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Texas Tech falls back to earth, but rest of the Big 12 is stuck in the mud

Big 12 Power for Week 4 2018

Nikopoia

Viva the Matadors’ Week 4 Rankings:

1. #6 Texas Tech Red Raiders: 16-3 (LW 1)
Well we knew this road trip was going to be a test. And no they didn’t go undefeated so the NCAA title is still up for grabs. Going 2-3 over a tough road trip against ranked teams isn’t terrible... it’s baseball. What is terrible is in all three losses, Tech started the game with multiple run leads and blew each of those leads as the games went on.

In Tech’s 3 losses the bullpen has gone:
5 runs over 7 innings
6 runs over 3 innings
6 runs over 5 innings

That’s an ERA of 10.20

That has to change. We discussed this back in the season preview. Tech not having a shutdown guy or two late in the game is going to be a problem. Shetter and McMillon are the obvious choices to fill that roll, but have been used as starters to this point. And It’s not just about protecting leads either... the bullpen to this point hasn’t been able to keep the game within reach in the late innings.

Tech opens Big 12 play this weekend against Baylor.

2. Kansas Jayhawks: 12-4 (LW 3)
How about them Jayhawks! So impressed with this team over the last 12 months. Started 2017 in the cellar working their way up to the mid-tier of our power rankings by performing exceptionally well in Big 12 conference play and they haven’t missed a beat to start 2018. On a current four game win streak and coming off a sweep of #20 St. John’s, this team looks primed to make a run at the title. It all starts this week against in Austin against a wounded Longhorn squad.

3. #11 TCU Horned Frogs: 9-5 (LW 3)
TCU falls in this weeks rankings despite Texas Tech’s rough road trip. Mainly due to the fact that they lost to both Vanderbilt and Rice over the weekend and had their game with UCLA cancelled. Seems like the Big 12 as a whole is not as strong as it was last year and it’s starting to show.

4. Oklahoma Sooners: 12-7 (LW 7)
No style points given to the perpetual home arrested Sooners but winning 6 of their last 7 makes them one of the hottest teams in the Big 12. Power rankings are all about momentum so... there you have it.

5. Kansas State Wildcats: 8-4 (LW 5)
Kansas State stays pat this week, but not because of great play. They are at the top of a bottom half of the conference that had a very poor weak on top of a very poor start to the season. The Wildcats have lost two of their last three including a 13-3 drubbing by Creighton. Good news is, they finish their non-conference schedule against the College of Charleston and Austin Peay.

6. Baylor Bears: 8-6 (LW 8)
Baylor moves up a few spots by sweeping George Washington. No fault at them dropping their mid-week game against a ranked Sam Houston State squad.

7. Texas Longhorns: 9-9 (LW 4)
As we have stated all year, Texas has they hardest non-conference schedule of any Big 12 team. It finally showed this past week. After taking the first of a four game series with Stanford, Texas proceeded to drop the final three games of the series before getting swept by Arkansas in a two game stint.

Texas starts Big 12 play this weekend against Kansas in Austin.

8. Oklahoma State: 8-7 (LW 6)
The Cowboys are in the midst of a three game losing streak which sees them drop down to the #8 spot this week. Dropping two to Eastern Michigan and a mid-week series against Dallas Baptist doesn’t give much confidence that they are ready to make a run, but you never know. We thought they were dead back in 2016 and they found themselves right in the College World Series along with Tech.

9. West Virginia Mountaineers: 7-8 (LW 9)
This team is done. I am shocked at how far this team has fallen since last year. Their fall is the direct inverse of Kansas’ rise. The Mountaineers dropped their last two to Tennessee Tech 8-0 and 9-1. Shocking to say the least.