The Horned Frogs didn’t look great in their 23-17 win over Minnesota last week, but the Golden Gophers gave them a bit of trouble last season as well. Still, TCU beat a solid Big 10 team on the road and remains the best team in the conference. With its next three games coming against SFA, SMU and Texas Tech, TCU’s offense should put up crazy numbers.
The Bears struggled in the first half of their game against SMU on the road, but went on to win 56-21. The big news for Baylor is that junior quarterback Seth Russell got the start and didn’t disappoint, passing for five touchdowns and rushing for one more. With him at the helm, Baylor remains in the hunt for the Big 12 title.
Junior Baker Mayfield made his debut as the Oklahoma starting quarterback and was sensational, passing for 388 yards and three touchdowns. Of course, that came against Akron, but Mayfield will get a chance to prove he’s the real deal on the road against Tennessee on Saturday. Assuming Mayfield is a success, the Sooners may end up as a dark-horse contender in the Big 12.
4. West Virginia
The biggest question for the Mountaineers was how they planned to replace Clint Trickett at quarterback. Junior Skyler Howard answered that question, passing for 359 yards and two touchdowns in West Virginia’s 44-0 win against Georgia Southern. Plus, the defense allowed no points and came up with four interceptions. Not a bad start for the Mountaineers.
5. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys were underwhelming in their season opener, beating Central Michigan 24-13. The bright side is that sophomore quarterback Mason Rudolph looked good, throwing for 266 yards and a touchdown. Expect them to improve as the season goes along.
6. Kansas State
The good news is the Wildcats did what they were supposed to do in Week 1, downing South Dakota 34-0. The bad news is they lost sophomore quarterback Jesse Ertz for the season.
7. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders’ defense has a lot to work on after allowing Sam Houston State to score 45 points and pile up 637 total yards. But, Texas Tech’s offense put up 59 points in part thanks to a 425-yard and four-touchdown passing game from sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the win. The Red Raiders have plenty to clean up, but they’ll be entertaining offensively.
The Longhorns left South Bend, Indiana, with even more questions after an embarrassing 38-3 loss to Notre Dame. Should redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard start at quarterback? Can they overcome growing pains from a young defense and offensive line? Hopefully a win against Rice can answer some of those.
9. Iowa State
The Cyclones downed Northern Iowa 31-7 at home, but that’s far from a statement win. They’re still a bottom-tier Big 12 team until proven otherwise.
Losing to a FCS school by fumbling a spike attempt which would have set up a game winning field goal is a nice indication about what kind of season is in store for the Jayhawks.
Correction: Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a sophomore, not a freshman.