Big 12 Rankings thru games on January 12nd: (last week's ranking in parentheses)
The Jayhawks are back. Even with the loss of Wayne Simian for the last two games, and possibly the entire season, Kansas has begun the Big 12 slate with two huge wins. Granted they were over the two worst teams in the conference right now, but it certainly appears that Roy Williams has righted the ship after a rough early season.
What a week for the Sooners?!?! They beat two ranked teams at home and then went to Boulder and took care of the Buffaloes. This is the team that everyone expected to see from the beginning of the year. An inside presence is still lacking and an off-night from Hollis Price or Ebi Ere would spell doom against the best teams in the conference.
3. Oklahoma St. (3): 12-1, 1-0; beat BYU, Texas A&M-CC, and Texas A&M
OSU continues to pile up the wins and could jump a spot next week with a win over Oklahoma on Big Monday. The Bedlam Series starts up quickly this year and should be a very good one. Another big showdown looms against Mizzou on the weekend.
The Tigers are cruising along with very few challenges thus far. Baylor stayed close, but never truly threatened Quin Snyder's team. Arthur Johnson poured in a career high 30 points against the Bears and Ricky Paulding has been the consistent scorer the Tigers were counting on with the departure of Kareem Rush and Clarence Gilbert. This week poses two challenges with games at Syracuse and Oklahoma State.
5. Texas (6): 10-2, 1-0; beat Mt. St. Mary's and Iowa St.
The boys in burnt orange have yet to find themselves after hitting a slump last month. They blew out the Cyclones, but that is not saying much right now. The first test in conference will be Missouri on the 25th of January. Until then, the Longhorns will try to regain the form they had earlier this season and in last season's NCAA tourney.
What is this?!?! How did Kansas State blowout Texas Tech when they should have lost?? This is easily the biggest upset in the conference thus far and may be the biggest all season. The Wildcats could stay up here, but it is highly unlikely. A loss at Colorado is likely and a loss at Kansas is a guarantee next week. Those losses would derail the Powercat Train, but right now it is full speed ahead.
7. Texas Tech (1): 10-2, 0-1; beat San Diego St. and then lost to Kansas St.
What a difference a week can make?!? After being crowned as the top team in last week's rankings, the Red Raiders backed that up by winning in San Diego. That all changed with a shocking loss in Manhatten. Andre Emmett did not receive any help as Tech scored 44 points and shot a horrid 26%. Only one game against Baylor next week allows for a week of Bobby Knight practices after this loss. I would not want to be a Raider right now!
8. Baylor (10): 9-3, 0-1 beat Texas-PA and Mt. St. Mary's, then lost to Missouri
The Bears had a nice week. They mauled two cupcakes before competing on the road at Mizzou. Baylor is showing some signs of life for the first time this year, but Texas could put a stop to that quickly on the 15th. But after the Texas Tech upset, anything can happen in the Big 12.
9. Colorado. (9): 10-4, 0-1; beat Pennsylvania and Colorado St., then lost to Oklahoma
The Buffs rolled over Penn and CSU before losing to the more talented Sooners at home. CU could still make a lot of noise amongst the bottom six teams, but it appears that this team has almost reached its ceiling. They have two winnable games next week as the Wildcats come to Boulder before CU heads to Lincoln to face the reeling Huskers.
10. Texas A&M (12): 8-4, 0-1; lost to Oklahoma St.
College Station, much like Lincoln, is much more interested in coaching changes on the football team, but it is missing out on very talented, but young team who can be exciting to watch. They challenged the Cowboys in their Big 12 opener, but could not stay with OSU all the way. An interesting match-up at Nebraska will show where this team is at right now.
11. Iowa St. (7): 10-3, 0-2; lost to Kansas and Texas
What a horrible week for the Cyclones?!?! This team has now been exposed as a pretender after a ridiculously weak non-conference schedule. It may be a very difficult opening schedule, but blowouts in any game are not a good sign for a team trying to regain respectability. Two more losses this week appear likely with contests against Oklahoma and Missouri.
12. Nebraska (11): 8-6, 0-1; beat Denver and Lispcomb, then lost to Kansas
It is an ugly scene in Lincoln these days after two below average wins and a blowout loss to KU. It took overtime to beat Denver at home, which is just bad, and even with liberal substitutions accounted for, Lipscomb should have been beaten by more than 10 points. On top of those home performances last week was the 33-point trouncing at Allen Fieldhouse. Games at home against A&M and Colorado could allow the Big Red to regroup, but it will take a lot for that to happen.