Big 12 Football: 5 Things We Learned In Week 1

Week 1 is in the books. On the whole, the Big 12 did not have a great week, but there were some definite bright spots. What does it all mean? That can change every week, but we are starting to see a picture after the first one.

5. Kansas State could be competitive

This was a very tough game to read, but Kansas State had a solid outing against Stanford. The Cardinal offense did not look good, especially on offense, which is always tough to judge. Was Stanford out of sync on its own or did Kansas State force that? Or was it some combination of both? The Wildcats are never down for long under the seemingly-eternal Bill Snyder. It will take time to see whether the Week 1 result was more Stanford underwhelming or more Kansas State impressing, but this was definitely an improvement over last season. If it is a good enough improvement, Kansas State could find itself in the top three or four spots in this conference.

4. Oklahoma is not as bad as they looked

The Sooners were dominated by Houston in a way that the final score doesn’t really reflect. What everyone ignores, though, is that Houston is really, really good. Everyone still has the image of Houston as a plucky upstart mid-major in their minds, not one of a major contender. That’s a mistake. I saw a quality Oklahoma team play a game against an elite opponent. The Sooners will be in contention for the Big 12 title and should probably still be the favorites. They are the most talented team and have the best quarterback. They just ran into an inspired buzzsaw, which is nothing to be too embarrassed about.

3. TCU is in serious trouble

For many years, we grew to expect Gary Patterson to coach one of the best defenses in the country. It was his success as a defensive coach that earned TCU an invite into a power conference in the first place. Since that switch to the Big 12, though, the Horned Frogs have had to rely on an elite offense to cover for their subpar defense. With a defense that gave up 41 points to an FCS school, TCU will be in for a very long season unless some rapid adjustments can be made.

2. Kansas might not be awful

Rhode Island is far from being one of the better FCS programs out there, but Kansas still put on a performance against them that a decent FBS team would put up. The Jayhawks have been one of the worst programs in all of FBS for a few years now, so any change at all is welcome. We’ll have to wait to see if this can stand up against other competition, but the Jayhawks do look drastically improved over last season.

1. Texas is back

Some outlets, like ESPN, are going way too far in putting Texas back on top of the Big 12. One game — even a great one against Notre Dame — is far too little for us to claim that Texas has made such a monumental leap. What Texas has done is show that those claims are no longer illegitimate. I don’t know if Texas is ready to compete like an elite team on a weekly basis yet. We will have to see a lot more football before we can put a finger on that. What we can say is that Texas is off to the best start to a season in a long time. And, that’s good for the Big 12 and good for college football.

About Yesh Ginsburg

Yesh has been a fan and student of college football since before he can remember. He spent years mastering the intricacies of the BCS and now keeps an eye on the national picture as teams jockey for College Football Playoff positioning.