Big 12 Insider: Conference taking care of business with 15-2 start

Big 12 Conference teams lead the nation with a 15-2 record through the first two weeks of the season.

That basically means, for the most part, the league's teams have taken care of business against inferior nonconference foes. The jury is still out on No. 9 West Virginia, No. 16 TCU and Baylor, all 1-0, but still with plenty left to prove after early season bye weeks. All three are in action this week. Except maybe for the Horned Frogs, who open Big 12 play at 11 a.m. Saturday at Kansas, we'll learn little with the Mountaineers hosting James Madison and the Bears hosting Sam Houston State.

Of the seven teams with two games in the books, No. 15 Kansas State and Iowa State, two teams I had finishing near the bottom of the Big 12, appear to be as strong or stronger than they were a year ago. Others, such as No. 14 Texas (2-0) and No. 5 Oklahoma (2-0) have taken care of early foes without much flash.

Heading into the season's third week, here's a quick glance at the seven teams with two games played:

Oklahoma (2-0): The Sooners have a bye after scoring eight rushing touchdowns (the most under coach Bob Stoops) in their 69-13 win over Florida A&M. After struggling for a half at UT El Paso, Oklahoma was back to being Oklahoma. The best early conference game goes down when Kansas State comes to Norman on Sept. 22.

Texas (2-0): Quarterback David Ash gets a tougher test this weekend against Ole Miss (2-0), but Texas has to be happy with his production so far. The sophomore has completed 36 of 49 attempts for 377 yards, three touchdowns with no interceptions. The Rebels beat UTEP 28-10 last week for those interested in transitive property comparisons with Oklahoma, which beat UTEP 24-7 in Week 1.

Kansas State (2-0): Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein is off to a blistering start and is an early candidate for league offensive honors. He's thrown for 379 yards and three scores while also rushing for 125 yards and three scores. Their 52-13 win over Miami last week was more dominating than even the score indicates.

Iowa State (2-0): The most impressive win by a Big 12 school so far could be the Cyclones' 9-6 win at Iowa. Their defense held the Hawkeyes to 68 yards rushing and prevailed despite four turnovers, including two interceptions thrown by Steele Jantz. It was Iowa State's first win at Iowa since 2002.

Texas Tech (2-0): The Red Raiders dismissed upset talk Saturday with a thorough thrashing of Texas State, 58-10. Tech's Seth Doege tied a career-high with five touchdown passes and recorded his 10th-career 300-yard game. The Raiders should beat New Mexico on Saturday before their bye week. Their Sept. 29 game at Iowa State will say a lot about where both teams fit into league hierarchy.

Oklahoma State (1-1): Wes Lunt threw for a Big 12 freshman record 436 yards, but also had three interceptions in the Cowboys' 59-38 loss at Arizona. Even more concerning for fans was the 501 yards allowed by the defense and 15 penalties for a school-record 167 yards.

Kansas (1-1): The Jayhawks led Rice 24-16 after three quarters before losing 25-24 on a 45-yard field goal as time expired. Quarterback Dayne Crist has struggled to get on the same page with his receivers, completing just 33 of 64 attempts for 313 yards with three interceptions. Kansas faces its first real test against TCU on Saturday.

Stefan Stevenson


Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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