Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Big XII Power Rankings

With three weeks in the books, favorites, contenders, and pretenders are emerging in the Big XII. What better time than now to sort it out with the first installment of the Big XII Power Rankings....

1.) #3 Oklahoma (3-0) W - 54-3 vs. Utah State
- There is no doubt that Oklahoma has established themselves as the class of the Big XII. With three convincing wins over 0.5 of a real football team (Miami), Oklahoma has shown off a completely balanced attack with a stout defense. Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray have stepped in and played outstanding, while the offensive and defensive lines anchor this team, and could be the best in the country.

2.) #7 Texas (3-0) W - 35-32 at Central Florida
- Another less than impressive win by the Longhorns. They have the offensive firepower and the talent on defense to make a serious challenge to Oklahoma for the Big XII title, but terrible play from the offensive line and inconsistency in the secondary is holding them back. That is if they can field a team due to arrests.

3.) #25 Missouri (3-0) W - 52-24 vs. Western Michigan
- With two wins on the road against Illinois and Ole Miss to start the season, Missouri gets the nod over the rest of the Big XII. They have shown their offense to be a powerful unit that can put points on the board, but the defense will need to step up and perform if they hope to make a serious challenge at a Big XII title.

4.) #20 Texas A&M (3-0) W - 54-14 vs. Louisiana-Monroe
- The Ags have one of the most potent running attacks in the country behind the three-headed monster of Lane, Goodson, and McGee. The real questions lie with whether this attack can become a balanced one, and develop some sort of passing game. The defense will need to improve as well, the most glaring example being the 47-45 3OT win against Fresno State. We'll find out a lot about A&M this weekend when they travel to Miami.

5.) #24 Nebraska (2-1) L - 49-31 vs. #1 USC
- This game wasn't as close as the final score makes it out to be, as Nebraska was throttled by the #1 team in the country. They hung tough for about a quarter and a half before the run defense and quarterback Sam Keller were exposed. They should've lost against Wake Forest last week, and Sam Keller doesn't look to be the player that was supposed to return the Cornhuskers to greatness.

6.) Texas Tech (3-0) W - 59-24 at Rice
- Graham Harrell and the Texas Tech offense continue to put up monsterous numbers in the early going. With Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Missouri, and Texas all having questionable defenses, the Red Raiders hope this is the year that they can vault themselves into the top teir of the division. The question as always is how the defense will hold up and how the offense will fare against more talented opposition.

7.) Kansas (3-0) W - 45-13 vs. Toledo
- When I wrote this piece yesterday (before my computer deleted everything) I had Kansas in the Contenders category, as kind of a gift for going (3-0). Well today, I've come to my senses and bumped them back down to where they belong. They will go (4-0) before they actually have to face non-high school teams that don't have directions located in their name.

8.) Kansas State (2-1) W - 61-10 vs. Missouri State
- The further we get away from that tough loss at Auburn, the less impressive it looks as Auburn now sits at (1-2) and should be (0-3). Kansas State will have the bye this week to get themselves healthy and look to try and catch a Longhorn team looking ahead to OU, napping for the second straight year.

9.) Colorado (1-2) L - 16-6 vs. Florida State
- Colorado has faced the toughest early season schedule in the Big XII, with games against Colorado State, Arizona State, and Florida State. A team clearly still rebuilding in its second year under Dan Hawkins, they have shown a lot of progress with their late win over the Rams, and a solid performance against Florida State. They will win a few games in the Big XII, but still have another two years to rebuild.

10.) Baylor (2-1) W - 34-27 vs. Texas State
- It's never impressive to beat 1-AA opponents by 6 points, unless of course you're Michigan, and a 6 point win would be a blessing. Baylor looks like they are no better than a year ago, as they got beaten handily by TCU to open the year, and could not put away Texas State. Their Texas Tech styled passing game is obviously not as potent as the original, though their defense is pretty close.

11.) Iowa State (1-2) W - 15-13 vs. Iowa
- I'm not sure if Iowa State got lucky, is starting to make progress, or the Big Ten is really that bad. Either way, it was the marquee win that Gene Chizik needed to begin the rebuilding process at Iowa State. Losing to 1-AA Northern Iowa at home, I suppose gives the state championship to Northern Iowa, and also keeps Iowa State towards the bottom of the Big XII.

12.) Oklahoma State (1-2) L - 41-23 at Troy
- This game was not that close, and it had to have been painful for Cowboys fans that thought this was their year to challenge. Not only is their high powered attack been derailed thus far, quarterback Bobby Reid, who was supposed to have a Heisman caliber year, finds himself on the bench, after an atrocious first two games. Troy is not a bad team, but Oklahoma State shouldn't have been down 41-10 after three quarters. This team needs to figure out something and quick.

No comments: