The Bears move ahead of Oklahoma this week after completely dominating SMU. The nation already knows how much redshirt senior quarterback Bryce Petty and Baylor can score, but we didn’t know if the Bears’ defense could stop opponents. They answered that question mark with an exclamation point in week one. Baylor gave up just 67 total yards to SMU. The defensive front dominated with eight sacks, pressuring SMU into three turnovers. If Baylor can keep up this defensive pace, they will be tough to beat.
The Sooners lived up to expectations against Louisiana Tech, building a 38-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. They were solid all-around, as both the offense and defense looked great. They weren’t as dominant as Baylor, and redshirt sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight wasn’t as dominant as the Sooners would have liked. Nonetheless, it will be between them and Baylor for the Big 12 crown.
3. Kansas State
The Wildcats rolled against Stephen F. Austin, showing that they are a much-improved team compared to last year. Similar to Oklahoma, nothing screamed out greatness, but as a unit, they are a well-oiled machine. They will be a tough matchup for nearly everyone.
The loss of redshirt junior quarterback David Ash and redshirt senior center Dominic Espinosa hurt, but the play of the defense is really encouraging. The Texas defense was almost as dominant as Baylor’s, holding the Mean Green scoreless and to just 94 total yards. If the pass defense can be even close to as good in conference games as they were against North Texas, the Longhorns will find a way to stick around at the top of the Big 12 standings.
5. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys gave the defending national champions quite the scare, losing by just a score to Florida St. They aren’t as good as last year, but they proved in week one that they aren’t going to take nearly as big of a step back as some anticipated.
To the pleasure of Horned Frog fans, redshirt junior quarterback Trevone Boykin looked good, accumulating nearly 350 total yards. Granted it was against Samford, but TCU proved that it just might be something this year.
7. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders had to hang on to beat a pesky, but not overly talented, Central Arkansas team at home. It was a reminder of what was already known: sophomore quarterback Davis Webb is really good — 452 yards and four touchdowns — and the Texas Tech defense is really bad — 406 total yards allowed and zero turnovers forced.
8. West Virginia
The Mountaineers played respectably against Alabama, looking efficient on defense and offense. They struggled against the run however, allowing 288 rushing yards, and that can be costly in the Big 12.
9. Iowa State
Losing to North Dakota State isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds, as the Bison are the best FCS team in the country. Allowing 34 unanswered points after leading 14-0 is as bad as it sounds. The Cyclones were shaky on both sides of the ball and proved they deserve their spot at the bottom of these power rankings.
The Jayhawks were the lone Big 12 team off last week. It may be the best week they have all year.