By Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven on Twitter)
Post-Week 3 Big 12 Power Rankings
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1. Oklahoma (2-0) – One major hurdle to reaching the national title has been crossed. The Sooners are one of the favorites to play for the national championship at the end of the year, but going into Tallahassee and winning was no easy task. Oklahoma’s high-scoring offense was held in check by Florida State’s defense, but made enough timely plays to win. The Sooners’ defense got a boost with the return of linebacker Travis Lewis from a preseason foot injury. Oklahoma has to quickly refocus, as Missouri visits Norman this Saturday and is a dangerous team if the Sooners are still thinking about the win against the Seminoles.
2. Texas A&M (2-0) – After a bye in Week 2, the Aggies returned to action with a 37-7 win over Idaho. Although Texas A&M has looked good in two non-conference wins, the schedule is about to get a lot tougher. The Aggies host Oklahoma State in a key Big 12 battle this Saturday. These two teams were difficult to project at No. 2 and No. 3 in the preseason and this matchup will help sort out the pecking order in the conference.
3. Oklahoma State (3-0) – The Cowboys win over Tulsa won’t be forgotten for a while and it wasn’t due to the play on the field. Thunderstorms in Tulsa prevented the game from kicking off until after midnight and finished early Sunday morning. Oklahoma State will certainly hope for a more normal game this Saturday, as they travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M. A win over the Aggies would be a boost to the Cowboys’ hopes of earning 10 wins and getting into a BCS bowl this year.
4. Texas (3-0) – Quarterback Case McCoy’s first start was a success. The sophomore turned in an efficient performance, completing 12 of 15 throws for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Although it wasn’t a flashy all-around performance by Texas, the offense seems to be finding its rhythm, and the Longhorns are undefeated entering conference play. Texas is off this Saturday, but travels to Iowa State on Oct. 1, before facing off against Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout.
5. Baylor (2-0) – Mother Nature wrecked havoc in Waco on Saturday night. The Bears were forced to end their game against Stephen F. Austin early, but there was never really any doubt about the outcome of this game. Baylor was in control early and was up 48-0 when the fourth quarter was canceled. The Bears host Rice this week and should be 3-0 after Saturday’s game.
6. Missouri (2-1) – After losing a close game to Arizona State last Friday, the Tigers took out their frustration on Western Illinois. The Missouri defense turned in a dominating performance, allowing only 44 yards to the Leathernecks. Quarterback James Franklin picked up where he left off against the Sun Devils, completing 18 of 25 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers open Big 12 play with a road date against Athlon’s No. 2 ranked team – Oklahoma.
7. Texas Tech (2-0) – The Red Raiders are 2-0, but have yet to be tested. Quarterback Seth Doege has been impressive so far, completing 40 of 44 passes for 401 yards and five scores in Saturday’s 59-13 win over lowly New Mexico. Texas Tech has one more non-conference showdown ahead, hosting Nevada this Saturday. The Red Raiders open Big 12 play on Oct. 1 against Kansas.
8. Iowa State (3-0) – Turnovers have been a real problem for the Cyclones this year, but despite the mistakes, found a way to win in the fourth quarter once again. Quarterback Steele Jantz got off to a slow start and was injured just before the first half, but helped to rally his team to a 24-20 win over Connecticut. The Cyclones have a bye this Saturday, before opening up conference play against Texas on Oct. 1.
9. Kansas (2-1) – The Jayhawks showed progress through the first two weeks of the year, but took a step back against Georgia Tech. The defense was steamrolled for 604 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Jordan Webb was only 11 of 19 for 148 yards in Saturday’s loss, but on the bright side, has yet to throw an interception this year. Kansas has a bye this Saturday.
10. Kansas State (2-0) – After a lethargic opener against Eastern Kentucky, the Wildcats turned in a more convincing effort against Kent State. Quarterback Collin Klein threw for only 74 yards and one score, but rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns. The offensive breakout was critical with a road trip to Miami ahead this Saturday. If Kansas State wants to pull off the upset, Klein will need to have a big performance.