Keeping Up With The Conference: Week 2 Recap and Power Rankings

Texas Athletics

We’ll get through these without stopping for cramps, I promise.

After all the hype and fanfare that last week brought us leading up to the LSU game, the showdown between two of college football’s premier teams didn’t disappoint. Even though LSU escaped Austin with a win, they couldn’t wait to get back to Baton Rogue before blowing some hot air (pun intended) back towards Texas.

Sigh.

Despite all the distractions, however valid they may be, Texas will shift its attention towards Rice this weekend at NRG Stadium in Houston. This weekend serves as a final tune-up before the Big 12 season for all of the teams in the Big 12. Conference play should bring everyone back to a state of somewhat normalcy.

With Week 3 on the horizon, we’re nearly 25 percent finished with the 2019 season. Before you know it, we’ll be previewing the Big 12 championship in Jerry World.

But until then, we can only work with what we’ve got — and a lot’s already happened in just two weeks. Here’s your Week 2 Big 12 recap as the conference (well, most of it) focuses on their final non-conference game before hitting the conference schedule.

A reminder that the Power Rankings are not meant to reflect the current standings. They’ll be based on a combination of season performance, heavily weighing more recent games, and will take into consideration opponent quality compared to the rest of the conference.

BIG 12 POWER RANKINGS

Previous week ranking is in [BRACKETS]

1. (5) Oklahoma [1]

Last week: W vs South Dakota, 70-14

Highlight: QB Jalen Hurts reprised his role as the efficient game manager for OU, racking up 259 yards passing and three scores on just 14-of-18 passing. The Oklahoma offense ran all over South Dakota’s inferior defense, with the team spreading the rushing attack among eight different players, totaling 310 yards and three scores. One of those scores was also the longest run of the day — a 75 yard scamper and sprint from RB Rhamondre Stevenson.

Trending: NEUTRAL. By virtue of taking care of business, Oklahoma remains at the top of the Big 12 Power Rankings. The offense continues to run as efficiently as possible, albeit it against an FCS opponent. Next week provides a bottom-barrel Power Five matchup against UCLA, where better judgement and analysis can be drawn on Oklahoma. But don’t put too much hope in an upset in Los Angeles a la Aggy from two seasons ago.

Next Up: at UCLA, Saturday 7:00 p.m. Central (FOX)

2. (12) Texas [2]

Last week: L vs LSU, 38-45

Highlight: Two players really shined on the big stage, as QB Sam Ehlinger and WR Devin Duvernay had career performances against an LSU defense loaded with NFL-caliber talent. Duvernay logged 12 catches for 154 yards and two scores, while Ehlinger threw for 401 yards and four touchdowns while adding 60 yards and a score on the ground. One of those passing TDs was this pinpoint perfect strike to Jake Smith for a touchdown 20 yards out.

Trending: NEUTRAL. A gritty loss at home raises some questions on the defensive side of the ball, primarily in the secondary. The temporary loss of S B.J. Foster doesn’t help, either, especially with Big 12 play looming large on the upcoming schedule. But on the other side of the ball, the Longhorns rose to the occasion and put up 38 points against the so called “DBU” and one of the best defensive fronts in the nation. The defense is a work in progress, but as long as Ehlinger and the offense keep rolling, Texas will be hard to beat.

Next Up: at Rice, Saturday 7:00 p.m. Central (on CBSSN)

3. Baylor [3]

Last week: W vs UTSA, 63-14

Highlight: You’d figure with the score at 63-14, that there’d be a ton of passing offense and quick scores via the passing attack. But Baylor was a force on the ground in this game, gaining 368 yards rushing and five touchdowns on just 39 carries — that’s 9.4 yards per carry. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t any throwing highlights to look over. QB Charlie Brewer may have only thrown for 163 yards, but 101 of those went to WR Denzel Mims. He grabbed three touchdowns on the day, including this 30-yard dime.

Trending: UP. Like Oklahoma, Baylor took care of business at home against a much lesser opponent. The rushing game is something to note, however, as Baylor already figured to have an above-average passing attack going into the season. If the rushing game can perform at an above-average level once conference play rolls around, the Bears will be a tough out in league play.

Next Up: UTSA, Saturday 3:00 p.m. Central

4. Iowa State [4]

Last week: Bye Week

Trending: NEUTRAL. Despite their horrid near-upset start to the season, Iowa State still has control over their year. Their big in-state rival Iowa comes to town, where the Cyclones will be underdogs at home. A Cy-Hawk trophy win could restore a lot of lost faith in the season.

Next Up: (19) Iowa, 3:00 p.m. Central (on FS1)

5. TCU [5]

Last week: Bye Week

Trending: NEUTRAL. Like Iowa State, TCU was off last weekend. Unlike Iowa State, TCU will be a small road favorite, as they travel north to face off against the Purdue Boilermakers. This should be a close game, and should shed some light on how we should expect TCU to fare this season.

Next Up: at Purdue, 6:30 pm. Central (on Big Ten Network)

6. Oklahoma State [6]

Last week: W vs McNeese, 56-14

Highlight: Texas wasn’t the only school to face an Orgeron from Louisiana this week. The Cowboys defense held McNeese QB Cody Orgeron to just 11-of-22 passing, with only 151 yards while snagging two picks. Meanwhile, OSU QB Spencer Sanders lit up the box score in limited playing time, amassing 250 passing yards, 51 rushing yards, and three touchdowns. This score to WR Tylan Wallace for a 69-yard touchdown was one of the more impressive highlights of the rout.

Trending: NEUTRAL. An FCS school, McNeese was never going to challenge OSU much in Stillwater. However, the Cowboys took care of the ball, caused turnovers and scores on defense, and their athletic playmakers put on a show in an all-around drubbing. OSU remains at 6 in the rankings by virtue of the lack of film from the two teams above them, but don’t be surprised to see the Cowboys rise. Next up for Okie State is a short road trip to play at Tulsa, followed by their Big 12 season opener at Texas on the national “ABC 6:30 PM game” stage.

Next Up: at Tulsa, Saturday 2:30 p.m. Central (on ESPN2)

7. Texas Tech [7]

Last week: W vs UTEP, 38-3

Highlight: In typical Red Raider fashion, it was Texas Tech’s defense leading the charge in their big win over UTEP. Texas Tech held its opponent to just 131 total yards of offense in the game, with most of those yards coming late in the fourth in a garbage time field goal drive from UTEP. The play of the game came from QB Alan Bowman, who roped a 30-yard touchdown pass right into the hands of WR T.J. Vasher for their final passing score of the game.

Trending: NEUTRAL. In what was a low-scoring by game by west Texas school standards, the Red Raiders owned UTEP on defense to take home the imaginary Panhandle trophy. Their play on offense could’ve been better, at least from a box score perspective, as Bowman only accounted for 260 yards of offense on 30-of-45 attempts. Tech should provide a quick offensive turnaround in their next game, with a Pac-12 After Dark showdown at Arizona.

Next Up: at Arizona, Saturday 9:30 p.m. Central (on ESPN)

8. Kansas State [8]

Last week: W vs Bowling Green, 52-0

Highlight: K-State dominated the game from start to finish, just as the score would indicate. Though the Wildcats amassed 333 yards on the ground, QB Skylar Thompson was incredibly efficient in his passing work, going 10-of-13 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Both of those scores went to WR Malik Knowles, including this grab from 20 yards out on third down.

Trending: UP. Like other Big 12 teams this weekend, the opponent K-State had in Bowling Green wasn’t ever expected to seriously compete with the Wildcats. But this kind of win is encouraging for the Cats, who not only racked up over 500 yards of offense, but held the Falcons to 140 yards of offense. This weekend’s game should be one of the better ones among all the other Big 12 teams.

Next Up: at Mississippi State, Saturday 11:00 a.m. Central (on ESPN)

9. West Virginia [9]

Last week: L at Missouri, 38-7

Highlight: West Virginia put up just seven points in this game, and that came via a late touchdown from QB Austin Kendall to WR George Campbell. Outside of that play, the Mountaineers in head coach Neal Brown’s offense had absolutely nothing to show for. WVU only got up 141 yards in the air and 30 yards on the ground, as Missouri’s defense dominated the Mountaineers from start to finish.

Trending: DOWN. In a road match-up against Mizzou, the Mountaineers fell totally flat in their first true test of the season. It’s shaping up to be a long year for West Virginia, as they got completely stifled on offense while allowing Missouri to run all over them for 232 team rushing yards. Next week’s game against NC State poses another tough challenge before opening conference play.

Next Up: vs NC State, Saturday 11:00 a.m. Central (on ESPN)

10. Kansas [10]

Last week: L vs Coastal Carolina, 12-7

Highlight: When both teams combine for just three scores and under 500 yards of total offense, there won’t be many big plays to miss out on. Coastal Carolina bottled up last season’s Big 12 Freshman Offensive player of the year in RB Pooka Williams Jr., who ran for 99 yards but got there on 22 carries. The lone touchdown of the day for the Jayhawks came courtesy of this 41-yard run from RB Kahlil Herbert in the first quarter.

Trending: DOWN. Now there’s the Kansas we all know. The disappointing home loss to Coastal Carolina provided very little from either team in the ways of offense, as this was the only Big 12 game from the past week to not have at least a combined 40 points from each team. Les Miles probably knows he has a lot of work to do in order to make Kansas relevant to the nation — this game was a pretty big indicator of that.

Next Up: at Boston College, Friday 6:30 p.m. Central (on ACCN)

BIG 12 STANDINGS (THROUGH WEEK 2)

  1. (5) Oklahoma [2-0]
  2. Baylor [2-0]
  3. Kansas State [2-0]
  4. Oklahoma State [2-0]
  5. Texas Tech [2-0]
  6. Iowa State [1-0]
  7. TCU [1-0]
  8. (12) Texas [1-1]
  9. Kansas [1-1]
  10. West Virginia [1-1]

STAT OF THE WEEK

So a few Ehlinger stats to share:

But the real stat of the week:

PARTING SHOT

Source: Burnt Orange Nation