A wild week of Big 12 play has created a pair of four-way ties at the top and bottom of the league standings. West Virginia knocked off Kansas before falling at Oklahoma, creating a logjam of 4-1 teams that also includes Baylor. On the other end, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas Tech all suffered setbacks that locked each team into a tie for seventh place with identical 1-4 records. Where did each team land in our Power Rankings after a week of action that saw four games decided by just one possession?
#1 Oklahoma Sooners: 15-1 (4-1), #1 in AP Poll
Last Week: at Oklahoma State W 74-72, vs #11 West Virginia W 70-68
This Week: 1/18 at #19 Iowa State, 1/23 at #13 Baylor
We have our first really tough-to-break tie in the Big 12 Power Rankings. Kansas beat Oklahoma last week, then West Virginia knocked off Kansas before Oklahoma turned around and beat West Virginia. Since this is a weekly set of rankings, Oklahoma gets the nod at #1 because the Sooners were the only team in this group to go 2-0 over the last seven days. Oklahoma survived a late surge by the Cowboys to take home a road win in the first leg of Bedlam. Then, a Khadeem Lattin tip-in with three seconds remaining gave OU a hard-fought win over #11 West Virginia just three days later. The top team both in our Power Rankings and in the nation will have their toughest week of the season, as the Sooners have to travel to #19 Iowa State and #13 Baylor.
#2 West Virginia Mountaineers: 15-2 (4-1), #6 in AP Poll
Last Week: vs #1 Kansas W 74-63, at #2 Oklahoma L 70-68
This Week: 1/20 vs Texas, 1/23 at Texas Tech
West Virginia jumps up one spot to number two in our Power Rankings after a week of play in which the Mountaineers knocked off top-ranked Kansas before nearly beating #2 Oklahoma on the road. Despite being picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 Preseason Poll, Bob Huggins' squad looks every bit like a team that could capture a Big 12 Championship. West Virginia has a great shot to jump to 6-1 on the year, as they'll likely be big favorites over both Texas and Texas Tech this week.
#3 Kansas Jayhawks: 15-2 (4-1), #3 in AP Poll
Last Week: at #11 West Virginia L 74-63, vs TCU W 70-63
This Week: 1/19 at Oklahoma State, 1/23 vs Texas
Kansas has come out flat in all three of their games since knocking off Oklahoma in triple overtime on January 4. The Jayhawks were never really in it against #11 West Virginia, trailing for much of the game before eventually falling by 11. KU then returned home and beat a struggling TCU team by just seven, despite being 24-point favorites. Even with their recent lack of intensity, the Big 12 is still Kansas' to lose. The Jayhawks should pick up two solid wins this week with contests against Oklahoma State and Texas. In all likelihood, KU will be back atop the Power Rankings sooner rather than later.
#4 Baylor Bears: 14-3 (4-1), #13 in AP Poll
Last Week: vs1 TCU W 82-54, at Texas Tech W 63-60
This Week: 1/20 vs Kansas State, 1/23 vs #1 Oklahoma
Throughout the first couple weeks of the Big 12 season, there has been a bit of a gap between Kansas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. However, Baylor has all but eliminated that gap. The Bears have won four straight games since their 28-point loss at Allen Fieldhouse in early January. Most recently, BU demolished a vastly undermanned TCU team before Lester Medford nailed a buzzer-beating game winner at Texas Tech. The Bears have a tune-up game on Tuesday against Kansas State before hosting top-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday. A 2-0 week would put Baylor in serious contention for the Big 12 Title.
#5 Texas Longhorns: 11-6 (3-2)
Last Week: vs #17 Iowa State W 94-91 (OT), vs Oklahoma State W 74-69
This Week: 1/20 at #6 West Virginia, 1/23 at #3 Kansas
The Longhorns were the biggest mover in this week's Power Rankings, jumping four spots to number five. Texas picked up another marquee win with a 94-91 overtime victory over 17th-ranked Iowa State before hanging on to top Oklahoma State. However, the Longhorns will have a tough time hanging on to their top-five spot with road games against #6 West Virginia and #3 Kansas looming. Texas appears to have figured out how to win without Cameron Ridley, but picking up even one victory this week is a tall task for Shaka Smart's group.
#6 Iowa State Cyclones: 13-4 (2-3), #19 in AP Poll
Last Week: at Texas L 94-91 (OT), at Kansas State W 76-63
This Week: 1/18 vs #1 Oklahoma, 1/23 at TCU
Iowa State drops one spot to number six this week after going 1-1 in two relatively easy road contests. The Cyclones started the week by falling to an under-manned Texas team 94-91 in overtime. ISU then rebounded with a solid 13-point win over Kansas State in Manhattan. With a wealth of talent returning from last year's 25-9 team, first year head coach Steve Prohm probably didn't imagine a 2-3 start in league play. The Cyclones have a great chance to make a major statement and reestablish themselves in the Big 12 Championship conversation as #1 Oklahoma visits Hilton Coliseum tonight. Iowa State will then be big favorites on the road at TCU on Saturday.
#7 Kansas State Wildcats: 11-6 (1-4)
Last Week: vs Texas Tech W 83-70, vs #17 Iowa State L 76-63
This Week: 1/20 at #13 Baylor, 1/23 vs Oklahoma State
Kansas State picked up their first Big 12 win of the season with a hard-fought 83-70 victory over Texas Tech. On Saturday, the Wildcats battled late but couldn't figure out Iowa State in a 13-point home loss to the Cyclones. K-State is still a bit of a mystery. The Wildcats jumped out to a hot 10-2 start before cooling off in league play. The Big 12 schedule hasn't exactly been kind to Kansas State, but with a group that has proven they can win, there's no reason the ‘Cats can't make a run and finish near the top half of the league. KSU has a tough road game against #13 Baylor on Tuesday before hosting Oklahoma State on Saturday.
#8 Texas Tech Red Raiders: 11-5 (1-4)
Last Week: at Kansas State L 83-70, vs #22 Baylor L 63-60
This Week: 1/18 at TCU, 1/23 vs #6 West Virginia
Texas Tech falls from six to eight this week after a pair of tight losses. The Red Raiders opened the week with a 13-point decision at the hands of Kansas State before losing on a last-second buzzer-beater at home to #22 Baylor. Texas Tech opened the year with a 10-1 start, looking vastly improved under third-year head coach Tubby Smith. However, the Raiders haven't been able to get over the hump in Big 12 play. TTU has looked competitive against nationally-ranked teams such as Iowa State, Kansas, and Baylor, but until the Raiders figure out how to win close games, they'll continue to remain at the bottom of the league standings. Texas Tech can make a jump this week with a road win over TCU and a big upset over #6 West Virginia.
#9 Oklahoma State Cowboys: 9-8 (1-4)
Last Week: vs #2 Oklahoma L 74-72, at Texas L 74-69
This Week: 1/19 vs #3 Kansas, 1/23 at Kansas State
After going 0-2 this week, Oklahoma State drops two spots to number nine in our rankings. The Cowboys made a furious comeback late to put a scare into 2nd-ranked Oklahoma, but it was the Sooners eeking out a two-point victory in Stillwater. The Pokes rallied late yet again, but couldn't put enough points on the board to sink the Longhorns in Austin. Things don't get any easier for Travis Ford and his team this week, as OSU hosts #3 Kansas before traveling to Kansas State. Another 0-2 week would severely dampen the outlook for the Cowboys.
#10 TCU Horned Frogs: 9-8 (1-4)
Last Week: at #22 Baylor L 82-54, at #1 Kansas L 70-63
This Week: 1/18 vs Texas Tech, 1/23 vs #19 Iowa State
The Frogs fall to 10th in this week's Power Rankings after going 0-2 on the road. TCU didn't put up much of a fight for the last 25 minutes against Baylor, ultimately falling to the Bears by 28 points. However, the Frogs rebounded with an impressive showing in Allen Fieldhouse against the top-ranked Jayhawks. TCU has shown flashes of brilliance this season, knocking off Texas while keeping West Virginia and Kansas in check. However, a lot like the Red Raiders, their strong efforts on the court won't amount to much if the wins don't start coming. The Frogs host two games in the brand new Schollmaier Arena this week - first an important contest against Texas Tech before a reeling Iowa State team comes to town. If TCU can string together a couple of wins, they'll make a big jump in our rankings.