College football is actually here! It has been a pretty busy preseason so far for the Big 12. It’s turned into football’s version of Big Brother. Who’s staying? Who’s leaving? Who’s actually aligned? And, will Texas and Oklahoma continue to be the power couple?
We’re pretty sure we know who holds all the power off the field, but who’s the most powerful on the field? Here’s a look at my Big 12 Power Rankings going into the first week of the season. Future rankings will include input from our other Big 12 writers.
1. OKLAHOMA - This is an easy pick and the popular pick. The Sooners are loaded and expectations in Norman are as high as ever. Bob Stoops is racking up conference titles, but the Sooner faithful are expecting much more this season.
2. OKLAHOMA STATE - Speaking of high expectations in Oklahoma, they have never been this high in Stillwater. The Pokes possibly have the best QB/WR combo in the country and the o-line is as good as any in the conference. The Cowboys host Bedlam for the second year in a row. It should be an epic match-up with plenty on the line.
3. TEXAS A&M - Again, the word expectations come to mind. They are higher than ever for the Aggie farewell tour. Honestly, it probably would be a toss-up between A&M and OSU for the second spot except for the fact that every team will be looking to give the Aggies a beat down on their way out the door.
4. MISSOURI - For Missouri things have actually gotten tougher since the loss of Nebraska and Colorado. In the old Big 12 the Tigers would have been one of two teams fighting for a spot in the conference title game. Now they must play all the teams from the south.
5. BAYLOR - The Bears over the Longhorns is probably a surprise to many, but it really shouldn’t be. Robert Griffin is arguably one of the top 3 QB’s in the Big 12 and will have a chance to prove it in the first week of the season against TCU.
6. TEXAS - I can promise you it’s not my Sooner blood that made me put the Horns all the way down to number six. Although I considered putting them at seven. The problem with Texas is that for some reason (promises) Mack Brown is sticking with Garrett Gilbert at quarterback. Eventually talent will take over and the Longhorns will probably start winning enough games to prove me wrong.
7. TEXAS TECH - Losing a quarterback in the Mike Leach era didn’t mean much. The genius is gone and now the Red Raiders will be breaking in a new arm in Seth Doege. Tech fans are hoping Tommy Tuberville is able to continue the offensive tradition because the defense, which gave up over 30 points per game a season ago, is horrible.
8. KANSAS STATE - You’ve got to have some faith in Bill Snyder to get the Wildcats back on track, but like Missouri, Kansas State will have to play the south teams in this new Big 12. Will Snyder be more focused on winning games this year or making sure his Cats have a BCS conference to play in next season.
9. IOWA STATE - The difference between the Cyclones and Jayhawks is that there’s at least a pulse in Ames. It might be a faint pulse, but it’s a pulse.
10. KANSAS - The good thing about a 10 team conference is the Jayhawks are guaranteed not to finish 12th. For fans in Lawrence, there’s good news. Basketball season is only a couple months away.