Starting this year, I would like to evaluate each team that takes the field or court and share a short synopsis with you on how and where they seem to be trending. I will break down each team according to how I feel they are ranked in my eyes. Of course with the College Football opening weekend it awakens the excitement and renewal of hope for each of our teams and sometimes sets low/high expectations for, where we as fans, we want to finish. The new CFB Playoffs also offers a new hope that your team does not have to finish in the top two in order to play for the National Championship.
I feel that there are two teams that have a legitimate shot of making the playoffs from the Big XII. Then there are three right behind them that if all goes well, and falls their way, they could easily sneak in as Big XII champions. Without further ado, here we go:
1. Oklahoma Sooners (1-0)
Unfortunately this game was only available through P-P-V, so unless you paid to watch OU crush La Tech, then you will have to wait a week to get your first taste of the 2014 Sooners. I leave them here because of the pieces they brought back from a young team last year and truthfully what I saw them do to Alabama. Trevor Knight is the key to the Sooners success
Next Game: Sept 6th @ Tulsa (0-1)
2. Baylor Bears (1-0)
McLane stadium was absolutely stunning. Who would have ever thought Baylor would be here 5 years ago? Insert RG III and a Heisman…Boom! These are not your father’s Bears and nor will they be for years to come. They were absolutely dominant against a SMU team replacing many offense players. The most concerning thing was Bryce Petty’s back. He was hurt the whole game and did not look normal. He said he was fine, but we will see. No Petty = No Title.
Next game: Sept 6th vs Northwestern St. (0-1)
3. Texas Longhorns (1-0)
Two questions were asked: can the D improve and can David Ash last? First was answered very quickly as a defense who had 88 missed tackles last year, did not miss a tackle and created turnovers. Charlie Strong handprints was all over this team and it should excite Longhorn fans tremendously. It was night and day between the last two years and Texas has a legit shot of being right in the title hunt. Ash will miss the next game after experiencing concussion like symptoms Saturday night afterwards. This was a matter of time, so now we will see how the young Swoopes and Heard will do directing this offense.
Next Game: Sept 6th vs BYU (1-0)
4. West Virginia Mountaineers (0-1)
Wait…what? They lost and so why are they ahead of everyone else? Trickett. The Mountaineers showed much improvement from last years debacle and a conversion here or there, and they would have been proud owners of upsetting the number 2 team. Offensively they will be hard to stop, and they are improving and very young. Defensively, they need to tackle a little bit better and slow the run down. If they do these things, they will win 9 games this year.
Next game: Sept 6th vs Townson (0-1)
5. TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)
It was Samford. It was at home and it didn’t show us anything about this team. But nevertheless TCU continues to show why they could be perennial contenders each year. They have an incredible defense, and a high tempo offense (even though some fans believe it could be faster) and always are tough at home. I just don’t have a good opinion until I see them play a quality opponent.
Next Game: Sept 13th vs Minnesota (1-0)
6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (0-1)
Wow. Florida State is happy to escape Arlington with a victory over a young and gritty OSU team playing freely with nothing to lose. J.W. Walsh showed us why we can’t count the Cowboys out this year, but at the same time showed us there will be growing pains. I am always impressed with the job Mike Gundy does in Stillwater and have tremendous respect for what he is creating. They will lose some games this year, but I don’t expect to see any blowouts.
Next Game: Sept 6th vs Missouri St. (1-0)
7. Kansas State Wildcats (1-0)
Consistent, disciplined, and tough as nails. This is how I’ve always known KSU to be and how they will always be till Bill Snyder calls it quits. They rolled SFA this weekend as they should have, and do it in their fashion. You know they are going to run the ball, yet no one can seemingly slow them down. They grind you down. KSU Football! not exciting but very effective. The road gets tougher the next 2 weeks though and we will see what this team is made of.
Next Game: Sept 6th @ Iowa State (0-1)
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0)
What in the world is going on in Lubbock? Central Arkansas took you to the wire? I thought Kingsbury was supposed to make us forget about Mike Leach? There are many questions regarding what Kliff is doing and the direction of this program. They have talent, they have the fan base, yet they can never get over the hump. Now I will defend TT in the fact that many players transferred after last season and they are basically starting new. They will improve but the biggest question is what I asked at the top. I fear for Kingsbury’s job is TT fails to get to 8-9 wins this year. Must improve the next week.
Next Game: Sept 6th @ UTEP (1-0)
9. Kansas Jayhawks (0-0)
They haven’t played a down yet, but I am interested in seeing if Charlie Weis can get this program back to at least the level that Mangino had them at. Weis seems to start well and fade fast at each gig and sometimes puts off the feeling that he just doesn’t care. If Kansas can’t reach a bowl game, what would the university want to do? This is all speculation, but I believe Charlie must win games this year. Plain and simple.
Next Game: Sept 6th vs SE Missouri ST (1-0)
10. Iowa State Cyclones (0-1)
Goodness me. Paul Rhodes, what are we going to do. You schedule North Dakota State, who by the way is an extremely good football team, to get a win under your belt and you get blown out? at home? You do realize KSU has a BETTER rushing attack coming to town next week right? Oh yeah and a much better defense, which you only managed to score 14 points against NDSU…at home…Iowa State needs to figure it out fast or this season will be gone in a heartbeat
Next Game: Sept 6th vs Kansas State (1-0)
Follow Justin: @JustinNeely