BearsIllustrated Big 12 Rankings– February 13

We take a look at the Big 12 rankings and how we see the teams stack up.

Up until Monday night, we were pretty much guaranteed of having major changes at the top of the rankings, but then the order was restored in a resounding way. Not much changed in the Big 12 after that, at least in this man's eyes.

1. Kansas Jayhawks

Overall Record – 20-4

Big 12 Record – 8-3

KenPom – 12

RPI – 8

Three straight losses had the Jayhawks on the verge of falling down this list. However, a 21 point dominating win at home on Big Monday against the team poised to take the lead in the Big 12 put everything back in its natural order. The Jayhawks still have issues scoring consistently, but they have the best coach in the league, and by far the best home court advantage in the Big 12. That goes a long way to staying on top once again.

2. Kansas State Wildcats

Overall Record – 19-5

Big 12 Record – 8-3

KenPom -40

RPI – 22

You can't say they didn't have their chance. They were poised to take a 2 game lead in the Big 12 if they could keep the Jayhawks away from the winning column for the fourth straight game. But they went in to Allen Field House and got smoked. They are now tied at 8-3 and on top of the league, but with two losses already to KU, they will lose all tie-breakers.

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Overall Record – 17-5

Big 12 Record – 7-3

KenPom -17

RPI – 28

With a Big 12 best 6-game winning streak, the Cowboys are on a roll right now. The last game they lost was to the Bears on the road way back on January 21st. Since then, they have beaten Iowa State, Kansas and Baylor in overtime. They have taken care of the middle of the pack teams around them and are ranked in the Top 25 in both the coaches and AP poll right now. The schedule starts to soften up a bit as well, with 3 away games against the bottom of the Big 12 and home games against Kansas, KSU, OU and Texas coming up. The toughest road game they have left is on March 6th at Iowa State.

4. Iowa State Cyclones

Overall Record – 16-7

Big 12 Record – 6-4

KenPom -27

RPI – 32

This is where it starts getting a little trickier, especially the next two clubs. I have to go with Iowa State ahead of OU for now, primarily due to their 19 points victory on February 4th. While head to head isn't the main judgement between two teams, it being such a large victory margin and pretty recently swayed it for the Cyclones, though the Sooners probably have a better profile. The Cyclones are still looking for their 2nd conference road win, and have four left to go. They are still perfect at home though, but have a tough one with Kansas and Oklahoma State still to come to Ames.

5. Oklahoma Sooners

Overall Record – 16-7

Big 12 Record – 7-4

KenPom – 49

RPI – 21

The Sooners are a tough team to peg. They have been as up and down as any team in the Big 12 (except maybe the next team in the rankings) and are on a 2-game winning streak against the top and the bottom team in the Big 12. Before that though, they lost 3 of four games all against teams ranked higher. They might have the easiest schedule left of Big 12 teams though, with Kansas and Kansas State already off the books, and 3 games against the bottom 3 teams remaining.

6. Baylor Bears

Overall Record – 15-8

Big 12 Record – 6-4

KenPom -27

RPI – 52

Well, the losing streak ended at least for the Bears, but they are still just 1-4 against teams ranked higher in these rankings, and have no games against the bottom two teams left. They still have to play Kansas State twice, and have road games at Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia remaining. If they lose a few game s to West Virginia, they could fall another spot, though I don't see them falling past 7th. But they also have room to climb, and the talent to do so.

7. West Virginia Mountaineers

Overall Record – 12-11

Big 12 Record – 5-5

KenPom -94

RPI – 89

Left for dead weeks ago, a 3-game winning streak has put them back into the conversation for middle of the pack Big 12 team, rather than an easy candidate for the bottom three. They must really love playing the state of Texas, because they are 5-0 against Texas schools, and 0-5 against non-Texas schools. However, they have two games against the best of the Texas squads to go in Baylor.

8. Texas Longhorns

Overall Record – 10-13

Big 12 Record – 2-8

KenPom -95

RPI – 155

The long awaited return of Myck Kabongo is nearly here. He makes his return tonight against Iowa State, and it couldn't be a happier day for the Longhorns. They are in desperate need of an infusion of talent and scoring, both of which Kabongo has in full supply. With their star point-guard, you have to think that they would be much better than their 2-8 Big 12 record, but would they necessarily be in the Top 6? I have my doubts, though you could make the argument they could pass the Bears and maybe the Sooners with their best player back. But it is a large hole for the Longhorns to overcome, and their NCAA tournament streak is looking like it is on life support needing a Big 12 tournament championship run to stay alive.

9. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Overall Record – 9-12

Big 12 Record – 2-8

Another week, another blowout loss for the Red Raiders, this time at the hands of the Baylor Bears, 75-48. The Red Raiders have lost 4 games in a row, a Big 12 worst and after winning their conference opener, they are just 1-8. They still have home games against the 8th and 10th place teams in these rankings, so there are some more wins possibly out there for Interim Coach Chris Walker.

KenPom -254

RPI – 211

10. TCU Horned Frogs

Overall Record – 9-14

Big 12 Record – 1-10

KenPom -268

RPI – 215

Well it will not be a winless season in Fort Worth for Trent Johnson and his squad. They shocked the world with an upset of 5th ranked Kansas, the most improbable win possibly in Big 12 history. Honestly, I did not see this coming, in any way. I thought they would lose all but maybe two games by at least 10 points. But Kansas came in and did absolutely nothing right for the first 20 minutes, and TCU held on and did enough good things to secure the win. Congratulations to Trent Johnson and the Horned Frogs for not being the first 0-18 team in Big 12 history.

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