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Keeping Up With The Conference: Week 1 Power Rankings Edition

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Texas is 1-0. How did the rest of the Big 12 fare in Week 1?

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Move over, SEC. There’s a new powerhouse football conference in town.

Last week, we welcomed back football season, and the Big 12 kicked off the 2019 season by going 10-0 against their competition last weekend. It’s just one week, but currently the conference is on pace to go 120-0. You can’t spell “second best conference in football” without SEC.

Of course, the Big 12’s perfect weekend included a few close calls. And with this being the only sample of football we have to work with this season, it’s hard not to knee-jerk or over-analyze each game in respect to the teams moving forward. That’s why, for the most part, the Big 12 Power Rankings will look mostly unchanged despite some varying levels of achievement (I’m looking at you, Iowa State).

A reminder that the Power Rankings are not meant to reflect the current standings. They’ll be based on a combination of season performance, heavily weighing more recent games, and will take into consideration opponent quality compared to the rest of the conference.

BIG 12 POWER RANKINGS

Previous week ranking is in [BRACKETS]

1. (4) Oklahoma [1]

Last week: W vs Houston, 49-31

Highlight: QB Jalen Hurts lived up to monumental billing in his first game at Oklahoma. HE accounted for 508 yards of total offense — 332 passing and 176 rushing — and scored six times in the game, with three passing and three rushing touchdowns. One of those passing scores was this 56-yard toss and run to WR Charleston Rambo, who led the Sooners with 105 yards receiving.

Trending: NEUTRAL. Oklahoma beat Houston in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. With Hurts, the Sooner offense is able to utilize a wrinkle they haven’t had the past two years — a big bruising runner of a quarterback. It will be fascinating to see if Hurts can keep up this production in the coming weeks.

Next Up: South Dakota, Saturday 6:00 p.m. Central

2. (9) Texas [2]

Last week: W vs Louisiana Tech, 45-14

Highlight: QB Sam Ehlinger lived up to the preseason hype, at least in this game. He went 28-of-38 passing for 276 yards and four touchdowns, including this 28-yard strike to wide receiver Brennan Eagles.

Trending: NEUTRAL. The Horns took care of business in this one, and played a sound all-around game in preparation for LSU this week. The running back depth is something to watch for, as Texas is down to just Keontay Ingram as the only healthy scholarship running back currently on the roster.

Next Up: (6) LSU, Saturday 6:30 p.m. Central (on ABC)

3. Baylor [4]

Last week: W vs Stephen F. Austin, 56-17

Highlight: Baylor’s offense couldn’t be stopped by the visiting Lumberjacks in this one. The Bears pounded out 268 yards on the ground, with three different running backs combining to score five touchdowns, including this rumbling, bumbling, stumbling score from running back Trestan Ebner.

Trending: NEUTRAL. The Bears got after the Lumberjacks in all facets of the game en route to a big win to open the 2019 season. On paper, quarterback Charlie Brewer could’ve been better, going 21-of-31 passing for only 199 yards. However, he did add three touchdowns to his box score, and yards were hard to come by as Baylor’s defense stomped out SFA and provided short fields for the offense for most of the game.

Next Up: UTSA, Saturday 3:00 p.m. Central

4. (25) Iowa State [3]

Last week: W vs Northern Iowa, 29-26 (3OT)

Highlight: Quarterback Brock Purdy led the Cyclones past the Panthers in a remarkably close game that surprised bottom ticker-watchers everywhere. He went 30-of-41 passing through the air, including 278 yards and two touchdown tosses. But the play of the game came from this gritty hustle play that literally saved the game for Iowa State and led to the game-winning touchdown moments later.

Trending: DOWN. What an awful way to open your season. The offense only put up 13 points in regulation, and needed a field goal with under a minute to go to send the game to overtime. It could’ve been worse, as the Cyclones narrowly avoided a major upset at home. But Iowa State needs to play better if they want to win their next game versus Iowa.

Next Up: (20) Iowa, 9/14 3:00 p.m. Central (on FS1)

5. TCU [5]

Last week: W vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 39-7

Highlight: Quarterback Alex Delton made his TCU debut after transferring from the other Big 12 purple school in K-State. He helped lead the Horned Frogs to a win in their season opener, with 186 yards of offense that included this 56-yard run off a quarterback option.

Trending: NEUTRAL. TCU’s two-quarterback approach worked out for them in the game, with the Frogs picking up the win. Watch out for freshman Max Duggan — he’s currently the backup behind K-State transfer Alex Delton, but he had the better game of the two, throwing for 165 yards and a score.

Next Up: at Purdue, 9/14 6:30 pm. Central (on Big Ten Network)

6. Oklahoma State [7]

Last week: W at Oregon State, 52-36

Highlight: All-Name First Team member running back Chubba Hubbard had a stellar game, running for 221 yards and three touchdowns on just 26 carries. But it was wide receiver Tylan Wallace who had the most highlight-worthy moment of the game, with an impressive 21-yard touchdown grab to go with five catches, 92 yards, and two touchdowns on the day.

Trending: UP. While half the conference was playing home games against FCS opponents, give props to the Cowboys for scheduling a road game against a Power Five school in Oregon State. Though Corvallis and the Beavers don’t exactly make the toughest of environments to play in, the Cowboys offense looked unstoppable for most of the game.

Next Up: McNeese, Saturday 6:00 p.m. Central (on ESPN+)

7. Texas Tech [6]

Last week: W vs Montana State, 45-10

Highlight: A BON preseason player to watch, quarterback Alan Bowman had a great game through the air, totaling up 436 yards to lead all NCAA FBS passers. He also added three touchdowns on the day, with one rushing and two passing touchdowns, including this beauty of a drop to wide receiver Xavier White.

Trending: NEUTRAL. Tech’s offense didn’t miss a beat, with 691 total yards of offense on the day. The defense played well, too, but ultimately it was all only just against Montana State. Be on the watch for the Red Raiders’ passing attack, though. If Bowman can stay healthy, there’s an extremely realistic chance that he leads the FBS in passing by season’s end.

Next Up: UTEP, Saturday 7:00 p.m. Central (on Fox Sports Net)

8. Kansas State [9]

Last week: W vs Nicholls, 49-14

Highlight: Quarterback Skylar Thompson impressed through the air, with 212 yards passing on just 16-of-22 throwing. But the Kansas State offense rolled over Nicholls with an unrelenting rushing game, totaling up 361 yards and five touchdowns, including four in the first half.

Trending: NEUTRAL. A tough game to read with FCS opponent Nicholls, as the K-State defense really clamped down. Given how other Big 12 teams fared against FCS opponents, however, it’s a good start and a refreshing score for a K-State fan base in their first game of the Kleinmann era.

Next Up: Bowling Green, Saturday 11:00 a.m. Central (on Fox Sports Net)

9. West Virginia [8]

Last week: W vs James Madison, 20-13

Highlight: Quarterback Austin Kendall was asked to throw often in a surprisingly close game. The Oklahoma transfer shined in his WVU debut, with 260 yards and two touchdowns, including this one late in the game to seal the Mountaineer victory.

Trending: DOWN. The Mountaineers needed a second half comeback to win their home opener against FCS opponent James Madison. The rushing game was non-existent for WVU, racking up only 34 yards on 24 carries.

Next Up: at Missouri, Saturday 11:00 a.m. Central (on ESPN 2)

10. Kansas [10]

Last week: W vs Indiana State, 24-17

Highlight: Wide receiver Andrew Parchment led all receivers in the game in catches and yards, with eight catches and 121 yards receiving. That includes this incredible catch from quarterback Carter Stanley.

Trending: NEUTRAL. Running back Pooka Williams Jr. was suspended for this game, so a more stagnant offense was to be expected from the Jayhawks. Wins always feel great in Lawrence, but to be out-gained on the day by an FCS team isn’t the best start possible in the new Les Miles era.

Next Up: Coastal Carolina, Saturday 6:00 p.m. Central (on ESPN+)

BIG 12 STANDINGS (THROUGH WEEK 1)

  1. Everyone. They’re all 1-0. Go us.

STAT OF THE WEEK

PARTING SHOT