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Texas surges as the season signals a weak Big 12 conference year

Some middle of the pack movement, but this year’s conference isn’t great


Viva the Matadors’ Week 5 Rankings:

1. #10 Texas Tech Red Raiders: 17-5, 1-2 (LW 1)
I’m not sure how much longer Tech can hold onto the top spot in the power rankings. The only reason why they are still at the top is the woeful play of the rest of the Big 12 who went 22-20-1 collectively over the last week.

Bullpen issues are still a question mark, so is Tadlock’s use of the pitching staff as a whole, but now, we see after the first two games against Baylor that this offense can go quiet. In the series finale Tech looked like the favorite for the Big 12 and escaped the sweep with a victory.

It must be said that while the rest of the Big 12 seems content on not catching Tech, this should be a time to separate from the pack, not get bogged down with it. Then there is Texas... we’ll get to them in the minute.

Texas Tech takes on Northeastern in a four game set this weekend.

2. #20 TCU Horned Frogs: 11-7 (LW 3)
Once again TCU has a sub-standard week. They dropped 9 spots in D1 Baseball’s Top 25 (the main poll used by the NCAA) to #20. The Horned Frogs dropped two of three to Minnesota in Fort Worth and before salvaging the week against Arkansas Pine-Bluff.

TCU opens their Big 12 slate this weekend, at home, against Kansas State.

3. Texas Longhorns: 13-9, 3-0 (LW 7)
A couple of week’s ago on the Air Raid Podcast, Liz Rodriguez talked about how her favorite to challenge Tech in the Big 12 was Texas. That opinion makes a lot of sense and hows that despite their rough 5 game losing streak against Stanford and Arkansas, Texas rebounded to the tune of a 4-0 week that saw them sweep a resurgent Kansas team and a mid-week win over a ranked Sam Houston State.

Texas will get a chance to continue their strong start in conference against Oklahoma State in Austin.

4. Kansas Jayhawks: 13-8, 0-3 (LW 2)
Rough way to start Big 12 play getting swept by Texas. The Longhorns are tough to be sure, but the Jayhawks needed to pull out at least a win. Now questions will arise about their staying power in conference.

They have another tough matchup against Baylor on the road.

5. Baylor Bears: 11-7, 2-1 (LW 6)
Baylor woke up the entire Big 12 with a series win over Texas Tech over the weekend. Shutting out the Red Raiders in the opener was a big statement. Despite this team’s trouble during their non-conference schedule, Baylor seems primed to make a run in conference.

Or they just could have gotten lucky against a struggling Tech program...

Baylor will face off against Kansas this weekend.

6. Oklahoma Sooners: 14-9 (LW 4)
Home games and still the Sooners split their week. Won the first two against Kennesaw State before dropping the finale and their mid-week game against Wichita State. Not sure what to make of this team just yet, but they start with the bottom dwellers of the Big 12 this weekend against West Virginia... where else but in Norman.

7. Kansas State Wildcats: 12-9 (LW 5)
The Wildcats went 2-3 over the week, dropping two of three to the College of Charleston and splitting with Austin Peay. This was supposed to be a chance for Kansas State to rack up some wins before Big 12 play started. That didn’t happen. Now, the Wildcats will have to head to Fort Worth to battle TCU with the risk of falling out of post-season contention altogether.

8. Oklahoma State: 10-8-1 (LW 8)
Oklahoma State went 2-1-1 this week dropping the opening of their “tournament” to Seton Hall before beating Missouri State and in the rematch against Seton Hall, tying 3-3.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Cowboys fare in their Big 12 opener as they go up against the Longhorns down in Austin.

9. West Virginia Mountaineers: 9-9 (LW 9)
West Virginia improved this week going 2-1, but not enough to move up in the rankings. They’ll head to Norman this weekend for three game set with the Sooners.