It’s not unusual for won-lost records to be deceiving, especially this time of year, when we are still very early in the college football season. Some teams, like Kansas State and top-ranked Oklahoma, are just playing their second game this weekend, while other schools are into their third week of action.
That’s why it is a little dangerous but easy to read too much into mere wins and losses based on too little information. To illustrate this point, Kansas has won its first two games of the year and looks like giant killers in some people’s eyes, but that might be the only wins the Jayhawks end up with at season’s end. Kansas State was victorious in its season opener, but only by seven points, scored late in the game, at home, against a Division II-A opponent. In the process of winning, the Wildcats looked the worst of all the Big 12 schools on opening weekend.
Another example is Texas, winners of two straight to start the season. If the Longhorns are able to get by UCLA this weekend – arguably a big if – they could be looking at a 4-0 start by the time the Red River Rivalry game with Oklahoma rolls around the second weekend in October. Having watched and written about Texas’ first two wins, you’d have to work very hard to convince me that this year’s Longhorns squad is as good as their record. We’ll wait and see what UCLA has to say about that when the two teams meet Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl.
In the meantime, here’s how I see things powering up in the early going of 2011 Big 12 football:
Big 12 Power Rankings (Entering Week 3)
- Oklahoma – Florida State test will define Sooners’ season.
- Oklahoma State – Once again a score-at-will offense; not as strong defensively.
- Texas A&M – Must avoid looking ahead to Oklahoma State next week.
- Baylor – This team is explosive, but one game does not make a season.
- Missouri – Much better than their on-field performance would indicate.
- Texas Tech – Hard to evaluate until they actually play somebody.
- Texas – Not the same team of old, but better and more confident than last year.
- Iowa State – Transfer quarterback Steele Jantz has shown he can play.
- Kansas – We’ll see how much Kansas really has improved vs. Georgia Tech.
- Kansas State – If Cats don’t play better than first game, it will be a looooong season.
9 – Number of consecutive road games that Kansas has lost. The Jayhawks are in Atlanta Saturday to go up against Georgia Tech.
10 – Total number of yards rushing Kansas State allowed in its 10-7 win over Division
II-A Eastern Kentucky.
20– Eight times last week vs. Arizona State Missouri ran plays that gained 20 or more yards. This happened only once in Week 1 vs. Miami (Ohio).
37– Consecutive home games Oklahoma has won at Gaylord Family-OU Memorial Stadium in Norman, the longest active home streak in the country.
42 – Pass completions by Oklahoma State senior quarterback Brandon Weeden in the Cowboys’ win over Arizona, which set a single-game school record.
47– Longest field goal made so far this season in the Big 12, by Grant Ressel of Missouri. . Ressel missed a 48-yard FG in the same game against Arizona State that would have won it for Mizzou in regulation.
125 – Rushing average per game by Joseph Randle of Oklahoma State in his first two games this season.
197– Kickoff return yards by D.J. Beshears of Kansas last week against Illinois State, the second most in Jayhawk football history.
221– Pass-receiving yardage by Darrin Moore of Texas Tech in the Red Raiders season-opening game vs. Texas State.
332 – Second-half scoring margin by Texas over its first two opponents (Rice and BYU).
2,000 – Rushing yardage for Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe as a quarterback his senior year in high school.
For more information:
Big 12 Conference official website