The 2022 college football season got underway this past week with the Big 12 Conference capping off a 9-1 week. Granted, most teams played inferior competition, but still, the league should be pleased with how Week 1 went.
So now it’s time for our Big 12 Power Rankings. Here’s a reminder on how I’ve done this for years: It’s about how your team looked and how it played, not always about if your team won or lost. And last week’s rankings have little impact on this week’s. That’s what makes this fun. These are also not predictions for the way the season will end, just a Power Rankings based on the most recent performances.
So with that being said, here are our Week 2 Big 12 football Power Rankings.
1. Baylor Bears (Last Week: 1)
Given the fact that I had Baylor as the No. 1 team in the Power Rankings last week, I am giving them the benefit of the doubt here since they smashed Albany, which obviously they should have done. But still, Baylor looked like exactly the team many of us expect them to be this season. Strong in the trenches, upgraded at quarterback, and skill players who will pop as the season progresses.
2. TCU Horned Frogs (Last Week: 8)
Well, let’s give TCU credit: They’re the only team in the conference who has a Power 5 win under its belt right now. So for that, I’m putting them No. 2 this week. Sure, the Horned Frogs got off to a slow start leading 7-6 at halftime. But they got comfortable in the second half, outscoring Colorado on the road 31-7 for a 38-13 win in Boulder.
3. Oklahoma Sooners (Last Week: 2)
The Sooners did exactly what they should do to UTEP in Brent Venables’ head coaching debut. Dillon Gabriel went 15/23 for 233 yards and two touchdowns, adding another score on the ground with a 12-yard scamper. The defense looked tougher in one week under Brent Venables than in did in half a decade under Lincoln Riley. Expect that trend to continue.
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Last Week: 3)
The Cowboys picked up a solid win over Central Michigan last week. And as good as Spencer Sanders and the offense looked, the defense, notably the secondary, is leaving much to be desired. CMU is at least a MAC team, which is better competition than most Big 12 teams can say for Week 1. But giving up 22 points in the fourth quarter, even if it is garbage time, is not what Oklahoma State wants to be doing. The secondary is where the improvement needs to happen, and it needs to happen sooner than later.
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (Last Week: 7)
How is a team that lost coming in at No. 5?! Especially given the fact that it’s the only Big 12 team that lost. Well guess what, the Mountaineers played the defending ACC Champs down to the wire on the road. And they probably should have won the game. We learned more about WVU than we did about most of the Big 12 in Week 1. So I am giving them props for that. J.T. Daniels looks to be a huge improvement at quarterback for Neal Brown, while the defensive line looks stout.
6. Iowa State Cyclones (Last Week: 6)
Cyclones fans just have to be happy their team didn’t make them sweat out a Week 1 victory, as they rolled SE Missouri 42-10. Hunter Dekkers looks like he’s more than ready to live up to the hype as Iowa State’s next QB, combined with Xavier Hutchinson continuing to be one of the most underrated players in the Big 12 on the outside. The defense has some new faces that will need to continue to step up, but we’ll find out more about this team on Saturday in Iowa City.
7. K-State Wildcats (Last Week: 5)
The Wildcats looked awfully vanilla on offense, as Adrian Martinez didn’t really show us much. But he didn’t really have to. Deuce Vaughn picked up right where he left off last season, rushing for over 120 yards. And then the defense pitched a shut out. Even if it was against South Dakota, you couldn’t ask for a more comfortable victory for the Wildcats on Saturday.
8. Texas Longhorns (Last Week: 4)
Texas did what it had to do to get ready for Alabama: Get Quinn Ewers comfortable, work everyone in for some key reps, and make sure no starters got injured. Considering the goals, the game was a success, other than Quinn Ewers car getting towed. Now, it’s onto Alabama, where Texas is a 20-point underdog at home.
9. Kansas Jayhawks (Last Week: 10)
Yes, I took Kansas out of the cellar. If you watched this team on Friday night, they had a confidence, swagger, and toughness that I haven’t seen out of a KU football team in over a decade. I’m not predicting any bowl games just yet, but Kansas is being built the right way under Lance Leipold and seeing some offensive explosiveness and hard-nosed defense, even if it was against Tennessee Tech, was a breath of fresh air and exciting for the future of the program.
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Last Week: 9)
The Red Raiders suffered the toughest injury of the weekend, as starting QB Tyler Shough injured the same shoulder he injured last season that caused him to miss most of the year. After the first quarter he was taken out of the game and did not return, instead appearing with a sling on his arm. The good news is that Donovan Smith is more than capable, but it’s still a tough loss. For that reason alone, despite the big win, Tech lands in the No. 10 spot this week.