Non-conference games have come to a close. How does your team stack up? We dive into our first look at the Big 12 conference power rankings.
10. Texas (6-6)
Plain and simple, after seeing their non-conference effort, Texas is not going to be good this season. They have won just six games and have fallen at home to teams of the likes of UT-Arlington and Kent State. It is safe to say that they have quite the workload ahead of them in conference play if they have any hopes of going dancing.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 @ Kansas State
9. Oklahoma (6-5)
I’m not sure if Oklahoma has been unlucky, or if they just genuinely are not the OU we’re used to seeing, but they’ve dropped a few close games over the last few weeks, which obviously isn’t going to cut it in the Big 12. In the first post-Hield year, the Sooners haven’t found their go-to scorer, and that is the biggest thing that needs to change moving forward.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 vs. Baylor
8. Iowa State (8-3)
Heading into this season, Iowa State was the team in the conference where I had absolutely no idea what we were going to see. They could be good, they could be bad, and so far, I’m leaning more towards good, though they have a lot of work to do consistency wise. You’re looking at a team that has put up 130 and 54 points in separate games this season. Something has to give going forward.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 vs. Texas Tech
7. Oklahoma State (10-2)
Brad Underwood’s first season at OSU has gotten off to a rather hot start. The Pokes came into this season as one of the teams looking to rebuild from a lackluster 2015-16 campaign, but with just two losses so far, the Cowboys have overachieved. Their conference slate will pick up fast and furious against a talented West Virginia team that plays the same style of havoc oriented pressure basketball as OSU, so it will tell a lot about the Cowboys early.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 vs. West Virginia
6. TCU (11-1)
Jamie Dixon inherited an interesting situation with TCU. A team that has shown loads of potential, and has improved each year since joining the Big 12. The Horned Frogs have started off the season red-hot, the only problem is they haven’t really played anyone of relevance. They have yet to really rack up any quality wins, but have a golden opportunity when they open conference play at home against Kansas.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 vs. Kansas
5. Texas Tech (11-1)
Another team that has started off red-hot is Texas Tech, although like TCU, Tech hasn’t played the stiffest competition. The Red Raiders’ best win came against Richmond, a strong A-10 opponent, but still not the most quality of wins. Chris Beard has his team up and running to this point, but I’m very interested to see if the trend continues once conference play begins this week.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 @ Iowa State
4. Kansas State (11-1)
I’ve been impressed with Kansas State so far. The Wildcats could very well be undefeated currently, if it wasn’t for a one-point loss to Maryland at the end of November. DJ Johnson has been far and away the Wildcats’ best option, putting up big numbers of late, but Kansas State’s weak non-conference scheduling has left us wondering about the Cats. We’ll learn a lot about them in the coming weeks.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 vs. Texas
3. West Virginia (11-1)
West Virginia already looks to be one of the best defensive teams in the conference. They play a fast-paced, pressure oriented game that forces their opponents into mistakes they wouldn’t normally make, and in turn, creating a multitude of transition chances for the Mountaineers. Bob Huggins’ squad will be in the Big 12 title conversation this year if they play to the level they are capable.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 @ Oklahoma State
2. Kansas (11-1)
Some of you reading this may already disagree with me having Kansas at the 2 slot. Well, I think there’s something to be said for being undefeated (see Baylor), and on top of that, even with Kansas being just a one loss team, they have some holes to fill if they want their 13th straight conference championship. The interior game has a few question marks following the injury to Udoka Azubuike.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 @ TCU
1. Baylor (12-0)
The lone undefeated team left in the Big 12 has looked very impressive in their first 12 games. Racking up impressive wins over Oregon, Louisville, and Xavier to name a few. The Bears have played one of the toughest schedules in the conference thus far, and they’ve come out unscathed. Baylor definitely has some work to do if they want to dethrone Kansas as king, but so far, they are absolutely on the right track.
NEXT GAME: 12/30 @ Oklahoma
Questions, comments or concerns? Hit me up on Twitter @JBane87 I’d love to talk hoops with you and get an outside perspective.
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