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Updated Big 12 Predictions and Superlatives After Week 2

Check out my updated predictions and superlatives for the Big 12 this season following the second week of play.

NCAA Football: South Alabama at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Week two answered more questions than week one did with the quality of opponents getting better. With that being said, week three will provide more insight as we will see a pair of ranked match-ups in the conference, as well as the first conference game. Let’s take a look at where everyone stands after two weeks of play.

Standings

1. Oklahoma Sooners (2-0)

2. West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0)

3. TCU Horned Frogs (2-0)

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0)

5. Texas Longhorns (1-1)

6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-1)

7. Baylor Bears (2-0)

8. Iowa State Cyclones (0-1)

9. Kansas Jayhawks (1-1)

10. Kansas State Wildcats (1-1)

It was an interesting week in the Big 12. Kansas surprised us all and moved up to the #9 spot in my power rankings. Enjoy it Jayhawks, you earned it...for a week, anyway. An injury might change the landscape of the race at the top while the teams at the bottom still weren’t impressive enough to pass Texas at #5. Here’s a preview of each team’s match-up next week and a recap of their performance last weekend. Starting from the top!

Preview and Recap

Oklahoma Sooners:

Oklahoma rolled UCLA 49-21 at home with Russell Westbrook, Trae Young and Buddy Hield in attendance. Rodney Anderson went down with a knee injury at the end of the 1st quarter after recording 19 yards on 6 carries and a touchdown. This is a tough break for the Sooners and for Anderson, who suffered his third season-ending injury since arriving in Norman. Hopefully he will be able to return to full strength next season for Oklahoma. Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray accounted for 5 touchdowns and led OU in rushing for the game.

Next week Oklahoma kicks off Big 12 play in Ames, Iowa, for a game against the Cyclones. Weird things tend to happen in Ames, but the defending Big 12 champions should be just fine against the Cyclones in the Big 12 opener. After losing to Iowa State at home last year, Oklahoma will be looking to put away ISU early. Trey Sermon will fill the void left by Anderson at running back.

West Virginia Mountaineers:

Couches in Morgantown live to see another week after West Virginia shredded Youngstown State 52-17. Will Grier continued to look the part of a Heisman candidate with a 332 yard and 4 touchdown performance. West Virginia looks poised to be Oklahoma’s biggest threat for the Big 12 crown. Youngstown State managed to hang more points on the Mountaineers than Tennessee did but I wouldn’t read too much into that. There isn’t much you can take from a game like this.

West Virginia is scheduled to play their second game in North Carolina in their first three games this weekend, however, it won’t come to fruition. With Hurricane Florence barreling towards the east coast, NC State has decided to cancel it’s home game with the Mountaineers. That means the next time West Virginia plays will be against Kansas State at home. West Virginia will have two weeks to prepare for K-State....Mountaineers by 90.

TCU Horned Frogs

TCU beat SMU 42-12 in an ugly, rain soaked game in Dallas last Friday night. I almost considered moving TCU below OSU for the ugly showing, but they played well enough in the second half to save face and overcome that embarrassing 9-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter. It was a sloppy game but that isn’t surprising given the weather and freshman quarterback Shawn Robinson playing his first “road” game. Robinson had a decent showing while Kavontae Turpin and Jalen Reagor starred at wide out for the Horned Frogs.

The 15th ranked Horned Frogs get #4 Ohio State in AT&T Stadium this weekend. This will be Ohio State’s last game before Urban Meyer returns from suspension. Don’t expect Meyer’s absence to make much of a difference on the scoreboard. The Buckeyes are still one of the most talented teams in the nation. This game will bring College Gameday to the Big 12 for the first time this season, hopefully the Horned Frogs hold their own for the conference on the national stage. Also, TCU fans, show up to Gameday with some heat. Don’t embarrass us with weak signs.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State rolled South Alabama 55-13 last weekend. Taylor Cornelius looked better although he still had a handful of passes that I would give anything to forget. The running backs struggled in large part due to the offensive line. That group will have to improve next week to beat Boise State. Tylan Wallace had a breakout game for the Pokes and Corn Dog finally started throwing to Tyron Johnson. I’m buying all the Swaggy T stock I can find. It’s a bag year!!

Oklahoma State welcomes in the Boise State Broncos this weekend, who put up 818 yards of offense last week. This is the week we find out what this Jim Knowles defense is all about. The 17th ranked Broncos will be the first ranked team to visit Stillwater since Georgia in 2009. Shoutout to the Dez Bryant era! This won’t be an easy game for the Cowboys to win, but we will find out a lot more about this team than we have learned the past two weeks.

Texas Longhorns

Texas beat Tulsa 28-21 (yikes) in their home opener last weekend. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before but the Horns put up another underwhelming performance! A win is a step in the right direction for this team after losing at Maryland. Texas remained at #5 in my power rankings, that really says a lot about the teams below them. Sam Ehlinger played well outside of a lost fumble and Lil’ Jordan Humphrey had a great day receiving. After going into halftime up 21-0, Texas let Tulsa back into the game late and barely held on for the win. It’s miraculous to watch this team do what they do best, play down to the level of teams with half the talent and resources.

Texas gets USC (gulp) this weekend. Texas played well against the Trojans last year and almost pulled out a win in double OT. I’m a native Texan so I’m not ashamed at all to say I’ll openly be rooting for Texas. Californians seem to think they have better football (false) and better burgers (Whataburger is king) and I’d love nothing more than to see California Twitter take a massive L this weekend. California Twitter is the equivalent of OU Twitter for those of you unaware. It should be a good game down in Austin. Godspeed, Longhorns.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Tech destroyed Lamar in Lubbock 77-0 last weekend. Once again, there isn’t much we can take from this game. Alan Bowman had a near perfect day at quarterback for the Red Raiders and backup quarterback Jett Duffey led the team in rushing. Anytime you win a game 77-0 there probably isn’t too much to take away from it. We’ll know more about Tech when they come to Stillwater for a night game (!!) in two weeks.

Before the Red Raiders make the trip to Stillwater, they’ll get Houston at home. This game will tell us much more about the Red Raiders and that new defense of their’s than the Lamar game did. True freshman Alan Bowman will get his second start at quarterback, although he did get a substantial amount of snaps against Ole Miss. This will be his first real test as a starter and it won’t be an easy one with Ed Oliver lining up on the other side of the football. This is a must win game for Texas Tech with their annual loss to Oklahoma State looming the week after.

Baylor Bears

Baylor defeated UTSA 37-20 last week in an excellent game from Charlie Brewer and Jalen Hurd. Once again Baylor beat a cupcake, and it wasn’t necessarily an impressive win either. I can live with their offensive performance, but a 17-point win over UTSA isn’t going to cut it. We still haven’t seen this team face real competition but we’ll know a little bit more next week.

The Duke Blue Devils visit Waco, Texas, for a marquee basketball match-up. Too bad they’re playing football instead. I’ll be impressed with the Bears if they can get a win this weekend. Duke isn’t a traditionally a great football team, but anything is better than Abilene Christian and UTSA. This game will tell us if Baylor could be a trap game this year or if they’re going to be a pushover for everyone but the Kansas schools.

Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State opened their season with a 13-3 loss to Iowa. After a poor showing against Iowa, the Cyclones are in for a rude awakening against OU this weekend. ISU couldn’t move the ball and wouldn’t score after their lone field goal in the first quarter. Looks like another disappointing season in Ames is on the horizon after a good season (by Iowa State standards) last season.

As I mentioned above, Iowa State gets Oklahoma at home this weekend. The Cyclones handed Oklahoma their only loss in the Big 12 last year. The Sooners will be out for revenge this weekend and they’ll get it. Iowa State needs to bounce back and they have a great opportunity to do so. They have a lot to figure out after not being able to move the ball against an average Big 10 school.

Who celebrates a four game winning streak against Iowa State? It isn’t that hard to do!

Kansas Jayhawks

KANSAS WANTS MARYLAND! The Jayhawks won a FOOTBALL game on the road! Even more impressive than that was the fact that the game was never close. Kansas beat Central Michigan 31-7. Freshman Pooka Williams Jr. ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries in his collegiate debut. That has to be the best performance by a Kansas football player in the last decade. It rivals Matt Wyman’s perfect 3/3 day kicking field goals against Texas in 2016, which included the game winner in OT. This might also be the first time in the last decade Kansas won a football game on a day Kansas State didn’t. What a time to be alive.

Kansas will look to start a winning streak at home against Rutgers this weekend. Rutgers is the Kansas of the Big 10 so don’t be surprised to see the Jayhawks be competitive in this game. I’ll be impressed if Kansas wins this game, but it isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility. Enjoy the 9th spot this week, Kansas.

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State moved down to 10th after a 31-10 loss to Mississippi State. They won’t win the SEC West, but Mississippi State is a pretty good football team. That being said, the Bulldogs ran all over Kansas State in Manhattan. It hasn’t been a good start to the season for the Wildcats. The offense looked inept against Mississippi State and the defense didn’t look much better.

Kansas State will have a chance to hand UTSA their second loss to a Big 12 school this season in Manhattan this weekend. Kansas State needs a big win to have some momentum going into conference play. I’m not sure if it’s possible for Bill Snyder’s seat to get hot but if so now might be the time for it to do so more than ever.

Big 12 Championship Game:

Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) vs West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0)

Both teams looked explosive in wins over lesser teams over the weekend. Oklahoma’s 49-21 over UCLA was more impressive than West Virginia’s blowout, but these two still looked like the best two teams in the conference. I still have Oklahoma winning this game and going to a NY6 bowl game.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Will Grier: West Virginia University

Kyler Murray had a great week for the Sooners against UCLA, but not good enough to top Will Grier. While Grier had a good week against poor competition, he remains atop most Heisman ballots. Rodney Anderson was another strong candidate for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, but he suffered a season-ending injury against the Bruins.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Joe Dineen Jr: Kansas University

The senior linebacker recorded 16 tackles in the loss to Nicholls State in week one. Dineen was instrumental in Kansas’ big win at Central Michigan last week, recording 14 tackles and coming up with an interception. He’s been a force through two games and the Jayhawks will need him to be disruptive again this weekend if they want to beat Rutgers.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:

Jalen Hurd: Baylor University

Hurd had another big week with 136 yards and a touchdown. Hurd led the Bears in receiving and will probably continue that trend against Duke this weekend. Charlie Brewer connected with Hurd and Denzel Mims more than any other receiver. Those three will carry Baylor on offense this season.

Freshman of the Year:

Caden Sterns: University of Texas

Little Sterns came up with his first career interception in the Longhorns 28-21 win over Tulsa. Tack that on to his four tackles and it’s good enough to remain as my pick for Freshman of the Year.

Coach of the Year:

Lincoln Riley: Oklahoma University

Riley’s Sooners were ready to play against UCLA over the weekend. Even after Anderson went down with his injury, the Oklahoma offense didn’t miss a beat. Kyler Murray passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more. Riley has only lost two games in his short time as head coach of the Sooners and that might not change for awhile.

Breakout Player of the Year:

Tyron Johnson: Oklahoma State University

I’ve changed my pick from one Cowboy wide out to another. Johnson had 137 receiving yards on five receptions last week. Tylan Wallace is another Breakout Player of the Year for the Pokes and he had double the receptions and led the team in receiving yards last week. I picked Tyron Johnson because he is the more experienced player who I think will have the better year of the two when all is said and done. I’ve been waiting for Johnson to breakout since he stepped on campus, and it looks like that day is finally here.