Texas claims the top spot with dominating everybody on their schedule, but Kansas doesn’t fall too far despite a blowout loss against Kentucky. Where does the rest of the Big 12 fall, including Iowa State who had a disappointing loss against Maryland?
Here’s the Big 12 teams ranked the way I see them at the moment.
1. (7)Texas Longhorns (5-0)
The Longhorns are the kings of the Big 12 for two reasons: They had hype in the preseason and have blown out every single opponent. That includes two games against decent Iowa and California teams — although I’m sure Texas would have rather added Syracuse to the resume, but the closest win was against the Hawkeyes by 14.
2. (11) Kansas Jayhawks (4-1)
Hard to give Kansas a big drop after getting killed by Kentucky — there will be a lot of teams that get demolished with the two teams the Wildcats throw on the court. We’ll see what Kansas is made of with Michigan State, Florida, and at Georgetown all as their next three opponents.
3. (21) West Virginia Mountaineers (6-0)
Bob Huggin’s squad probably owns the most impressive Big 12 victory this season — a 78-68 win over UConn. That catapults them here. Offense has been outstanding scoring 81.5 points a game, and that’s with shooting just 41.6 percent from the field. Creating turnovers and getting more possessions have been the key to their success this season.
4. Baylor Bears (5-1)
They couldn’t back up a dominant win over Memphis and lost to Illinois, but Baylor is getting the job done on the boards (43 reb/game) and are allowing just 51.5 points per game.Nov 25, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg reacts to a call during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins at Sprint Center. Maryland won 72-63. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
5. (13) Iowa State Cyclones (3-1)
The troubling case of how Iowa State handled the Maryland bigs puts them down here for now. I believe the Cyclones would struggle with the top four teams, but there’s enough time to improve. After Lamar, they’ll have some good tests themselves to bounce back. And, of course, Jameel McKay will be around in January.
6. Oklahoma Sooners (4-2)
Those two losses against Creighton (on the road) and second-ranked Wisconsin aren’t bad at all. But this team hasn’t really shined anywhere notable just yet. Just like the Cyclones, I expect them to rise.
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0)
Undefeated with a cake schedule that included an easy time at the MGM Grand. They’ve been untested so far, but they will play teams like Memphis and Maryland to see how they measure up with other Big 12 teams.
8. Kansas State Wildcats (3-3)
No need to panic just yet, but Kansas State is also struggling mightily rebounding the ball (313th nationally with 30.7 boards/game). Again, losing AT Long Beach State late at night and barely to third-ranked Arizona isn’t bad. Getting blown out by Pittsburgh is concerning, but they also could have been extremely tired.
9. TCU Horned Frogs (6-0)
Undefeated and NINTH in the power rankings? Where’s the respect!? The schedule is the easiest of any Big 12 team, which is good for team chemistry, but they’ll have to prove it against both Mississippi schools, who aren’t that tough, but are better thank any opponent the Horned Frogs have faced so far.
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-1)
Losing at LSU in overtime is not a good sign, but there’s not been enough playing time to really gauge this team. Until we figure it out, they’re the last ones picked for the dodgeball team.