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Oklahoma State and Texas lurk as Texas Tech stays in 1st

First Big 12 Baseball Power Rankings for 2018

Nikopoia

It’s been a long long off season with no real sports to think of, but now the time for baseball has arrived and oh isn’t it glorious. Doesn’t matter if it’s college or pro, both levels have started up and Spring has announced its arrival.

Before we get into this year’s rankings, I will use my final rankings from last year as a starting point. Here is where we left the rankings back in late May of last year.

Final rankings of 2017:
Texas Tech
TCU
Oklahoma
West Virginia
Kansas
Texas
Baylor
Oklahoma State
Kansas State

Week 1 Rankings:
1. #3 Texas Tech Red Raiders: 5-0 (-)
Texas Tech dominated their opening series, sweeping the Maine Black Bears, and hanging double digits the last three games of the series. Tech continued that streak by scoring 12 on Tuesday in the first of a three game series against New Mexico State. Over that four game stretch, Texas Tech has averaged over 14 runs a game.

Some bad news did come through this weekend with pre-season All-American Steven Gingery needing surgery to repair the UCL in his throwing elbow. While disappointing, not the end of Texas Tech’s season as Tech can turn to 2014 ace Dylan Dusek (8-0, 1.94 ERA) and 2016 act and current #2 Davis Martin (10-1, 2.52 ERA), among others.

2. #7 TCU Horned Frogs: 2-1 (-)
TCU got off to a rough start against Grand Canyon University needing a 3 run rally in the 9th to secure the win. Without it, TCU is 1-2 and putting themselves in hole to start the season. Despite the success Texas Tech has had in baseball in recent years, TCU and Oklahoma State have had equal or greater success in the postseason. Something they will look to continue this year.

While in baseball anything can happen any given game, TCU definitely needs to have a better showing against UT Arlington and Long Beach State this week. The latter has made the NCAA tournament three of the last four years and should be a good test.

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys: 2-1 (+5)
Texas State put up quite the test to open the season for Oklahoma State. Though the Cowboys went’ 2-1, one run decided the rubber game in the series. Oklahoma State is a dark horse for the Big 12 title and despite what they do in conference could once again find themselves in the College World Series as they did in 2016.

The Cowboys should run the table over the next 5 games before running into Arizona State in Phoenix next weekend.

4. #19 Texas Longhorns: 2-1 (+2)
Okay, first off... How is Texas ranked? Nevermind, moving on. Texas opened with a decent opponent in Louisiana Lafayette and narrowly missing sweeping the Ragin’ Cajuns. Texas may have the hardest schedule in the Big 12. After a mid-week date with Lamar, they play LSU, UTSA, Northwestern, Stanford and Arkansas. That stretch will tell us a lot about this team and if they are going to be a major player in this conference. I personally have them 7-7 through that stretch taking two of three from LSU, beating UTSA, splitting the four game series with Northwestern, losing three of four to Stanford and splitting the Arkansas series.

5. Baylor Bears: 2-1 (+2)
We don’t know too much about this Baylor team yet. They beat Purdue 1-0 before splitting a two game series with Houston Baptist. They don’t have quite the test in coming weeks that Texas does, but playing two against UCLA, midweek against Texas State and then a tournament against Calfornia, Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech will give us a better idea. Until then, they are stuck in the middle of the pack.

6. Kansas Jayhawks: 2-1 (-1)
Down just one spot from last year’s final rankings, Kansas made a strong push to move up from the bottom dwellers to mid-powers late last year. Off to a good start this year winning two of three against Murray State. Kansas is an improving team and will be interesting to see how they deal with upcoming games against Northwestern and Florida State.

T7. Kansas State Wildcats (+2) and Oklahoma Sooners (-4): 1-3
Both of these teams playing their opening games as part of a tournament against some really good teams. Both teams went 1-3 losing to South Alabama and Coastal Carolina who won the College World Series in 2016. Oklahoma earned their lone win over Indiana before dropping the next three and Kansas State defeated Virginia Tech in their finale after dropping their first three.

Not a good way to open the season for either team, but it was against above average teams, so take good news when you can get it.

9. West Virginia Mountaineers: 1-2 (-5)
I don’t know what to say about the Mountaineers. They struggled with the Jacksonville University Dolphins. That earns them basement status in my power rankings. They are better than this. Not to mention they have one of the easiest non-conference schedules in the Big 12. They should be able to rack up the wins over the next couple of weeks.