We're only two weeks into the season, and the Big 12 is already down to just three undefeated teams: Baylor, Texas and West Virginia. The conference's top three teams in the preseason Power Rankings (Oklahoma, TCU and Oklahoma State) have all taken a loss. Another Big 12 team with big expectations (Texas Tech) gave up 68 points on Saturday. What a ridiculous start to this season.
Here’s how we're ranking the Big 12 teams after Week 2:
1. Texas (previous ranking: 1): Texas’ offense was banged up after going 12 rounds with Notre Dame, but Shane Buechele still did his thing in a 41-7 win over UTEP with four TDs on 22 of 27 passing. The Horns won’t play another home game until Oct. 15. Time to put all the hype to the test on the road, starting with a night game at Cal.
2. Baylor (3): The Bears’ defense took over a surprisingly close game (6-6 at the half) with three much-needed interceptions -- two from safety Orion Stewart, including a well-timed pick-six -- to pull away and knock off SMU 40-13. That’s a good sign from this team on a day when quarterback Seth Russell wasn’t playing his best ball.
3. Oklahoma (4): Quarterback Baker Mayfield and the running game (288 yards) got back to business against Louisiana-Monroe with a 59-17 win. The Sooners, up 42-0 at the half, got to build up some confidence and depth in this one. They looked a little bit better in the secondary with freshman Parrish Cobb getting the start at corner. We’ll see if they’re ready for Ohio State next weekend.
4. West Virginia (7): Quarterback Skyler Howard (five passing TDs) and the Mountaineers racked up 624 yards on Bo Pelini’s Youngstown State defense in a 38-21 win and even compelled Pelini to commit an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Never change, Bo. Another angry coach: West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson called the Mountaineers’ performance on defense “embarrassing.” They’ll need their A-game next week against BYU.
5. TCU (5): Coach Gary Patterson said it best after TCU's exhausting 41-38 double-overtime loss to Arkansas: The Horned Frogs have been making way too many mistakes. They deserve credit for turning a 20-7 deficit into a 28-20 lead late. That took guts. But TCU only needed a 28-yard field goal to finish off the Hogs in regulation, only to see the kick get blocked. They can still contend for a Big 12 title, but Patterson’s defense has work to do.
6. Oklahoma State (2): Bumping the Cowboys down this low after a game they technically should have won probably seems unfair. But even before the untimed down, their performance against Central Michigan was concerning. Chippewas quarterback Cooper Rush gave the Cowboys' defense a lot of problems, and Oklahoma State still hasn’t shown much trust in its running game. Next up: Pitt, Baylor and Texas. That’s one tough three-game stretch.
7. Kansas State (8): Considering the losses the Big 12 has been taking through two weeks, the close fight K-State gave No. 7 Stanford on the road a week ago is already looking better and better. The Wildcats were off this week and get back in action against Florida Atlantic and Missouri State the next two weeks before a challenging slate of Big 12 games, starting with a trip to West Virginia.
8. Texas Tech (6): Nothing you can say about Texas Tech’s defense is meaner than what Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage did to it with his NCAA-record-tying eight touchdowns on just 15 touches in a 68-55 Sun Devils win. For the third time in their last 12 games, the Red Raiders scored 50-plus on offense and still couldn’t win. When will the defensive woes finally stop?
9. Kansas (9): The Jayhawks couldn’t convert their win over Rhode Island into much momentum, losing 37-21 to Ohio. A stat that’s hard to fathom: Kansas’ offense was only on the field for 16 minutes in this game. But that’s what happens when you muff two punt returns, get stopped for a safety and can only muster 26 rushing yards.
10. Iowa State (10): Even in bad years, the Cyclones usually still find a way to keep it competitive against Iowa. They never got close to competitive in a 42-3 loss to their No. 16-ranked rival on Saturday. Their long list of problems starts with their offensive line play and all the penalties. Nobody expected to see Joel Lanning and Mike Warren struggle this much, either.