Big 12 Power Rankings, 1/14 Part Two

Oklahoma State is the best of the rest, while Texas faces desperation time.

6) Oklahoma State (11-4, 1-2)

KenPom: 22 (Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 82, Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 7)

It's hard to get too down on the Cowboys at this point, who have dealt with both injuries and a brutal start to conference play. Oklahoma State easily dispatched cellar-dweller TCU, as it should have, but lost on the road at Kansas State and at Oklahoma. Per KenPom, this is the Big 12's second-best team, but with a 1-2 record, it's just impossible to rank them that highly at this point. Marcus Smart has slowed a bit from his early tear, and Le'Bryan Nash hasn't taken to utilizing what could be a monster inside game. Still, this is a talented team, and one that should push up into the top four or five teams as the schedule subsides a bit.

Next Game: Texas Tech (Saturday)

7) West Virginia (8-7, 1-2)

KenPom: 98 (Offense: 126, Defense: 100)

West Virginia could have made a good week a great one with a better play at the end of the Kansas State game. Certainly, that had to be frustrating — the Mountaineers gained a big win in coming back to beat Texas in overtime, then gave the Wildcats all they could handle before falling late. If the Big 12 is a plus-minus game — a plus for getting a road win and a minus for losing at home — the Mountaineers have started minus-one, essentially erasing the Texas road win with that one loss against one of the Big 12's better teams. Still, there were some encouraging things to come from that game, most of all, West Virginia's offense kicking into gear to shoot 51.1 percent for the contest. They'll need that offense when traveling to face the Hilton Magic at Iowa State.

Next Game: at Iowa State (Wednesday)

8) Texas (8-8, 0-3)

KenPom: 78 (Offense: 253, Defense: 12)

The Longhorns have to view so much of this season as a missed opportunity at this point. The Longhorns could easily have four more wins — they have three overtime losses, plus the late-game collapse against UCLA — and all without point guard Myck Kabongo to boot. Two of those overtime losses have come in conference play, and while they were close calls, it's not like Texas can get partial credit. Sitting at 12-4 and 2-1, Texas would be a popular pick for a top-five spot in the Big 12 and an NCAA Tournament berth. At their actual 8-8 and 0-3, this team might not make the NIT without some sort of turnaround. Kabongo is still seven games out, and even when he returns, he's not a fix-all for a team that has the Big 12's second-worst offense. Texas has tough contests against Kansas, at Oklahoma and at Kansas State in its next four games, and the Longhorns need to grab some quality wins.

Next Game: Kansas (Saturday)

9) Texas Tech (8-6, 1-2)

KenPom: 253 (Offense: 240, Defense: 249)

The Red Raiders weren't going to beat Kansas in Lubbock, but it was interesting to see them go so counter to their nature in slowing the game to an absolute halt. Texas Tech is actually one of the Big 12's fastest-playing teams, ranking 56th in adjusted tempo, while the Jayhawks were 127th in the same category. But the Red Raiders (wisely) deemed that it was better to play in a game with fewer possessions against a superior talent. It was a smart coaching adjustment that left Tech down just two points at halftime before Kansas ran away with it. That performance, along with Tech's win at TCU, has to have fans feeling like Tech won't be the Big 12's worst team. But don't count on too much more from the Red Raiders. Their top win so far, per KenPom, was a home win over Northern Kentucky, ranked 250th.

Next Game: at Oklahoma (Wednesday)

10) TCU (9-7, 0-3)

KenPom: 256 (Offense: 329, Defense: 108)

It's going to be a long season for the Horned Frogs in their first year in the Big 12. Just two of the Horned Frogs' nine wins have come over teams in KenPom's top 200, and the TCU Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (329th nationally) and snail-slow tempo (336th) make them a rough watch. That offense has been especially rough in Big 12 play, with the Horned Frogs scoring an average of 46 points per game and losing twice by double digits. The third game? Well that might have been TCU's best chance for a win this year, with Texas Tech visiting Fort Worth. Instead, the Red Raiders left with a nine-point victory. Per KenPom's victory percentage indicator, TCU only has five games in which it has a two-digit percentage chance to win a game, with the best chance coming in the return trip to Lubbock. But the Red Raiders are still favored to win that game 66 percent to 34 percent.

Next Game: Kansas State

Horns Digest Top Stories