Big 12 Power Rankings: Evaluating conference play after first two weekends

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(Photo by Taylor Alderman | The Collegian) Sophomore running back Charles Jones escapes Iowa State's defense at Jack Trice Stadium on Sept. 6, 2014. The Wildcats defeated the Cyclones 32-38.

1) No. 10 Baylor (2-0) (LW: 1), 70-6 win vs. Northwestern State

Though still missing its top two players in senior quarterback Bryce Petty and wide receiver Antwan Goodley, Baylor was firing on all cylinders as junior Seth Russell took over for Petty and stole the show. Russell showed off his strong arm and completed 16 passes out of 25 attempts, while throwing for an impressive 438 yards and five touchdowns.

The receiving corps stepped up as last year’s top-returners all were out with injuries. True freshman receiver KD Cannon seemed unstoppable, having 223 yards on only six receptions, while also hauling in three touchdowns.

2) No. 4 Oklahoma (2-0) (LW: 2), 52-7 win at Tulsa

Against their in-state competition, the Sooners rolled over the Golden Hurricanes in a blowout after scoring 31 unanswered points before halftime. The Sooners continued to impress on the ground with sophomore Keith Ford rushing for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Alex Ross also contributed by rushing for 90 yards and one touchdown, including an 82-yard rumble into the end zone.

Sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns for the Sooners, who now will prep for undefeated Tennessee next Saturday.

3) No. 20 K-State (2-0, 1-0) (LW: 4), 32-28 win vs. Iowa State

Facing more of a challenge than people expected, the Wildcats scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:30 minutes remaining in the game and clinched a crucial early-season road victory. While both the offense and defense showed some flaws in their game, the early challenge will help the team as it goes on with their season. K-State held off an inspired Iowa State team that dropped its season opener to North Dakota State.

The best thing about the win for the Wildcats was its lesson-teaching moments to analyze during their 12-day break before taking on No. 5 Auburn.

4) Oklahoma State (1-1) (LW: 5), 40-23 win vs. Missouri State

The Cowboys offensive was on fire against the Bears. They only punted once, which didn’t come until the final drive of the game. The major concern for the Cowboys was their lack of red-zone efficiency. They converted four field goals on the day and another two field goals were missed.

5) West Virginia (1-1) (LW: 6), 54-0 win vs. Towson

After their close loss to Alabama in week one, the Mountaineers blew out the Tigers by displaying some anger from their loss to the Crimson Tide. The Mountaineers looked like a much improved team last year, but they still have a lot to prove before they are seen as competitors in the Big 12.

Senior quarterback Clint Trickett had a great game by throwing for an impressive 348 yards and two touchdowns on 35 passes out of 40 attempts.

6) TCU (1-0) (LW: 7), bye

7) Texas Tech (2-0) (LW: 8), 30-26 win at UTEP

For the second week in a row, the Red Raiders had a nail-biter on their hands. The Miners clawed their way back into a game that was won by Texas Tech, sealed with a go-ahead touchdown with 2:32 minutes remaining in the game.

The last two weeks were games that Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s squad should have run away with, especially with sophomore quarterback Davis Webb at the helm of the offense.

8) Texas (1-1) (LW: 3), 41-7 loss vs. BYU

A week after putting on an impressive defensive showing against North Texas, the Longhorn defense looked like a completely different team against the Cougars in Austin.

The Longhorns allowed the Cougars to convert half of their third down tries, while allowing 429 yards. Head coach Charlie Strong’s defense looked tired against a Cougar team that ran the ball 59 times, while also allowing 258 rushing yards on the day. That was more than three times the rushing yards that the Longhorns allowed against North Texas in week one.

9) Kansas (1-0) (LW: 10), 34-28 win vs. SE Missouri State

After capturing their first win of the season, the Jayhawks are looking like they could improve upon their 2013-14 season record of 3-9. In order to do that, they will need sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart to keep improving on his 12 passes out of 24 attempts performance in which he threw for 196 yards and three touchdowns.

10) Iowa State (0-2, 0-1) (LW: 9), 28-32 loss vs. K-State

For the second-straight season, the Cyclones start their season with two-straight losses. The Cyclones almost managed to pull out a win in Jack Trice Stadium against the Wildcats, but ultimately lost in a hard-fought battle that came down to the final series of the game.

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