Big 12 truly showed it’s prowess this week. Dominating wins over previous unbeatens Wichita State and Florida State by two teams that were in the bottom half of the conference really show the depth of this league.
However, it can be unfortunate that this league is so difficult. In every other conference, teams get easy games to play against inferior opponents, but with former bottom dwellers Texas Tech and TCU having great years and no one to replace them, “no night’s off” won’t just be slogan in the Big 12 this season.
1. West Virginia (-)
No games this past week for the Mountaineers as they prepped for finals. They’ll get ready to face Coppin State and Fordham to finish out their non-conference slate.
2. TCU (-)
The Horned Frogs remained undefeated after their victory over Texas Southern on Monday. The primary thing TCU needs to look at going forward is their defense, as they’ve allowed over 75 points in five of their last six games. Once they get a hold of that, this could be a very scary team.
3. Oklahoma (+3)
This team is used to riding Trae Young to victory but last weekend’s upset win over Wichita State was different. This time, Young received some help in the form of Brady Manek and Christian James. That trio combined for 63 points, while the bench provided much needed assistance as well. This was the first true team victory for the Sooners and Young showed off his point guard ability with 10 assists. This Sooners team won’t surprise anyone else any longer, they seem to be for real.
4. Kansas (-1)
Kansas was a late three pointer away from suffering their third loss in a row, and this time to the likes of Nebraska. The same Nebraska team who suffered a 20 point loss to St. Johns earlier this season. The Jayhawks are spiraling and don’t look like the same team from last season, they don’t even look like the same team that beat Kentucky at the beginning of this season.
5. Baylor (-1)
Baylor continued their light slate with another easy home win over Savannah State. The Bears used their up and down pace to put on a show in front of the home crowd and scored 118 points. With one more non-conference game against Southern left, the Bears are primed and ready for the real season to begin.
6. Texas Tech (-1)
Tech is beginning to have an issue with starting games out the right way. Both games against Rice and Florida Atlantic this past week, had the Red Raiders in a close fight throughout each first half. Even though Tech were able to go on runs to put these teams away in the second half, this type of style won’t work against tougher competition. It’s easy to simply outlast Conference USA opponents, however when Big 12 play comes around, those close fights turn into big holes.
7. Oklahoma State (+2)
With all the turmoil surrounding this program in the offseason, the resiliency this group has shown has been remarkable. A huge program win over FSU is a way to prove to the nation that you’re not a pushover. The Cowboys followed that up with a decent win over a Tulsa team that beat K-State earlier this season. Wins like these will be something that will come back to benefit OSU come March.
8. Iowa State (-1)
Iowa State’s victory over Northern Iowa may not seem like a big deal, but this was a nice win. UNI will be competing for a tournament berth and have already notched decent wins against SMU, UNLV, and NC State. The Cyclones are riding an eight game win streak but have arguably the weakest schedule in the conference so far. This team still has much more to prove heading into conference play.
9. Kansas State (+1)
The Wildcats got that bad taste of the Tulsa loss out of their mouths with a victory over Southeast Missouri. KSU rode an early lead till the end and never looked back. K-State will finish their non-conference schedule tonight at Washington State. This is a game that a good team would win handily, let’s see if K-State is actually a good team.
10. Texas (-2)
All the good accomplishments the Big 12 had going for them and Shaka’s boys had to be the ones to ruin it. UT was given a prime time, nationally televised game to showcase their team, and they completely laid an egg. Texas needed a wacky basket at the end of a brutal game to barely beat a 5-5 Tennessee State team who’s coming off of a loss to NC A&T. This was the worst performance of any Big 12 team all season, and with the season that was had last year, plus the lack of fans in the seats at the Frank Erwin Center, it’s safe to say that Coach Smart’s seat is getting warmer and warmer.