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Big 12 Football Power Rankings: Week 3

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The 2022 college football season wrapped up Week 2 and the Big 12 had itself a weekend with multiple overtime games, upsets and more. There were future Big 12 showdowns like Texas Tech and Houston, along with Baylor at BYU, with both games coincidentally going to overtime. There was the first Big 12 Conference game of the year, as Kansas upset West Virginia.

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 3 Big 12 football Power Rankings.

1. Kansas State (Last Week: 7)

The Wildcats were absolutely dominant on both sides of the ball on Saturday in a win over Mizzou. Deuce Vaughn continues to prove he’s the most explosive player in the Big 12 Conference and the defense was lights out as well for Chris Klieman’s team. K-State was a fairly popular Big 12 dark horse pick before the season, but time is running out on being able to still call them a dark horse.

2. Texas (Last Week: 8)

Shocked we are putting a losing team at No. 2? Don’t. Texas played a helluva ball game against No. 1 Alabama. It’s possible no one else plays Alabama that close for the rest of the season. And if not for the officials, who hosed Texas from start to finish (I know you’re not feeling sympathetic if you’re a Big 12 fan from another team), this game might have turned out differently. And given they were on their back up QB, you have to hand it to this team and how they played on Saturday. Now of course, can they duplicate it?

 

3. Texas Tech (Last Week: 10)

There was technically only one Big 12 that team that got a Top 25 win over the weekend and that was Texas Tech at home against No. 25 Houston. The second half saw the game nearly slip away, but Donovan Smith made up for some mistakes with a walk-off touchdown run to seal the three-point victory. The Red Raiders still have a long way to go, and the offensive line was the biggest issue, but for now, it’s a program-defining win for Joey McGuire, and the fans certainly felt that way as they stormed the field.

4. Oklahoma State (Last Week: 3)

The Cowboys got off to a slow start against Arizona State, but the defensive line got it going with a forced fumble and recovery in the second quarter to spark the offense, as the Pokes ran away with a big win. Dominic Richardson had himself an impressive night with 27 carries and 131 rushing yards with a score to lead a rushing attack that piled up nearly five yards per carry. And just look at that, Mike Gundy once again has the Pokes ranked in the Top 10. Does anyone consistently have their program ranked in the Top 10 more often while getting less attention for it?

5. Kansas (Last Week: 9)

Yes, your Kansas Jayhawks are in the No. 5 slot after coming from two touchdowns down in the first quarter to beat West Virginia in Morgantown to begin the season 2-0 for the first time since 2011. What an amazing toughness and resiliency Lance Leipold is building in this team that hasn’t played winning football in over a decade. Boy, this is an easy team to like and root for.

 

6. Iowa State (Last Week: 6)

Matt Campbell finally got over the hump and beat Iowa for the first time in six tries. But, let’s be honest: It wasn’t pretty. There were plenty of mistakes on both sides, but the Iowa fumble that led to a 21-play, 99-yard drive for the Cyclones gave them the win. I’m not taking anything away from ISU having them in the No. 6 slot, as I picked them to not only cover in this game but win it outright, but it says more about the six teams above them and what they’ve done.

7. Baylor (Last Week: 1)

Another team with a loss coming in higher than some of you may have expected. But Provo, Utah is going to be a really difficult place to play for all Big 12 teams once the Cougars join the league next season. That atmosphere was intense, almost as intense as what BYU brings to the table. That was big-boy football in the trenches on Saturday night, and despite the loss, Baylor played solid, especially defensively, and is worthy of this spot on the Power Rankings.

8. Oklahoma (Last Week: 3)

The Sooners coming in at No. 8 is more about who they’ve played thus far, which is no one. Yes, they’ve won their two games by a combined score of 88-16, but it’s UTEP and Kent State. We haven’t really learned anything about this team. And now they go to Nebraska, who just fired Scott Frost. The more you look at it, Oklahoma might have the weakest non-conference schedule in the Big 12. We will learn more about OU come conference play.

 

9. TCU (Last Week: 2)

TCU’s schedule also looks really weak right now, despite a huge win over Tarleton. Colorado was rolled by TCU in Week 1, and Colorado also just got crushed by Air Force. So not a great sign for the Horned Frogs in terms of making that Week 1 win look good. TCU has a week off and then it’s the Iron Skillet. Beat SMU and this team is 3-0 an in position to surprise some folks in the Big 12 this season.

10. West Virginia (Last Week: 5)

There’s no other choice to put in the No. 10 spot. West Virginia is the only 0-2 team in the Big 12 after losing to Kansas. Neal Brown’s seat should be on fire. WVU led KU 14-0 after the first quarter and then the defense collapsed. Find me multiple Big 12 wins this season for this team? It’s not easy.

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