It’s been a rough few weeks in the Big 12, but here’s how the league’s teams rank through the first month of the season.
1. Oklahoma State 3-0, last week: 1. This week: at West Virginia: The Cowboys have been solid, and little has come from the SI expose that had OSU brass worried and preemptively apologizing. It’s hard to see any NCAA sanctions coming of the report, and public opinion swayed heavily in favor of the Pokes. A lack of concrete evidence caused some to doubt ex-players’ claims, and the series didn’t allege a whole lot more than most assume goes on on inside plenty of other programs. It’s not been a good couple weeks in Stillwater, but it was a lot better than OSU was expecting.
2. Baylor 3-0, last week: 2. This week: Idle: The Bears are the Big 12’s most fun team to watch, lighting up scoreboards on offense and defense through the season’s first three games. We’re still waiting to see how the Bears look against a legitimate opponent, but you can’t deny that their performance to this point has been outstanding.
3. Oklahoma 3-0, 1-0, last week: 3. This week: at Notre Dame: The Sooners sat at home this week, but a win at Notre Dame on Saturday would be far better than any other nonconference win for a Big 12 team this season.
4. Texas Tech 4-0, 1-0, last week: 4. This week: Idle: The Red Raiders’ win over Texas State wasn’t pretty. However, an improved defense is offering some leeway for an offense that hasn’t looked sharp with a pair of freshmen at the helm for the past two weeks.
5. TCU 1-2, 0-1, last week: 5. This week: vs. SMU: Trevone Boykin inexplicably took a step back once the job was officially his, but he’s had two weeks to prepare to keep the Iron Skillet in Fort Worth. TCU is the third former SWC opponent SMU has played this year. The Frogs’ defense has been a disappointment so far, and DE Devonte Fields’ foot injury may keep him out for an extended period of time.
6. Texas 2-2, 1-0, last week: 8. This week: Idle: The Longhorns move up two spots after a great home win against K-State, but after a bye week and a trip to Iowa State, we’ll see if Texas has any hope of being a Big 12 title contender when it takes on Oklahoma. With Jordan Hicks out for the season and David Ash’s health in doubt, it’s easy to file that K-State victory under “Pyrrhic.”
7. Kansas State 2-2, 0-1, last week: 7. This week: Idle: The loss to Texas was maddening. Two-QB systems work if you have two guys with differing styles, but it can never be as black and white as K-State made it against Texas. Why in the world wasn’t Daniel Sams allowed to attempt a pass? Silly and predictable. The Wildcats are floundering at 2-2 as a result.
8. Kansas 2-1, last week: 9. This week: Idle: The Jayhawks finally got over the hump and won a close game late, but Louisiana Tech would be the worst team in the Big 12, and KU needed late breaks to stay alive before Jake Heaps made the necessary plays to earn the win. Kansas has to get a lot better if its 21-game losing streak in Big 12 will end soon. 9. West Virginia 2-2, 0-1, last week: 6. This week: vs. Oklahoma State: Oof. You think watching Saturday’s 37-0 loss was hard for WVU fans? What about the ones who sat and did so in a downpour in Baltimore? Brutal. WVU’s offense is in big trouble, and hasn’t shown an ability to move the ball consistently against a legitimate opponent. 10. Iowa State 0-2, last week: 10. This week: at Tulsa (Thursday): Iowa State has yet to get in the win column, and every other Big 12 team has at least two wins. This week will mark the third time in 13 months these two teams have played, and they split the first two meetings. Both teams’ 2012 squads were better than the ones we’ll see Thursday night, though.