Our first weekly installment of the Big 12 rankings. Remember the criteria, this is not based on a prediction of how the teams will finish. It’;s based on how the teams have played to this point:
1. Oklahoma State (1-0): Some OSU fans in the airport Sunday were sort of mumbling about how the Cowboys didn’t look very good. This after an 18-point win over a middle-of-the-pack SEC team. If the Cowboys had won 41-23, all would seem right. But 21-3 is a jolt to the constitution; the Cowboys aren’t accustomed to those kinds of games. But 21-3 actually is more dominant than 41-23. Same way that 41-23 is more dominant than 63-45.
2. TCU (0-1): The Horned Frogs lost to LSU 37-27, but it was a heck of a game. The Frogs had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. They were playing without star defensive end Devonte Fields. And TCU showed that Gary Patterson wasn’t woofing when he talked of having two quarterbacks. Trevone Boykin did indeed share time with Casey Pachall.
3. Texas Tech (1-0): SMU is no power, but still, winning a road game against a decent program, while also starting a true freshman walkon at quarterback? That’s impressive.
4. Oklahoma (1-0): Alternative universe — OU’s defense was dominant, and its quarterback couldn’t throw straight. The Trevor Knight era debuted a little unevenly.
5. Texas (1-0): A 56-7 win over New Mexico State is what the Longhorns ought to do. A 7-0 deficit late in the second quarter against one of the nation’s worst programs is not what the Longhorns ought to do.
6. Baylor (1-0): The Bears beat Wofford. It’s going to be awhile before we know how good Baylor is.
7. Kansas State (0-1): Ouch. A loss to North Dakota State to open the season. But the Bison aren’t your typical I-AA opponent. They are completely capable of winning such a game.
8. Kansas (0-0): On a weekend when the Big 12 went 2-2 against I-AA opponents, and was lucky to get .500, maybe it was just as well that KU was idle.
9. West Virginia (1-0): Man, this isn’t going well for Dana Holgorsen. The Mountaineers needed a late touchdown to survive I-AA William & Mary 24-17.
10. Iowa State (0-1): Rough weekend in the state of Iowa. Talk about Northern Exposure. Iowa State and Iowa were northern exposed. Iowa lost to Northern Illinois, then Iowa State lost to I-AA Northern Iowa.