In our 2017 version of the Big 12 power rankings, we have averaged out the rankings of our main contributors at Heartland College Sports. These will be done on a weekly basis and released every Monday morning. A friendly reminder before trolling: Power Rankings can swing drastically week to week and are not simply a ranking on who the best teams are in the conference.
1.Oklahoma Sooners (Last week: 1)
There’s no reason to move the Sooners off of the top spot. Sure it was a slow start against Tulane, but then they rip off a 49-0 run against the Green Wave on their way to a 56-14 win. Plus, Oklahoma still has the best win in college football this season, hands down. It’s been over 700 days since OU last lost a Big 12 game. And with the way this season has begun, it’s OU’s conference until proven otherwise.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last week: 2)
The Pokes scored on their first seven possessions on Saturday in Pittsburgh. Mason Rudolph was setting records left and right. The amount of weapons at wide receiver on this team is absolutely ridiculous. The defense continues to do its part as well. Oklahoma State has been incredibly efficient through three games and clearly looks like a top 10 team. Their game against TCU this weekend is going to be a ton of fun, and could end up as one of the best games in the Big 12 this season.
3. TCU Horned Frogs (Last week: 3)
It wasn’t the prettiest performance against SMU. But we cut TCU some slack as the Horned Frogs were coming off an emotional revenge game against Arkansas and might have been caught looking ahead to Oklahoma State. In the end, they got the win over a rival that pays much more attention to this game than they do. That’s all that matters in this one. Win and move on.
4. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last week: 4)
West Virginia has beaten the hell out of a couple of garbage teams since their tough loss to Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, Mountaineers fans will have to wait a couple more weeks to get to some good games. They play Kansas in Lawrence this weekend, then have a bye week, before picking things up in Fort Worth against TCU.
5. Texas Longhorns (Last week: 6)
Despite their loss, the Longhorns move up. It’s a top 5 loss in a true road game. Also, a game they very well could have won. This team, especially the defense, looked drastically better than the one that played Maryland two weeks ago. Kudos to defensive coordinator Todd Orlando for getting this defense, especially the secondary, straightened out in time for Sam Darnold. Tom Herman now needs to figure out where to go at quarterback the rest of the season, as true freshman Sam Ehlinger looked impressive at times in a tough situation. Texas is 1-2, but things are finally trending in the right direction.
6. Kansas State Wildcats (Last week: 5)
Kansas State’s loss to an unranked team on the road drops them below Texas, since the Longhorns loss was closer against a better opponent. Sure K-State is 2-1, whereas Texas is 1-2. But are you really going to argue that Central Arkansas and Charlotte are quality litmus tests to tell us where this Wildcats team is. K-State did not play Bill Snyder football on Saturday against Vanderbilt. They lost the turnover battle and had costly penalties. The Wildcats need to clean things up or this will be a middle of the pack Big 12 team.
7. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last week: 7)
The Red Raiders nearly blew this one. An 18-point halftime lead practically turned into a loss at home, which might have been one of the final daggers into Kliff Kingsbury’s career in Lubbock. But Tech pulled out the win and Kingsbury lives to fight another day. It was a Power 5 win over Arizona State, but Arizona State has been awful so far this season, so we will still take a wait-and-see approach with this year’s Red Raiders.
8. Iowa State Cyclones (Last week: 8)
Matt Campbell wanted to see how his Cyclones would respond after a heartbreaking loss to in-state rival Iowa. Well, the answer: just fine. Iowa State crushed Akron by nearly 30 points to get itself back on track. Iowa State is 2-1 and should still feel like it can reach its goal of making a bowl game this season. They need a few breaks to make it happen, but it is doable. Now they get 12 days off before what will be a rocking Jack Trice Stadium next Thursday when the Texas Longhorns come to town.
9. Baylor Bears (Last week: 10)
The Bears may be 0-3, but they have dug themselves out of the basement. Frankly, it’s more based on what the team below that hasn’t done rather than what Baylor has actually done. But give the Bears credit, they did look improved against a solid Duke team over the weekend. Baylor needs to ride Zach Smith at quarterback and just work through the growing pains this season will bring and realize brighter days are ahead in 2018 and beyond.
10. Kansas Jayhawks (Last week: 9)
Speaking of brighter days, I thought they might finally come for the Jayhawks this season. But that looks absolutely foolish now. This team has gotten blown off the field two-straight weeks by MAC teams and its defense has allowed over 40 points to both. How’s that going to go once Big 12 teams come to town? Doug Meacham may have come to Lawrence to help the offense pick up the pace, but frankly, this defense is struggling so badly, I don’t think the offense will be able to score enough for it to matter.