Viva the Matadors’ Week 9 Rankings:
1. #23 Oklahoma State: 24-14-1, 12-3 (LW 4)
Oklahoma State is making us look really good right now. We had them as the dark horse (along with Texas) back in our season preview and with a sweep of Kansas they are sitting in the driver seat to this point. Oklahoma State will have to continue this week against Oklahoma in a half home, half neutral site series, but their path to the championship seems easier than others after this weekend. After this series with Oklahoma they take on Iowa and Baylor before finishing the year against Texas Tech. If they do their work early on, they could put it out of reach for the Red Raiders that last weekend.
2. #4 Texas Tech Red Raiders: 32-10, 10-5 (LW 1)
Despite a losing last night to a top 10 Arkansas team, Texas Tech did what they needed to do against Oklahoma by taking two of three. Now just a game and a half behind Oklahoma State, work still needs to be done, but the Red Raiders are in a much more manageable position than they were a few weekends ago. What makes their path much easier is the complete collapse of TCU who Texas Tech faces this weekend in Fort Worth.
3. #19 Texas Longhorns: 29-15, 11-4 (LW 2)
Texas didn’t have a conference series this past weekend, and did what they needed to do against New Orleans and Houston, going 3-1 for the week. This weekends match-up will be interesting for Texas. West Virginia is playing their best ball of the year right now and while they aren’t good enough to shock Texas, if the Longhorns take them lightly, it could be a costly trip to Morgantown.
4. Oklahoma Sooners: 28-15, 10-5 (LW 3)
The Sooners salvaged the series in Lubbock with a win in the finale. Sooners are a better team than they showed, losing the first game on a balk in the 10th (and a bunch of walks in the 9th). Oklahoma is now on the outside looking in, but are still in the hunt. They’ll get a chance to get right back in it against conference leader Oklahoma State this weekend.
5. Baylor Bears: 23-17, 6-9 (LW 7)
Baylor swept TCU. It seems Baylor had two series circled on the schedule this year: Texas Tech and TCU. Against which they have gone a combined 5-1 this year. The two front-runners for the title coming into the year, Baylor was geared up and took care of business. While too far out to be anything more than a spoiler, Baylor has secured bragging rights.
Baylor travels to Kansas State this weekend.
6. TCU Horned Frogs: 20-17, 6-8 (LW 5)
TCU has been collapsing for some time now and it all culminated with losing Luken Baker to a leg injury last week. Being swept by Baylor is just the latest evidence, but they were done last week. TCU is touting this weekend against Texas Tech as must win, but ultimately, they are playing nothing more than spoilers.
7. West Virginia Mountaineers: 20-18, 4-8 (LW 8)
The Moutaineers are out of the cellar once again after taking two of three from Kansas State. They’ll have a chance to make some noise if they can win a series against Texas at home, but I think it’s far more likely Texas wins the series.
8. Kansas Jayhawks: 19-21, 3-11 (LW 6)
Kansas just hasn’t been able to break through in conference like they did last year. If you put this year’s non-conference record with last year’s conference record and they’d be a tournament team or fairly close to one. But once again, the Jayhawks get swept and will start turning their eyes toward next year. They have a non-conference series with Cincinnati this weekend.
9. Kansas State Wildcats: 16-21, 2-10 (LW 9)
Kansas State didn’t get swept, but they did lose the series to West Virginia. Not much going right for the Wildcats right now and are running into a Baylor team on a roll this weekend.