Texas wide receiver Brenden Schooler celebrates his touchdown against UTEP with offensive linemen Chris Jones, left, and Samuel Cosmi during Saturday's 59-3 win. (Scott Wachter/USA Today)

Football

Big 12 power poll: Texas looked awesome, but enough to topple Oklahoma atop its perch?

Posted September 16th, 2020

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This week’s Big 12 power rankings:

 

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler led the Sooners past Missouri State in last week’s season opener in Norman, Okla. OU opens Big 12 play next week at home against Kansas State. (Sue Ogrocki/The Associated Press)

1. Oklahoma (1-0)

Last week: Beat Missouri State, 45-0 (next game — Sept. 26 vs. Kansas State, 11 a.m., Fox)

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Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley is starting his fourth quarterback in four years, and it appears that redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler, a former five-star recruit, won’t be the weak link for the defending conference champions. Oklahoma, ranked No. 3 in the country, remains on top of this poll until the Sooners get dethroned. The defense pitched a shutout and the receivers group looks talented and deep. And Seth McGowan, a freshman, looks like the man at running back.

2. Texas (1-0)

Last week: Beat UTEP, 59-3 (next game — Sept. 26 at Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m., Fox)

Sam Ehlinger looked like the best player in the Big 12 in the season-opening thumping of UTEP. Seven different receivers caught touchdowns. The defense looked technically sound. The depth is improved to the point that B.J. Foster, a former five-star recruit, walked out on the team  in the middle of the game for a lack of playing time. He has since returned.

3. Oklahoma State (0-0)

Last week: Did not play (next game — Saturday vs. Tulsa, 11 a.m., ESPN)

Oklahoma State starts its season Saturday by hosting Tulsa. The Cowboys are the dark horse to win the Big 12 with quarterback Spencer Sanders flanked by future NFL draft picks with running back Chuba Hubbard and wide receiver Tylan Wallace. Will Mike Gundy wear a mask? That’s my favorite prop bet of the weekend.

4. Baylor (0-0)

Last week: Did not play (next game — Saturday vs. Houston, 11 a.m., Fox)

Baylor’s season opener was postponed over the weekend due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among Louisiana Tech players. The administration worked quickly behind the scenes to set up a showdown with Houston this week for head coach David Aranda’s debut in Waco.

5. TCU (0-0)

Last week: Did not play (next game — Sept. 26 vs. Iowa State, 12:30 p.m., FS1)

TCU might not have a quarterback; head coach Gary Patterson has practiced without quarterbacks Max Duggan and Matthew Downing for most of the past two weeks due to COVID-19 tracing protocols. The good news is that the Horned Frogs aren’t slated to begin their season until Sept. 26.

6. West Virginia (1-0)

Last week: Beat Eastern Kentucky, 56-10 (next game — Sept. 26 at Oklahoma State, 2:30 p.m.)

West Virginia looked great against Eastern Kentucky. Jarrett Doege appears to be the focal point at quarterback, throwing for three touchdowns in the win. The Mountaineers’ running game provided much needed balance. We’ll know more about West Virginia following the contest against Oklahoma State on the last Saturday in September.

7. Texas Tech (1-0)

Last week: Beat Houston Baptist, 35-33 (next game — Sept. 26 vs. Texas, 2:30 p.m., Fox)

At least Texas Tech won, which is more than can be said for three other Big 12 programs after Week 1 of the weirdest season in memory. The Red Raiders sneaked past Houston Baptist. Yes, Houston Baptist. Mike Leach is likely rolling over in his bed.

8. Iowa State (0-1)

Last week: Lost to Louisiana, 31-14 (next game — Sept. 26 at TCU, 12:30 p.m., FS1)

Head coach Matt Campbell is normally listed among the top up-and-coming coaching prospects in the nation, but his Iowa State program started a season with a loss for the second straight year. This time it was to Louisiana. Not LSU, but Louisiana. Quarterback Brock Purdy didn’t look like a future NFL draft pick.

9. Kansas State (0-1)

Last week: Lost to Arkansas State, 35-31 (next game — Sept. 26 at Oklahoma, 11 a.m., Fox)

Winning in the Big 12 is proving more difficult than head coach Chris Kliemann anticipated when he left North Dakota State after winning multiple FCS championships. His Wildcats began the season with a four-point loss to Arkansas State, giving up 35 points.

10. Kansas (0-1)

Last week: Lost to Coastal Carolina, 38-23 (next game — Sept. 26 at Baylor, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU)

Kansas is not good at football.

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