By STEFAN SCRAFIELD
College Contributor Network
After two weeks, we're starting to get a good lay of the land here in the Big 12. Baylor and Oklahoma have flexed their muscles as some of the strongest programs in the country, while there have been early growing pains for Charlie Strong's rebuilding project at Texas.
Let's take a look at how each team is faring so far.
The Jayhawks were just as shaky as we expected in their win over Southeast Missouri State last weekend, nearly blowing a 27-point lead in the fourth quarter. They'll need a better performance this week as they travel to play Duke in a gridiron matchup of basketball powerhouses.
9. Iowa State
The near victory over No. 19 Kansas State last week quickly erased any memory of the Cyclones embarrassing loss to FCS powerhouse North Dakota State in the season opener. Despite being 0-2, Iowa State has reason to be confident heading into their annual rivalry game against Iowa with the Cy-Hawk trophy at stake.
8. Texas Tech
At 2-0, the Red Raiders record is very misleading. Tech has looked very beatable in their two contests against Central Arkansas and UTEP so far, winning the two games by seven and four points, respectively.
Quarterback David Webb and the passing game have looked good, as is usually the case in Lubbock, but the defense has been paltry at best. They'll be in for a tough matchup against Arkansas this week.
The Horned Frogs had the week off after opening the season with a blowout victory over Samford in Week 1.
Not much was expected from Gary Patterson's bunch this season, but the big win has raised expectations a little. This week's contest against a sneaky Minnesota squad should give us a better gauge of what to expect from TCU in 2014.
6. West Virginia
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Big 12 so far this year, the Mountaineers have looked great in each of their first two games. After nearly knocking off Nick Saban and Alabama in the opener, West Virginia ripped Towson, an FCS school, last weekend.
You don't want to put too much stock into a game against such poor competition, but senior quarterback Clint Trickett looked phenomenal, completing 30 of 35 passes for 348 yards and two scores.
The unthinkable happened in Austin last weekend, as Taysom Hill and BYU somehow beat the Longhorns by even more than they did in Provo a year ago. Texas was entirely outmatched once again against the Cougars.
The Longhorn offense looks hopeless without quarterback David Ash and its three most-experienced offensive linemen, who will all be out again against No. 12 UCLA this weekend. Things could quickly go from bad to worse at Jerry World on Saturday.
4. Oklahoma State
A week after nearly shocking the college football world and upsetting No. 1 Florida State, the Cowboys looked more like what we expected in their 40-23 win over Missouri State of the FCS.
The status of quarterback J.W. Walsh is still uncertain, but it looks as though he'll miss some time with a foot injury. That doesn't bode well for the Pokes, who will need to continue to light up the scoreboard to make up for such weak defense.
3. Kansas State (ranked #19 nationally)
After blowing out Stephen F. Austin in their opener, the Wildcats were less than convincing in a 32-28 come-from-behind victory over lowly Iowa State last weekend. Aside from Tyler Lockett, the receiving corps looks very weak, which doesn't help a quarterback like Jake Waters who is a better runner than passer to begin with.
They've got the week off to sort things out before their big matchup with No. 5 Auburn next Thursday.
2. Oklahoma (ranked #4 nationally)
The highest-ranked team in the Big 12, the Sooners have lit up a couple of weak opponents as well.
Trevor Knight looked much better against Tulsa than he did in the opener against Louisiana Tech, so that's promising for the Oklahoma offense. The defense was much improved too, and may be the strength of the team this year.
They have a prime-time matchup with Tennessee on ABC this weekend, which should give the whole country a look at just how good they can be.
1. Baylor (ranked #8 nationally)
No Petty, no Goodley, no problem for the Bears' offense. Sure, it was against an FCS squad, but the Baylor attack scored seven first-half touchdowns, without its two best offensive weapons, before putting it into cruise control for the second half.
Petty's backup, Seth Russell, threw for 438 yards and five touchdowns while freshman receiver KD Cannon took over for Goodley, snagging six balls for 223 yards and three scores.
They're good, real good, but we'll have to wait and see how they handle some tougher defenses in conference play.
Stefan Scrafield is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin. He has a passion for college sports, professional baseball, golf and early retirement. Follow him on Twitter: @stefanscrafield
By STEFAN SCRAFIELD