Big 12 basketball power rankings: Iowa State pushes back near the top


How do the Big 12 basketball power rankings shake up after the SEC/Big 12 Challenge? The preseason top three favorites are back at the top, but we try to sort out the mess afterwards.

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1. Texas Longhorns (7-1)

That was a really good fight against Kentucky. The Wildcats are going to have maybe one or two losses heading into the NCAA tournament. Texas’ size will be a dominant force in the Big 12 this year.

2. Kansas Jayhawks (7-1)

Things were getting ugly in the first half against Florida, but an absolute turnaround keeps them undefeated at Phog Allen and on the heels of the Longhorns.

3. Iowa State Cyclones (6-1)

What a difference a week makes. After shaking off the rust against Lamar, they poured it on and then dominated 18th-ranked Arkansas. Bryce Dejean-Jones is already a player of the year candidate, and that’s truly not a biased comment coming from a Cyclones blog.

4. Oklahoma Sooners (5-2)

Smoking Missouri would look better if the team ultimately didn’t look terrible. Again, they may just have the Kansas State effect and suffered losses from a very tough schedule (Arizona, Purdue, at OU). The Sooners may have the key to beat Texas if their rebounding (43.5 per game) can keep up the pace.

5. Baylor Bears (8-1)

Baylor’s a defensive force so far this season, and that boosts them here. Their similar to Oklahoma except the offense is lower. Scoring 54 points against Illinois is a concern, but they got a decent win at Vanderbilt and scored 66.

Dec 7, 2014; Highland Heights, KY, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers forward Devin Williams (5) fights for possession of the ball with Northern Kentucky Norse guard Jordan Jackson (11) during the second half at Bank of Kentucky Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

6. West Virginia Mountaineers (8-1)

Losing to LSU at home? That’s not good for a team that wants to contend in the Big 12. That win against UConn — who’s a lot better than many other teams on that Mountaineer schedule — is looking less impressive after the Huskies lost to Yale at home on Friday.

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-1)

Getting blown out against South Carolina is straight up embarrassing. We’ll get more of a feel when they play Memphis, another team that Baylor played and blew away.

8. TCU Horned Frogs (9-0)

Top of the conference and JUST eighth?? Hey, if they can just keep winning in Big 12 play like this then they’ll see a quick rise in the power rankings. Until then, this is a schedule that DMACC could go undefeated against.

9. Kansas State Wildcats (5-4)

It’s hard for me to put Kansas State here, but seriously — where else can I put them? They have the most losses in the conference so far. Getting blown out by Pittsburgh is one of the worst losses the conference has suffered overall but it also came at the end of a three-day stretch of three straight games. I know Wildcat fans will be upset and they should be higher than this. Don’t worry — it’ll balance out in due time.

10. Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-1)

I watched one of their home games before the ugly, ugly win against Auburn. There had to be no more than 100 people in the arena. I know it’s Sunday afternoon and the NFL season, but that’s embarrassing.

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