they control the game from the start. Chandler Morris threw for 314 yards, two touchdowns, and ran for 53 yards. Emani Bailey had his way on the ground, running for 126 yards and a touchdown. After getting embarrassed in week one by Colorado, the TCU defense is getting back into shape. They forced two turnovers and came away with six sacks as well. Now Houston isn’t a top-tier team in the conference, but starting 1-0 in the conference record is always nice. With their very favorable schedule, TCU may slowly get back into the Big 12 race.

Next Week: vs. SMU

7. Kansas State (2-1)

To start it off, I personally think Missouri isn’t that bad. However ranked at no. 15, Kansas State had many opportunities to win that game. Will Howard threw three touchdowns but also threw a pick and couldn’t move the ball towards the end of the game. The defense was a big question mark coming into the season and Saturday’s performance didn’t help. Brady Cook to came into the game looking below average and threw for 356 passing yards and two touchdowns. Mevis’ kick was impressive and very lucky, yes, but K-State has a lot to figure out on defense.

Next Week: vs. UCF

8. Cincinnati (2-1)

Just a tough loss for the Bearcats right before they welcome Oklahoma to their place as Big 12 play begins. This was a perfect look-ahead game. Miami (OH) is a solid squad, but it seems Cincinnati had their eyes on the next opponent. Emory Jones did not show up, completing just 18 of his 34 passes while throwing two picks. The 31-24 defeat in overtime at home has to take an effect on the team. There won’t be the same juice next Saturday in the stadium, but surely the Bearcats will be ready to play as the Sooners come to town.

Next week: vs. Oklahoma

9. Texas Tech (1-2)

From start to finish Texas Tech owned their football game. Now I just won’t announce that their opponent was Tarleton State. Oops just did. The 41-3 was expected so the praise for the Red Raiders won’t be too high. Tahj Brooks owned the ground game with 19 carries for 158 rushing yards. Now the Red Raiders will hit the country roads and face West Virginia.

Next Week: @ West Virginia

10. Iowa State (1-2)

Offense? Never heard of her. Some of the team having food poisoning sure doesn’t help, but 38 total rushing yards on 23 rushes is the recipe for a loss. The passing game didn’t look the worst, especially with both Becht’s interceptions not totally being his fault. Regardless it was another awful outing for the offense. Nothing was able to get it going, and when they got into field goal range, the Cyclones found new ways to not score. The defense did their thing AGAIN but if the offense can’t score double digits then you aren’t winning many games. A possible get-right game now approaches with Oklahoma State coming to Ames. They too are coming off an awful loss so the battle of losers will produce at least one winner next Saturday.

Next Week: vs. Oklahoma State in the Loser Bowl

T11. Oklahoma State (2-1)

Yikes! They were not pretty one bit. South Alabama went into Stillwater and kicked their butt and took their lunch. They led 23-0 at halftime and eventually won 33-7. The Jaguars QB Carter Bradley threw two touchdowns and running back La’Damian Webb ran for 151 yards and scored two touchdowns of his own. Those two took the momentum from the start and never let it go. The Cowboys played three QBs on Saturday, Gunnar Gundy, Alan Bowman, and Garret Rangel. All three combined for 114 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception. Disappointing to say the least. Next week’s game in Ames becomes even more important with facing both Kansas State and Kansas in the following weeks.

Next Week: @ Iowa State in the Loser Bowl

T11. Baylor (1-2)

Tied with the Cowboys at no. 11 is the Baylor Bears. They move down one spot after a 30-7 victory against Long Island University. It was a good game of football from Baylor but the opponent they faced didn’t have much talent. I take that back, Long Island University had zero talent. One note from the game is running back Dawson Pendergrass. He came into the game with one carry for two yards. Pendergrass then ran for 111 yards on 21 carries along with scoring a touchdown. Then again it was against an FCS school so does it really count?

Next Week: vs. Texas

13. West Virginia (2-1)

Country roads are taking Pitt home (with a L). One could consider this as West Virginia’s Super Bowl, especially with the rough season expected when they enter Big 12 play. But the Mountaineers came to play, not allowing a touchdown throughout the game, and not even a score in the second half. Running Back CJ Donaldson steered the offense in the right direction, running for 102 yards and one touchdown. The defense intercepted the Panthers three times in the win as well. The good win could possibly build some momentum heading into a very winnable game against Texas Tech.

Next Week: vs. Texas Tech

14. Houston (1-2)

And at the bottom of the barrel is Houston. Their first-ever Big 12 matchup did not go as planned. After trailing 20-13 at halftime, they were held scoreless through the rest of the game and were defeated easily, 36-13. Donovan Smith continues to have a below-average start to his season as a Cougar, throwing for just 225 yards and two interceptions, with no touchdowns. Their only touchdown of the game came from a kickoff return in the second quarter. Next week they should be able to get back on track as they soon will deep dive into their new conference.

Next Week: vs. Sam Houston