Valley Sports Talk with Brice Larson

Week 1 Big 12 Power Rankings: Did We Learn Anything About the Contenders & Pretenders?

Broadway Media

By Jordan Bianucci & Brice Larson 

Jordan Bianucci’s Big 12 Power Rankings

While I take into account pre-season polls, I use a team’s week 1 performance to a greater degree in my rankings. With that being said, here are my week 1 Big-12 power rankings:

1. Texas

The Longhorns were my pre-season pick to win the Big-12. They took care of Rice, no reason to move them now.

2. Kansas State

Much like Texas, the Wildcats are my number two until they prove otherwise. A 45-0 shellacking of Southeast Missouri State didn’t hurt them, although it didn’t help much either. And a big win vs. Troy this week won’t tell us anything. They don’t see a power-5 team until Missouri in week 3.  For now, Kansas State is safe at number two.

3. Oklahoma

Oklahoma beat Arkansas State 73-0. Wake me in a couple weeks when they see Cincinnati.

4. Cincinnati

Speaking of the Bearcats, I picked Cincinnati to finish in the top half of the conference and they beat up on Eastern Kentucky in week 1 to remain at number 4. Have I overrated them? Probably a little but let’s see how they do on the road vs. Pitt this Saturday.

5. Oklahoma State 

Mike Gundy is a man! And his team took care of Central Arkansas. However, they have an intriguing week 2 matchup vs. Arizona State. But how good are the Sun Devils? They barely beat Southern Utah! What’s the meaning of life? I don’t have the answers to these questions.

6. TCU

Yes, TCU lost at home as a twenty-point favorite to Colorado. However, the Buffs played really well and TCU’s offense hung in there. If the defense can force a couple punts the Frogs will be tough to handle.

7. West Virginia

Did the Mountaineers look great in week 1? No, but I give them credit for going into Happy Valley and sort of making it a game. Also, Penn State is good – like win the Big-10 good.

8. Kansas

The Jayhawks handled Missouri State in week 1 but I’m wishy-washy on them. We’ll know a little more after their week 2 matchup with Illinois.

9. UCF

Again, week 1 didn’t tell us much. A game on the road vs. Boise State should give us some kind of idea as to where the Knights belong in the rankings.

10. Iowa State

I don’t know a lot about Iowa State. What do you know about Iowa State? That’s what I thought.

11. BYU

It’s never a good sign when you can’t score more than 14 points against a school making its FBS debut. Meanwhile, the Cougs were gifted an interception (it wasn’t) in the game. If Sam Houston had a caught a couple breaks, this would have been a catastrophic start to the season for BYU.

12. Houston

These Cougars beat UTSA by 3. UTSA is not a bad football team. Still, Houston’s offense needs work.

13. Texas Tech

Yes, the Red Raiders went on the road to Laramie. They faced a Wyoming team that should make some noise in the Mountain West. They also blew a 17-point lead. Admittedly, they’re too low in my rankings but the E, I can’t change anything now!

14. Baylor

Brice Larson’s Big 12 Power Rankings

To preface my rankings I will say that I have leaned heavily upon my preseason assumptions and evaluations of each team. While I do take into account the future potential of a team with highly ranked recruits I also take a “what have you done for me lately” approach to these rankings. Hence, the reason why I am still hesitant to see how Texas performs at Bama this weekend before putting them at the top of my Big 12 rankings.

1. Kansas State

The defending Big 12 champs deserve respect. Have they been tested yet? No, but until Texas (or any other team) can prove they are better I am riding with the Cats to have yet another great year in the Big 12 conference as the team to beat.

2. Texas 

The final score of Saturday’s game vs Rice didn’t indicate Texas is quite the oiled machine they might need to be heading into a massive showdown in Tuscaloosa this weekend. Despite that, Sarkisian and Co. have a big opportunity in front of them to prove to the college football world that they are in fact back. If they win, look for them to take the top spot in next weeks rankings.

3. Oklahoma 

Defense Defense Defense. The Sooners beat Arkansas State 73-0 Saturday. Will the defense look that good vs tougher competition?

4. Oklahoma State

We are about to learn a lot more about the Cowboys as they head to the desert to take on Kenny Dillingham and the Sun Devils. This matchup that features two of the weirdest head coaches in all of college football surely won’t disappoint. Despite losing a lot to the portal this offseason its hard to bet against Gundy’s process.

5. Kansas 

Lance Leipold. Jalon Daniels. Can the Jayhawks stay healthy? Daniels was missing in the season opener due to back tightness but is expected to make his 2023 debut vs Illinois, which will be a better measuring stick for this football team.

6. TCU

The Frogs ran into a buzzsaw at home vs Colorado in week 1. Do they wilt away or will they take control of their season? I’m in wait and see mode with Sonny Dykes’ crew.

7. UCF

UCF was highly touted as the top team of the four conference newcomers. They took care of business vs Kent State in week one but Boise State will be a different test for the Knights.

8. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders were my preseason Big 12 dark horse and they still are. Despite the setback on the road in 2ot to Wyoming, Texas Tech still has the talent to surprise the rest of the conference. They have another test this weekend vs an Oregon team that hung 81 on Portland State.

9. Cincinnati 

What do we know about the Bearcats? They have a new coach in Scott Satterfield & a new cast of players. We will see how they fair on the road in a regional game at Pitt this weekend on the CW Network.

10. Brigham 

Will the Cougs bounce back in a big way vs SUU or are they on major upset alert? If they don’t get things figured out soon it could be the start of a disastrous season.

11. Iowa State 

Are the Cyclones the most forgot about Big 12 program? talk about a dark horse candidate… they have a chance to take a major jump on Saturday with the battle for the CyHawk trophy. Jack Trice will be bouncing this weekend.

12. Houston

The Cougs got the job done vs a good UTSA team Saturday at home in front of a half full stadium… Is there any excitement around this program? They still have some work to do & might be on upset alert heading into their matchup at Rice this weekend. A game that Houston won 34-27 a year ago.

13. West Virginia 

Neal Brown is on an incredibly hot seat. If the Mountaineers don’t turn it around soon they will be looking for a new head coach, which is a likely possibility. The future is not very bright in Morgantown.

14. Baylor

Speaking of hot seats… the seat is heating up for Dave Aranda. Baylor fell like a rock after losing to Texas State 42-31, a great win for the second youngest head coach in the FBS, GJ Kinne at 34 years old.

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