These days, it seems like the Big 12 is a stack of cards constantly being shuffled with teams falling and rising each week. In a down year for the conference, the Big 12 is ripe for the taking for several teams.
That includes the Texas Longhorns, who in the first two weeks have been about as impressive as any of its conference foes. As we prepare for the third week of college football, we breakdown the leaders of the Big 12 conference.
1. Texas Longhorns (2-0)
Has any team in the country surprised more than the Longhorns this season? After taking down a very talented Notre Dame squad, Texas took care of business against an overmatched UTEP.
Shane Buechele put together a masterful performance, throwing for 244 yards, four touchdowns, and an outrageous 81.5-percent completion percentage. After the Irish mostly torched the Longhorns defense last week, the unit came out on fire this week and held the Miners to a single touchdown. So far, Texas looks like the most polished team in the Big 12.
Shane Buechele's 81.5% (22-of-27) comp pct vs UTEP tied UT freshman rec set by James Brown in 1994 & 4 TD passes (No. 3 in game by UT frosh)— John Bianco (@UT_Bianco) September 11, 2016
2. Oklahoma Sooners (1-1)
After dropping their opener to Houston, the Oklahoma dismantled Louisiana-Monroe in what was basically a scrimmage. Oklahoma compiled 640 yards on offense and lead 42-0 at the half. I’m still a believer that the Sooners have the potential to be a playoff team behind a talented offense, but we’ll get that answer soon as they host the Buckeyes this coming week.
3. Baylor Bears (2-0)
It wasn’t pretty, but Baylor rolled SMU after putting on an offensive clinic in the second half. I doubt the Bears hold onto their spot here, but they hold a top-three spot after opening with a cupcake schedule. Baylor takes on Rice next week, but will receive its first test September 24th when it hosts Oklahoma State.
4. West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0)
The Mountaineers have quietly climbed up to fourth in the power rankings after going 2-0 in their first two contests. The win against Missouri was sloppy, but West Virginia looked impressive this week when they put up 624 yards against Youngstown State. Skyler Howard could also be one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country.
West Virginia will take on a tough BYU squad this week, giving us an opportunity to see just how good they are.
5. TCU Horned Frogs (1-1)
TCU dropped to fifth in the conference this week after an upset loss to Arkansas. A slow start on offense and a late blocked field goal damaged the Horned Frogs’ chances. While the loss was certainly surprising, it’s TCU’s defense that has shocked me the most. In its first two contests, the TCU defense has given up 82 points and 864 yards, which isn’t typical of a Garry Patterson-coached team.
A dark-horse playoff pick before the 2016 season began, the Horned Frogs will need to improve defensively if they want to climb back to the top of the Big 12.
6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-1)
Every week, an upset happens in college football that makes you scratch your head. This week, Oklahoma State was the victim. After an underwhelming performance for most of the game, it seemed like the Cowboys would escape Stillwater with the victory.
However, a botched referee call gave Central Michigan another chance. Boy, did they capitalize on that chance —w ith one of the best finishes to a college football game in recent memory. This loss probably deserves an asterisk, but other signs indicate the Cowboys may not be as stout as first thought.
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-1)
Patrick Mahomes is legit, but can this defense stop anyone? Last night, the Red Raiders allowed 68 points and 652 yards of total offense in a loss to Arizona State. On top of that, they allowed Sun Devils running back Kalen Ballage to score an NCAA-record eight times. Yeah, Kliff Kingsbury can score points, but he really needs to find a way to stop opposing offenses.
8. Kansas State Wildcats (0-1)
The Wildcats had a bye week after playing Stanford closely. They return this week against Florida Atlantic with a chance to get the offense back on track.
9. Iowa State Cyclones (0-2)
Iowa State has been off to an horrendous start this season, dropping their first two contests. Following a loss to Northern Iowa, they were smacked this week by Iowa, losing 42-3. The schedule gets tougher this week with a visit to Fort Worth to face TCU.
10. Kansas Jayhawks (1-1)
A week after beating lowly Rhode Island, Kansas was dropped by Ohio, 37-21. Simply put, this team just isn’t that talented, and fans in Lawrence will be happy when basketball season starts. Kansas travels to Memphis this week to face the Tigers.
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