Big 12 Rankings thru games on December 22nd:(last week's ranking in parentheses)
1. Oklahoma (2): 6-1; beat Georgia St.
The Sooners move back into the top spot after Missouri's loss. Dominating Georgia St. still doesn't show how good this team is, but next Saturday's showdown with Top-20 ranked Mississippi St. will do just that. The Bulldogs have a great player in Mario Austin and OU will have their hands full.
2. Missouri (1): 6-1; lost to Illinois
What did I say last week? The stay at the top was a short one indeed because the Tigers did not play very well against the Illini in their 85-70 loss. Only a game at Iowa remains as a non-conference challenge for the Tigers, so they should be rested and ready when Baylor comes to Columbia on January 11th.
The Jayhawks are getting back on track. The Bruins are horrible right now, but the 17-point victory, 87-70, was still pretty nice. A deceivingly difficult road game at Cal is ahead for Roy's Boys and give further indication as to how this team has recovered.
4. Texas (3): 7-2; beat McNeese St. and Princeton
Anybody else see the horrible first half UT played against Princeton?? Yes, 21-18 was the actually score at the break. The Longhorns held on against the pesky Tigers, but it was not pretty. Brandon Mounton single-handedly saved Texas in that game. Very little remains for Texas before Iowa St. visits Austin on January 11th.
5. Oklahoma St. (5): 8-1; beat UMKC and Wichita St.
The Cowboys head up the next tier of teams in the Big 12. There is a big gap between OSU and Texas right now, especially after the ‘Boys escaped Wichita with a win, 68-58. The game was closer than the final score would indicate. Tough match-ups with Arkansas and BYU remain on the non-conference schedule.
The State of New Mexico was no match for Tech this week. The Lobos were run right out of the United Spirit Arena, 98-71. The Aggies on the other hand gave the Raiders everything they could handle, but Tech hung onto an 85-84 win. If you happened to forget, Andre Emmitt is really good and averages over 23 points per game.
7. Iowa St. (8): 8-1; beat Drake
The ‘Clones move up because Nebraska lost not because they beat Drake. ISU's non-conference schedule has been about as weak as possible and because of that they will not be prepared for the Big 12. The Big 12 schedulers must hate Iowa St. because their first four conference games are KU at home, at Texas, OU at home, and at Missouri. That looks similar to the gauntlet the Cyclone football team at to run through.
8. Nebraska (7): 4-4; lost to Creighton
The loss to Creighton probably shows how good the Bluejays are instead of how bad the Huskers played. Kyle Korver lit up Nebraska for 23 points and the rest of the CU team shot extremely well all night. Arizona St. and Eastern Washington are the remaining hurdles before the Big 12. EWU took Gonzaga all the way to the wire, so that will definitely be an interesting match-up.
9. Texas A&M (11): 6-2; beat Louisiana-Monroe
The Aggies move up because Baylor and Colorado both lost and an earlier win over LSU looks even better now after the Tigers beat #1 Arizona. I have a feeling that Princeton will give this young team fits on Friday the 27th. It should be interesting to watch the Aggies develop the rest of the year. Antoine Wright has been excellent thus far this season.
What's this?!?! The Wildcats sold their cellar spot after they reeled in two more wins including a very solid 90-72 showing against a decent Beaver squad. The St. Louis Billikens and Central Florida Golden Knights should be tests before the Big 12 slate. How does it feel to be free from the basement K-State?
11. Baylor (10): 6-2; lost to SMU
Baylor, Baylor, Baylor! Tsk, tsk, tsk! You cannot be taken seriously if you lose to a bad SMU team. What looked like three cupcakes (North Texas, Texas-PA, and Mt. St. Mary's) left before Missouri now looks like three tough ones that cannot be overlooked. I would suggest an easier schedule next year, but that is not possible. Another long year for Baylor basketball is ahead.
12. Colorado. (9): 4-3; lost to Rice
As bad as the Baylor loss to SMU was, the Buffaloes topped that with a blowout loss to Rice, 80-61! Ricardo Patten does not want to sit down right now because his seat is too hot. If the Buffs continue to play like this the rest of the way, Ricardo will be out of a job. Oh for the days of Chauncey Billups in Boulder!