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Updated Big 12 Predictions and Superlatives After Week Three

Check out my updated predictions following a wild week three below.

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

Big 12 teams are preparing for conference play to start this weekend. Although there are only three teams that made it out of the first three weeks undefeated, the Big 12 avoided the massive meltdown that the Big 10 had over the weekend. Rutgers lost TO KANSAS 55-14. This is the same team that lost their opener to Nicholls State. I am enthralled. After an interesting week three, here are my updated power rankings.

Standings

1. Oklahoma Sooners (3-0)

2. West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0)

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0)

4. TCU Horned Frogs (2-1)

5. Texas Longhorns (2-1)

6. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-1)

7. Iowa State Cyclones (0-2)

8. Kansas Jayhawks (2-1)

9. Kansas State Wildcats (2-1)

10. Baylor Bears (2-1)

The Kansas Jayhawks at #8! What a time to be alive! Baylor fell to last place with a sad performance at home against Duke. When it became apparent that TCU wasn’t going to beat Ohio State, I was still going to keep them at #3. Then Shawn Robinson threw that interception on the Horned Frogs last possession. TCU had the talent to beat Ohio State. Shawn Robinson played well but also looked like a redshirt freshman at times. I’ll go more in depth in the recap.

Recap and Preview

Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma kicked off Big 12 play in Ames against Iowa State. The Cyclones didn’t look impressive in their 13-3 loss to Iowa, but they came to play at home against Oklahoma. Then again, if you can’t get up for Oklahoma who are you getting up for? The Sooners traditionally get everyone’s best shot in Big 12 play. Kyler Murray put his name in the Heisman race with a great performance over the weekend. Murray had 348 yards on 21/29 passing and 3 touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception. Kyler also lead the Sooners in rushing again, which is a tad troubling.

Next week Oklahoma gets their final non-conference game of the season at home against Army. This should be an easy dub for Oklahoma. The Sooners need to use this week to figure out who their running game is going to be. Trey Sermon didn’t have a bad game against Iowa State, however, it isn’t ideal to have your quarterback lead your team in rushing. With that being said, Kyler Murray is an exceptional runner. Sermon has big shoes to fill, and if he can fill those shoes, the Sooners become a dangerous candidate to make the CFP once again.

West Virginia Mountaineers

I covered this last week but West Virginia and NC State cancelled their game because of Hurricane Florence. I almost thought about moving West Virginia down to #4 in my power rankings because Oklahoma State and TCU both looked good this weekend, but it’s hard to penalize a team for not being able to play.

The Mountaineers get Kansas State at home this weekend in a game that they should win comfortably. Kansas State hasn’t looked great so far. I expect West Virginia to come out firing on all cylinders. This group should be hungry to play and prove themselves after not being able to play last weekend. Will Grier’s Heisman campaign could use a shot of energy. It should be a fun afternoon for the Mountaineers in Morgantown.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

I’ve made 16 game predictions for Oklahoma State and only picked them to lose once. That one time was last weekend. The Cowboys beat Boise State 44-21 and proved themselves on a national stage. That was reflected in the AP Poll, as the Pokes moved up nine spots to #15. I haven’t been this impressed with OSU in a while. The Cowboys played a complete game of football. Taylor Cornelius silenced his doubters by having another improved week under center. Corn Dog also got to show off his running skills, getting a team high 16 carries and scoring two rushing touchdowns. Oklahoma State has a backloaded schedule, so they could very well go undefeated late into the season.

Oklahoma State opens Big 12 play with Texas Tech in Stillwater this weekend. The Red Raiders haven’t defeated Oklahoma State since 2008. Live Your Life by T.I. and Rihanna was the top song that week. George W. Bush was still in office while Barack Obama had just won the Presidential Election. Incredible. It’s been mostly down hill for the Red Raiders since 2008. If Oklahoma State plays as aggressive and fast as they did last week, Texas Tech’s losing streak against the Cowboys will be extended to double digits.

TCU Horned Frogs

TCU held their own with Ohio State on Saturday night in primetime. If not for some crucial mistakes by quarterback Shawn Robinson, TCU might have been able to pull out a win over the Buckeyes. The Horned Frogs led at halftime 14-13, and the teams looked evenly matched for much of the game. Jalen Raegor and Darius Anderson looked great for TCU, as did Shawn Robinson aside from his two costly interceptions. Ohio State scored 40, however, the defense only allowed 3 touchdowns. This game was closer than the scoreboard might indicate. TCU is going to have to clean things up on offense if they want to compete for a Big 12 title.

TCU travels to Austin to play the Longhorns this weekend. This will be another test for Robinson as Texas has one of the better defenses in the Big 12. This might be a closer game than some might think. Texas is coming off a big win (a big win for Texas, that is) and TCU doesn’t have much momentum after struggling in the second half against Ohio State. A fast start will be important for the Horned Frogs, but it should be a comfortable win for TCU.

Texas Longhorns

Texas beat a ranked USC team at home 37-14. It’s safe to say the Trojans won’t be back in the top 25 anytime soon. Texas has done some damage control with two home wins after their loss at Maryland to start the season. The Longhorns still have a long way to go if they want to save their season. The Texas offense still looked average, and this team still looks like it will need to rely on it’s defense all season.

A win over TCU at home this weekend would be impressive and would go a long way to helping the Longhorns’ season. Texas is going to need more than just a good game from their defense to beat TCU. This is the game for Sam Ehlinger to put it together and lead Texas to a home win. If Texas doesn’t win this game, the win over USC doesn’t mean much and Texas can expect another 6-6 or 7-5 year.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Picture a stereotypical Texas Tech football game. This game was exactly that. Texas Tech Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman passed for 605 yards and five touchdowns on 59 attempts. He wouldn’t have been able to get to 605 yards without Conner Killian’s lone reception (for 1 yard). Just kidding, but this game had ALL of the offense and NONE of the defense. Houston quarterback D’Eriq King passed for 431 yards and five touchdowns on 51 attempts. Tech beat Houston 63-49 at home. This game confirmed exactly what I thought about this team: they have an improved offense, but they still can’t figure out how to play defense.

Texas Tech will try to end their losing streak against Oklahoma State this weekend and it won’t be easy. The Cowboys are coming off a big 44-21 win over Boise State. The Broncos came into Stillwater after hanging up over 800 yards of offense the previous week, so preparing for a high powered offense isn’t new to OSU. This one might turn into a shootout, but the Tech defense is going to have to get a few stops in order to win this ballgame. This contest might be a first-one-to-fifty-wins type game.

Iowa State Cyclones

After a shaky week one performance against Iowa, the Cyclones looked much better at home against Oklahoma. Iowa State still lost the game 37-27 but they looked more like last year’s team than the team that showed up in Iowa City. Zeb Noland played well outside of an interception and David Montgomery looked good. It’s an 0-2 start for Iowa State, but I have faith they’ll bounce back for a decent season.

Iowa State should get their first win of the season against Akron at home this weekend. The game may not teach us a whole lot about the Cyclones, but it’ll be good for them to get a win under their belt after an unusual start to the season. This is a must win game for Iowa State if they want to go to a bowl game this season, but I doubt ISU feels that pressure in what should be a route of the Zips.

Also, Rest In Peace Celia Barquin Arozamena. We’ll all be rooting for the Cyclones on this emotional weekend in Ames.

Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas DESTROYED Rutgers 55-14. The Kansas Jayhawks have a winning record three games into the season and I need Gus Johnson at the next Kansas game losing his mind over every positive play for the Jayhawks. I moved Kansas up to #8 for the week because they are 2-1 and that might not happen again for a long time. Pooka Williams Jr. continues to be huge for the Kansas offense. He tallied 158 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown to lead all rushers.

I love that Kansas gets Baylor this weekend. This is a game they could actually win. I could have never imagined a world with a 3-1 Kansas team but here we are. This will be the best team Kansas has faced yet, so this will tell us all we need to know about the Jayhawks. Make it happen, Kansas!

Kansas State Wildcats

Well Kansas State beat UTSA by 24 after the Roadrunners lost to Baylor the week before by 17. Those numbers say Kansas State is only a touchdown better than a pretty bad Baylor team, although this isn’t an entirely fair comparison. Kansas State was up 41-7 before losing the 4th quarter 10-0, so that tells me that the backups probably played the majority of the quarter. I wasn’t able to watch this game, and I doubt I would have even if I had access. Time is precious to all of us, I try not to waste mine watching bad football.

On the other hand, Kansas State will start Big 12 in Morgantown for a tilt with West Virginia. The Mountaineers should be hungry after not getting to play their game last weekend, however, it would be an impressive win for the Wildcats either way. If they want to pull it off, their defense is going to need to lock down Will Grier and the explosive West Virginia offense. The K-State offense will need to have long drives to eat up clock. We’ll see if they can give an impressive showing and save hope for the rest of their season.

Baylor Bears

Baylor lost to Duke at home (oof) 40-27. The Bears split quarterback reps between Charlie Brewer and Jalan McClendon, which isn’t a great sign three games into the season. Ironically, those two also led Baylor in rushing, another big red flag. It might be a long season in Waco for Baylor fans.

Baylor gets Kansas at home this weekend. If the Bears don’t win this one, they may not win a Big 12 game. Kansas has momentum (!!) coming into this one and Baylor doesn’t. It’s a perfect storm for Kansas to steal a Big 12 game. These are probably the two worst teams in the conference, and it isn’t even that close.

Big 12 Championship Game:

Oklahoma Sooners (3-0) vs West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0)

Oklahoma and Kyler Murray continue to look good on the road against Iowa State. West Virginia didn’t play this weekend, but I won’t penalize them for that. This game could be a showdown of potential Heisman candidates at quarterback and a shootout for the ages. I still have Oklahoma winning this one by a touchdown or less.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Kyler Murray: Oklahoma University

Kyler has similar stats to Baker Mayfield through three games. If he ends up putting up the same numbers Baker did for Oklahoma last year, the heir to the throne could end up winning the Heisman. It could be a tight race between him and Will Grier.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Joe Dineen Jr: Kansas University

Joe Dinnen Jr led the Jayhawks in tackles in their blowout of Rutgers. He continues to be disruptive on the defensive side of the ball, and his success will be instrumental on if the Jayhawks win a few more games or not this season.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:

Jalen Hurd: Baylor University

Jalen Hurd hauled in 6 passes for 57 yards in Baylor’s loss to Duke. If Baylor had a more competent offense, Hurd would likely have bigger numbers. He’s looked dominant so far in Waco. Unfortunately for the Bears, he’s been one of the few impressive players this season.

Freshman of the Year:

Pooka Williams Jr: Kansas University

Who would have thought that two guys who are the second of their name and play football at Kansas University would win awards? The freshman ran for 158 yards and a score for Kansas last weekend. Williams Jr. has been a big part of the Kansas offense in their two wins, after not appearing in their loss to Nicholls State.

Coach of the Year:

Lincoln Riley: Oklahoma University

Riley’s Sooners beat Iowa State by 10 on the road, and as everyone who follows the Big 12 knows, walking out of Ames with a win is never easy. He’s got another dual threat quarterback playing exceptional football, and a big part of that is coaching. Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray were both super talented high school players; Murray might be the best high school quarterback ever, but that doesn’t always translate to the next level. It takes a great coach, and Lincoln Riley is just that.

Breakout Player of the Year:

Tylan Wallace: Oklahoma State University

The sophomore wide receiver led the Pokes in receiving yards for the second straight week. He had 105 yards on five receptions for Oklahoma State. Wallace has done a great job of getting open in places where Taylor Cornelius can get him the ball. Tylan and Tyron Johnson are both super athletic guys who compete for jump balls like fans were accustomed to seeing James Washington do for years. The Cowboys are in good hands with these two.