Week One of college football saw the same two powerhouses from the Big 12 dominate, as usual: Oklahoma and TCU. With West Virginia close behind, here are The Daily Texan's first Big 12 power rankings of the season.
No. 1, Oklahoma Sooners: No Baker Mayfield, no problem. Just one year after qualifying for the playoff with a rookie head coach, the Sooners once again proved that no loss is too big. Kyler Murray fit seamlessly into the starting quarterback role, and complemented with a strong running game, Oklahoma dispatched a Florida Atlantic squad on a 10-game win streak, 63-14.
No. 2, TCU Horned Frogs: Matched up with an inferior opponent, TCU played a flawless game last Saturday. In a 55-7 win over Southern, Gary Patterson looks to have a reliable quarterback for the future in Shawn Robinson, who finished with a 71 percent completion rate and five total touchdowns.
No. 3, West Virginia Mountaineers: Senior quarterback Will Grier kicked off his 2018 Heisman campaign with an exclamation point in Charlotte, North Carolina. The gunslinger accounted for five touchdowns on 429 yards in a neutral-site stampede over Tennessee. The Mountaineers’ unblemished record could last for a while, as they don’t face TCU, Oklahoma State or Oklahoma until the final three weeks.
No. 4, Oklahoma State Cowboys: No coach in the Big 12 consistently exceeds expectations quite like Mike Gundy. The Cowboys saw plenty of overhaul this offseason with the mass exodus of senior talent. But once again, Oklahoma State is hanging on the fringe of the AP Poll after posting 58 points on Morgan State.
No. 5, Iowa State Cyclones: A weather delay postponed the Cyclones’ opener, so we have yet to see Matt Campbell’s squad after dramatic improvement in 2017. With premier junior running back David Montgomery leading the charge, Iowa State opens shop Saturday in hopes of snatching the Cy-Hawk Trophy from its hated rival Iowa.
No. 6, Texas Longhorns: Another preseason ranking, another season-opening loss. Texas’ nonconference failures have been well-chronicled throughout the Charlie Strong and Tom Herman eras. For the second-straight year, the Longhorns fell to Maryland despite entering the game as heavy favorites. Texas must turn the ship around, and quick, as it faces both USC and TCU later in September.
No. 7, Texas Tech Red Raiders: As usual, Texas Tech’s defense faltered in the 2018 opener. The Red Raiders yielded 47 points to Ole Miss despite a strong showing from sophomore wide receiver T.J. Vasher. Saturday should be a cakewalk though, as Texas Tech hosts Lamar.
No. 8, Baylor Bears: Baylor shouldn’t have to wait too long to rise back to bowl contenders. Matt Rhule’s program recovered from a 1–11 season by matching its win total after a Week One win over the FCS’s Abilene Christian. The difficulty of the schedule will crank up soon, however.
No. 9, Kansas State Wildcats: Bill Snyder’s Wildcats survived a surprise scare from South Dakota in Manhattan on Week One. Kansas State was required to claw back from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit in order to stave off the upset. A win is a win, 1–0 is 1–0.
No. 10, Kansas Jayhawks: Kansas lost to an FCS team — again. The Jayhawks have more FCS losses (two) in the David Beaty era than FBS victories (one).