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Updated Big 12 Predictions and Superlatives

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After one week of play, here are my updated standings, superlatives and more.

Missouri State v Oklahoma State Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

Week one taught us more about some Big 12 teams than it did for others. After each week I’ll give my updated predictions and superlatives for teams in the conference based on each teams cumulative performance. There weren’t too many surprises over the weekend. Texas still isn’t back while West Virginia vs. Oklahoma is looking like it will be a shootout for the ages. Here’s how I think the rest of the season will play out after week one.

Standings

1. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)

2. West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0)

3. TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0)

5. Texas Longhorns (0-1)

6. Iowa State Cyclones (0-0)

7. Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-1)

8. Baylor Bears (1-0)

9. Kansas State Wildcats (1-0)

10. Kansas Jayhawks (0-1)

It’s important not to overreact after week one. Remember when everyone thought Texas might be back for 2 seconds after they beat Notre Dame a few years back. Texas still has a lot to figure out and after watching them for the past decade I don’t have much faith that they will do so. That being said, they have one of the most talented teams in the Big 12. Quarterback is still a huge problem for them, however, as bad as they might be, the teams I have ranked below them just don’t impress me at all.

Kansas lost to Nicholls State, and I can guarantee you they bought a parking pass for the 10th place spot in the Big 12. Don’t worry Kansas fans, November will be here soon enough. While Kansas was busy losing to a team from the Southland Conference, Kansas State was doing Kansas things in Manhattan. Unlike Kansas, K-State escaped with at least a small part of their dignity, coming out on the right side of the two 3-point football games in the state on Saturday. For the sake of football in the state of Kansas, K-State has to do better. They can rise in my power rankings with a good showing at home against #18 Mississippi State this week.

Down in Houston Texas Tech had a chance to display their revamped defense. 546 yards and a 20-point loss later here we are. At least they tried right? Kliff Kingsbury’s seat continues to heat up, and he will likely have to have a great record in conference play to save his job. Once again Texas Tech’s offense looked more than capable of putting points on the board, but losing by 20 to a team that won’t even be bowl eligible this year isn’t a good look. That isn’t to say Ole Miss isn’t a good football team, but this was a game Tech needed badly. The Rebels “Nasty Wide-Outs” torched the Tech defense for 336 yards. Texas Tech can’t allow Big 12 schools to do that to them or it’s going to be a long season in Lubbock.

Also, I’ve found probably the only defender of the Tech defense and he is incredibly mad online. Of all the sports hills to die on, THIS AIN’T IT.

That leaves Baylor and Iowa State below Texas in the standings. Iowa State’s game against South Dakota State got cancelled and Baylor beat Abilene Christian 55-27. The last time Baylor paid a school to play them in Waco they managed to end up on the wrong end of the scoreboard, so this is a big step for them. We didn’t learn much about either team. Time will tell if Baylor can take the next step and if Iowa State can make Ames things happen again this season.

The meltdown on the Orangebloods message board on Saturday was one for the ages. One user pleaded Texas to stop recruiting “white Friday night hero QB’s from the burbs,” referring to Sam Ehlinger’s performance. Like I said, it was incredible. The quarterback position will define how the rest of Texas’ season goes. The defense is young but very talented and could be one of the best in the Big 12 by the seasons end. None of that matters if the coaching staff and team don’t stop making the same mistakes they have been since Tom Herman arrived on campus. I’ve never seen a bigger waste of talent and resources in my entire life. Herman needs to start winning football games or else he will start competing with Kliff Kingsbury for hottest seat in the Big 12.

Kyler Murray and the Sooners look reloaded and poised for another trip to Arlington for the Big 12 championship game. Will Grier looked the part of a Heisman candidate in a 40-14 route of Tennessee which sets up West Virginia’s home game against the Sooners to be a shootout for the decades. Shawn Robinson looked great in TCU’s 55-7 thrashing of Southern University. For now, it looks like these three squads and Oklahoma State will compete against each other for order in the top four of the Big 12.

The Cowboys have a lot of questions on offense, and the defense needs to play a more complete game. They have time because their schedule is backloaded and it’ll be interesting to see if Mike Gundy has them ready to play in November. The consistency of Corn Dog will be huge and it’ll be interesting to see how much Gundy plays Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders. They can each play in up to 4 games without burning their redshirt. The first week generated more questions than answers for the Cowboys, and we probably won’t get many answers until they play Boise State in two weeks.

Big 12 Championship Game:

Oklahoma Sooners (1-0) vs West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0)

These are two of the most explosive teams in all of college football and I absolutely wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch. I have no doubt that this game would generate a few candidates for tweet of the year. West Virginia twitter does the most, and we all know how the Sooners like to act on social media. Kyler Murray is very familiar with AT&T Stadium, winning back-to-back-to-back 6A state championships with Allen High School in Jerryworld, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest high school football players ever. I’ll take OU in a close shootout in this one.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Will Grier: West Virginia University

I know this will upset Oklahoma State fans, but Justice Hill won’t put up the same numbers Will Grier will. Grier will do it all for West Virginia, while Mike Gundy has said he’s going to try to keep Justice Hill at 15 carries a game. OSU has so much depth at running back that Hill will probably only get heavy workload later in the season. If Grier is still in the Heisman conversation at the end of the year he has to be Offensive POTY for the Big 12.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Ben Banogu: Texas Christian University

The TCU star was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last season. Banogu led the Horned Frogs in tackles for loss with 16.5 and finished second in the Big 12 with 8.5 sacks. He’s the anchor of the TCU defense and a big year from Banogu might be what TCU needs to push their way to the Big 12 Championship game. The DFW native transferred to TCU and has become a fan favorite in Fort Worth.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year:

Jalen Hurd: Baylor University

Hurd was a football savior at Tennessee, until he wasn’t. Many felt he’d help turn around the program, but it’s never that simple in football. When Tennessee coaches wouldn’t let him move from running back to wide-out, Hurd knew it was time for change. His body couldn’t take the beating of getting hit by SEC defenses every week, and he knew his shot in the NFL would be at wide receiver. The former volunteer transferred to Baylor and caught 4 passes for 58 yards and a touchdown in the Bears season opener. Look for Hurd to be the go-to offensive weapon in Waco this season.

Freshman of the Year:

Caden Sterns: University of Texas

The younger brother of former Oklahoma State Cowboy Jordan Sterns, Caden recorded 4 tackles in his first game for the Longhorns. Texas will need Sterns and the secondary to play at a high level all season long. The offense at Texas isn’t good enough for the Horns to get into shootouts, which means the defense is going to need to hold the fort down and pray the offense puts up enough points to win.

Coach of the Year

Lincoln Riley: Oklahoma University

This has just as much to do with recruiting as it does with coaching. The Sooners have more talent on defense than they’ve seen in Norman for years. Bob Stoops always got recruits on the offensive side of the ball, but he never pulled in defensive talent like this. It seems like the Sooners are pulling in top recruits weekly. This team could be just as dangerous as last year’s CFP semifinal squad if Kyler Murray lives up to the hype. We won’t know for sure until OU plays better teams than Florida Atlantic, but watch out for the Sooners this year.

Breakout Player of the Year

Dillon Stoner: Oklahoma State University

Dillon Stoner frequently found himself open last season because of all the weapons the Cowboys had on offense. While OSU lost some of those guys, Stoner will still find ways to get open because the Pokes still have plenty of weapons this year. He should be a guy Taylor Cornelius hooks up with plenty over the course of this season.