Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 3

Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong

Brendan Maloney/Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

In this week’s power rankings, Texas takes a tumble while the top four holds strong. Let’s get right to it. 

1. Oklahoma (2-0), last week: 1. This week: vs. Tennessee. The Sooners’ defensive line was disruptive and through two games, OU has been nothing but solid in all three phases. The Sooners look like a playoff team so far. 

2. Baylor (2-0), last week: 2. This week: Buffalo (Friday). SMU was really bad (and got dominated by North Texas, 43-6 this week). Northwestern State was worse. Still, I don’t know what else Baylor could do. The offense looked like it hardly missed Bryce Petty and Antwan Goodley on the way to a 70-point outing. The Bears have done that six times in the last 15 games, and threw just three second-half passes against the Demons. 

3. Kansas State (2-0, 1-0) last week: 3. This week: Idle. Iowa State is better than most realize and Jack Trice Stadium isn’t an easy place to play. Jake Waters racked up 377 yards of offense and the Wildcats survived the trip to Ames. Never beat yourself up over a conference road win. K-State is better than it looked in the middle of Saturday’s game when it gave up 28 consecutive points to the Cyclones. 

4. Oklahoma State (1-1), last week: 4. This week: vs. UTSA. OSU ought to be careful this week: The Roadrunners gave Arizona all it could handle on Thursday night. Don’t expect Mike Gundy to surrender much information regarding J.W. Walsh’s health this week, but the safe bet is he won’t be ready next week and Daxx Garman will earn his first start. The buzz is Walsh’s foot injury is not a minor issue.

5. West Virginia (1-1), last week, 6. This week: at Maryland. I really don’t care if it was Towson, who is a very good FCS team. If Clint Trickett is completing 35-of-40 passes, that’s a fantastic sign. The defense was great and pitched a shutout, but Trickett’s efficiency is what I took away from a very solid win on Saturday night. 

6. TCU (1-0), last week: 7. This week: vs. Minnesota. We’ll know a lot more about the Frogs (and their QB situation) after this week’s game against Minnesota. 

7. Texas Tech (2-0), last week: 8. This week: vs. Arkansas. It’s very possible we’re seeing the beginnings of a disappointing year in Lubbock. The Red Raiders almost feel 0-2 after lackluster wins over Central Arkansas and UTEP, who led Tech late in the fourth quarter. The top half of the Big 12 will all be physical teams who want to run the ball and Tech is getting bullied up front too often in its first two games. Add the penalty issues and Tech may struggle when the heart of conference play arrives. This team is not guaranteed to make a bowl game. 

8. Texas (1-1), last week: 5. This week: vs. UCLA in Arlington, Texas. I didn’t think we’d see the wheels come off Texas like this, especially on defense. That 28-0 third quarter looked remarkably similar to what we saw in Provo a year ago, and Texas couldn’t blame its shorthanded offensive line or inexperienced quarterback. The defense let a very good player in Taysom Hill get loose and help BYU rush for 248 yards on the night. 

9. Kansas (1-0), last week: 9. This week: at Duke. The Jayhawks’ opener against FCS SE Missouri State got off to a nice start with a 24-0 first-quarter, but KU was outscored 28-10 the rest of the way. DeAndre Mann and Corey Avery filled in nicely for injured running backs Brandon Bourbon and Taylor Cox, who won’t be on the field this season. Montell Cozart threw three touchdowns but still only completed 50 percent of his passes against an FCS opponent. That’s less than ideal.  

10. Iowa State (0-2, 0-1), last week: 10. This week: at Iowa. The Cyclones are 0-2, but have to be feeling better after hanging tough with K-State. The Cyclones will win multiple Big 12 games this year and the offense is already making strides under Mark Mangino, even without its biggest playmaker, WR Quenton Bundrage. The