Week 1 of the Big 12 football season is now in the books. If we learned anything over this past weekend, it was that the Big 12 may be much stronger top to bottom than we first thought. With that in mind, we move on to Week 2 and our first Big 12 power rankings of the new season.
Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas won easily, as expected. But it was the resilient, gutsy performance by both Oklahoma State and West Virginia that stole all the headlines in Week 1 of the Big 12 football season.
Against seemingly insurmountable odds, the Cowboys and Bears came ready to play on Saturday and gave No. 1 Florida State and second-ranked Alabama, respectively, all they could handle. The two Big 12 schools lost by a combined margin of 16 points to arguable the two best college teams in the land on Saturday.
No one would have predicted beforehand that the two games would be as closely contested as they were.
“I was proud with how we fought. We were ready to play,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said during the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference on Monday. “We felt like we could come in and give them a good game and put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win, and when that happens you’ve got to make critical plays in critical situations. You’ve got to make critical calls in critical situations, and you need to have a little bit more success than we had (on Saturday).”
Kansas was the only Big 12 school that did not open last Saturday. The Jayhawks play Southeast Missouri State this Saturday in their season opener. Jayhawk head coach Charlie Weis was all praises for the strong way Oklahoma State and West Virginia represented the Big 12, although in losing efforts on Saturday.
“I don’t think that anybody who is involved with the Big 12 finds that a surprise,” Weis said on the coaches’ conference call Monday. “People in other parts of the country think it is a big surprise, but we all know this is a loaded league.”
Big 12 Football Week 2 Power Rankings
- Oklahoma Sooners – The Sooners did not look like a team that is overrated, even if the opponent was Louisiana Tech. The OU defense was every bit as good as advertised.
- Baylor Bears – Another strong offensive performance on Saturday. The Bears’ defense was even better. Quarterback Bryce Petty’s back injury is of big concern going forward, however.
- Kansas State Wildcats - K-State was bound and determined not to falter in season opener a second straight season. The passing combination of QB Jake Watera and wide receiver Tyler Lockett is going to take its toll on quite a few opponents this season.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys – If the Cowboys lack experience this season, watch out when they come of age.
- Texas Longhorns – A great opening win for the Longhorns, but David Ash’s concussion troubles continue to raise uncertainty over the quarterback position.
- West Virginia Mountaineers – If ever there was a good loss, last Saturday’s 10-point loss to No. 2 Alabama would fall in that category. Mountaineers QB Clint Trickett was the real deal and showed why coach Dana Holgorsen named him the starter back in the spring.
- TCU Horned Frogs - Coach Gary Patterson wants more offense from the Horned Frogs in 2014. He got 555 yards of offense this past weekend, the most by a TCU team since 2010.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders - The Red Raiders accumulated over 600 yards of offense vs. Central Arkansas, but the defense yielded over 400 yards, not a good formula for season-long success in the Big 12.
- Iowa State Cyclones - The Cyclones scores all their points in the first 16 minutes of the game with North Dakota State. The visiting Bison scored all 34 of their points over the remaining 44 minutes of the game.
- Kansas Jayhawks – It seems unfair to rank the Jayhawks at the bottom without having even played a game, but they have yet to prove they deserve to be higher.