When teams set a standard in a conference and continue to finish at the top, new coaches in the bottom tier look up to their opponents and figure out a way to knock them off. For Kansas, they’ve relished in Big 12 success for years. They’ve won the last eight Big 12 regular-season championships, five of them in tournament play. In order to succeed in the conference, you have to recruit like your top opponents.
Since the eight remaining teams in the Big 12 have been fighting the success of Kansas for eight years, West Virginia and TCU clearly look like a completely different animal than the rest of the conference. It’s not their fault, teams make decisions on what conference makes them more profitable in football. They don’t give a damn about the other sports.
Both the Mountaineers and Horned Frogs lack shooters. Despite WVU’s ridiculous 3-point barrage late in games against Texas and Iowa State, both teams rank low in shooting. They rank in the bottom three along with Texas.
TCU struggles to rebound the ball on offense in every game, pushing their rebounding margin to dead even and last in the conference. These teams are not set up to keep up with these opponents in the Big 12.
That’s why its hard, and rather ridiculous, to rank conferences. Just because West Virginia’s style of play succeeded in the Big East doesn’t mean that it’s horrible, and yes they have a team that can beat some Big 12 teams, but not on a consistent basis when they lack scoring. TCU will struggle to score when they can’t get second-chance points
In the next few years, barring any movement, both WVU and TCU will need to focus on recruiting to get the right guys on the court. For now, they’ll likely see the bottom of the power rankings for most of the season.
Big 12 Power Rankings
1. Kansas (15-1, 3-0) LW: 1
2. Kansas State (14-2, 3-0) LW: 2
3. Iowa State (12-4, 2-1) LW: 5
4. Oklahoma (12-3, 3-0) LW: 6
5. Oklahoma State (11-4, 1-2) LW: 3
6. Baylor (11-5, 3-1) LW: 4
7. West Virginia (8-7, 1-2) LW: 7
8. Texas (8-8, 0-3) LW: 8
9. Texas Tech (8-7, 1-3) LW: 9
10. TCU (9-8, 0-4) LW: 10
Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter.