With conference play officially starting for most Big 12 teams, it’s time to unveil the DVN Big 12 Power Rankings.
10. Kansas: After dropping a close game in overtime to open the season, Kansas has rattled off two wins in a row against FBS opponents for the first time in over a decade. Granted, these teams were Central Michigan and Rutgers, but Kansas seems to have improved over last season. While not many people outside of Joey Galloway are expecting KU to compete for a Big 12 title, they look like they could play spoiler for a few teams this season.
9. Baylor: The Bears are at 2-1 entering conference play, coming off a 40-27 loss at the hands of Duke. While Baylor has already doubled it’s win total from last season, it appears that they will have their share of struggles this year. The defense looks like it will be unable to slow down the high powered offenses in the Big 12, and the offense is struggling to find consistency.
8. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders’ 2-1 record is enough to keep Kingsbury off the hot seat for now, but it appears that the trend from the last several seasons is set to continue. Tech’s offense remains high-powered, but the defense is a major concern.
7. Kansas State: After splitting their first two games, the Wildcats got a confidence-boosting win over UTSA and appear to have settled on Skylar Thompson at QB.
6. Iowa State: ISU is currently the only winless team in the Big 12. After suffering a tough start to the season with a canceled game and a 13-3 loss to rival Iowa, the Cyclones showed signs of last year’s success in their game against Oklahoma. Even with backup QB Zeb Noland behind center, the Cyclone’s played the game close and their defense showed a lot of promise.
5. Texas: After a disappointing loss to Maryland, a close win over Tulsa, and a miserable first quarter against USC, it appeared that Texas could be in for another underwhelming season. But the Longhorns outplayed No. 22 USC over the final three quarters of last Saturday’s contest, outscoring the Trojans 21-0 in the second half. The defense looked tough, and Ehlinger looked much improved.
4. Oklahoma State: OSU faced a lot of questions coming into this season after losing Mason Rudolph and James Washington. Taylor Cornelius appears to be a suitable replacement, and with their high-powered offense, the Cowboys appear to be on pace to win a lot of games. They are outscoring opponents 157-51 heading into conference play.
3. TCU: The Horned Frogs started off the 2018 season well but suffered a setback against Ohio State. In a game that featured several TCU mistakes, the game was still in reach in the fourth quarter. The defense has played well, and the offense appears to be able to score on anyone.
2. West Virginia: WVU lost an opportunity to grab a solid out-of-conference win against NC State and has plans to make up for it in this weekend’s Big 12 opener. Heisman hopeful Will Grier has lived up to the hype and appears to be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. The combination of Grier, Sills and Jennings, plus a plethora of solid runningbacks, could provide one of the best offensive seasons in West Virginia history.
1. Oklahoma: The Sooners are once again proving that they deserved the preseason hype. Kyler Murray has went from a Baker Mayfield replacement to a legit Heisman contender in his first three games. Oklahoma’s defense has been impressive, and the offense hasn’t slowed down from last year. For West Virginia and the other teams hoping to finally dethrone OU as Big 12 champs, the Sooners aren’t going to make it easy.