Big 12 college basketball power rankings: Iowa State claims top spot


After a shocking week in Big 12 action, a team that didn’t even step on the court all week snags the top spot in the conference.

Here are the Big 12 college basketball power rankings heading into the new year.

1. Iowa State Cyclones (9-1)

It’s just about impossible to deny Iowa State the spotlight after the top dogs in the conference fell in back-to-back nights before Christmas. By process of elimination, the Cyclones will be the highest ranked Big 12 team in the polls and represent the best team in the conference heading into the new year.

2. Texas Longhorns (10-2)

More from Iowa State Cyclones

Just because Iowa State jumps ahead of Texas doesn’t mean they’re far away at all. In fact, it’s debatable that the Longhorns should stay at the top because they’re one of the rare teams that have looked competitive against Kentucky and Stanford is pretty good. When Isaiah Taylor returns, this could be the team to beat in the Big 12 once again.

3. West Virginia Mountaineers (11-1)

The Mountaineers aren’t on everybody’s radar, but this team is quickly becoming an honest conference title contender. They’re flowing on offense (78.7 points, 15.3 assists per game), doing well on the boards (39.2 rebounds per game), and creating a lot of possessions (13.3 steals per game is best in the nation). Juwan Staten has been lights out, and the tandem of Jonathan Holton and Devin Williams have been dominant on the glass (14.2 rebounds per game combined).

4. Kansas Jayhawks (9-2)

Kansas looked as disjointed as ever in their humiliating defeat in Temple last Monday. They aren’t bad or overrated, but this isn’t the same all-around talented Jayhawks squad we’re used to seeing. They still have a good test against UNLV looming before Big 12 action kicks off, but they better avoid looking past Kent State like they looked past the Owls.

5. Baylor Bears (10-1)

You could actually flip-flop Baylor and Kansas, but the Bears’ interesting four-point win over Southern keeps me from putting them ahead of the Jayhawks.

Dec 4, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; TCU Horned Frogs forward Amric Fields (4) dunks the ball during the game against the Mississippi Rebels at C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum. TCU Horned Frogs defeated the Mississippi Rebels 66-54. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

6. TCU Horned Frogs (12-0)

They held a really bad Grambling State team to just 39 points. If anything, TCU is damn impressive defensively, but we’re still cautious on this undefeated squad until they face better talent.

7. Oklahoma Sooners (8-3)

Sharpshooters Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins could sport one of the most underrated backcourts in the nation. This is probably lower than they should be, but it’s hard to legitimize a three-loss team over an undefeated team regardless of the competition they faced. But it was a tough non-conference slate, and I believe the Sooners are battle tested to make a big impact on the Big 12.

8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-2)

They haven’t played since their loss to Maryland, so there’s nothing to add. Their next game is December 30th against Missouri.

9. Kansas State Wildcats (7-5)

Another team that’s struggled with a tough schedule, but they haven’t defeated any of their tougher opponents. Texas Southern is no slouch having to play 15 of their first 16 games away from home (and collecting multiple checks from the universities hosting them), but Kansas State needs to beat teams like that to be taken seriously in the Big 12. This may be a tougher year than we thought.

10. Texas Tech Red Raiders (9-3)

The truth came out in their Las Vegas blunder with bad losses to Loyola-Chicago and Houston. It’s hard to see this team competing with the majority of the conference.

More from Clones Confidential