It's not unusual for won-lost records to be deceiving, especially this time of year, when we are still very early in the college football season. Some teams, like Kansas State and top-ranked Oklahoma, are just playing their second game this weekend, while other schools are into their third week of action.
That's why it is a little dangerous but easy to read too much into mere wins and losses based on too little information. To illustrate this point, Kansas has won its first two games of the year and looks like the real deal in the eyes of some people, but that might be the only wins the Jayhawks end up with at season's end. Kansas State was victorious in its season opener, but only by seven points, scored late in the game, at home, against a Division II-A opponent. In the process of winning, the Wildcats looked the worst of all the Big 12 schools on opening weekend.
Another example is Texas, winners of two straight to start the season. If the Longhorns are able to get by UCLA this weekend - arguably a big if - they could be looking at a 4-0 start by the time the Red River Rivalry game with Oklahoma rolls around the second weekend in October. Having watched and written about Texas' first two wins, you'd have to work very hard to convince me that this year's Longhorns squad is as good as their record. We'll wait and see what UCLA has to say about that when the two teams meet Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl.
In the meantime, here's how I see things powering up in the early going of 2011 Big 12 football:
Big 12 Power Rankings (Entering Week 3)
1. Oklahoma - Florida State test will define Sooners' season.
2. Oklahoma State - Once again a score-at-will offense; not as strong defensively.
3. Texas A&M - Must avoid looking ahead to Oklahoma State next week.
4. Baylor - This team is explosive, but one game does not make a season.
5. Missouri - Much better than their on-field performance would indicate.
•8. Iowa State - Transfer quarterback Steele Jantz has shown he can play.
•9. Kansas - We'll see how much Kansas really has improved vs. Georgia Tech.
•10. Kansas State - If Cats don't play better than first game, it will be a looooong season.