Big 12 Rankings thru games on December 15th: (last week's ranking in parentheses)
This may be only for one week, but as of right now I feel that they are the most impressive team in the Big 12. Arthur Johnson is playing up to his potential and Ricky Paulding can score on anyone. The stay at the top may be brief though Tigers, so enjoy it. Illinois comes to Columbia next weekend.
2. Oklahoma (1): 5-1; beat Coppin St.
The Sooners keep winning games easily over vastly inferior competition. They will not be tested again until a December 28th meeting against Mississippi St. Everyone knows they are good, but a measuring-stick game would help know just how good.
The game against Arizona was a great battle and shows that Texas is among the nation's elite, but not the elite team. The Wildcats were without team leader Luke Walton, but still showed why they are the top team. The Longhorns are as good as the top two teams in this poll, but have lost two in a row. They will turn it around quickly.
The Jayhawks showed signs of life after a tough two week stretch with its win over a talented and higher ranked Tulsa team on the road. They have a ways to go to catch up with the top three teams, but look to have righted the ship at this point in the season.
5. Oklahoma St. (6): 6-1; beat Fresno St.
The Cowboys are silently sneaking up the rankings by beating good teams every week. They have replaced Maurice Baker and Frederik Jonzen and improved over last season. Eddie Sutton probably will sign a contract extension sometime soon and he deserves it. He is doing a great job in Stillwater.
Poor Bobby Knight! He was rolling along with his band of Red Raiders until the relatively unknown, but very talented Cowboys put a stop to their five-game winning streak. It is not that bad of a loss, but it shows that Tech is not yet ready to jump into the upper-echelon of this league.
7. Nebraska (10): 4-3; beat IPFW
This jump is due to a delayed reaction to the Minnesota game and the lack of anything impressive from the three teams the Huskers leaped over. Nebraska can solidify this spot with the potential to move higher if they can pull the upset over newly ranked Creighton next Saturday. The Devaney Center will be rocking for this in-state rivalry game.
ISU's true colors may have shown a little bit in losing to an overrated, but talented Boston College team at home. The Eagles were their first real competition and they failed that test. The Iowa win looks better than it is, which means the Cyclones still have a lot to work on
The Buffs are just in limbo it seems. The beat a bunch of no-names by a fair margin each week with nothing really sticking out as a positive or negative. This feast of cupcakes will continue through the end of 2002 and into 2003. They will not be ready for Big 12 play with this type of schedule.
10. Baylor (9): 6-1; beat Louisiana-Monroe and Montana St.
Dave Bliss' Boys are struggling with bad teams right now and that's not a good sign for the rest of the season. Their record may look good, but when you examine it further it really is a mask over a mediocre basketball team. Preseason talk of them possibly making the NCAA tournament is nonexistent right now.
11. Texas A&M (11): 5-2; lost to Texas-San Antonio
The loveable Aggies were doing so well and even moved up to 7th in some other Big 12 rankings, but their world came crashing down with the loss to UTSA. The Roadrunners stormed into College Station and embarrassed the early season surprise. Maybe next year A&M.
12. Kansas State (12): 4-4; beat Texas-Pan American and Wichita St.
Hey two wins are better than no wins, but UTPA and the Shockers are poor competition even for the lowly Wildcats. Texas A&M is knocking on the door to see if they can buy back the cellar they owned last year, but stubborn K-State says "No Deal!" They like it down here.