Week 5 Big 12 Power Rankings
The Oklahoma State Cowboys Are Rising In The Big 12
After the Big 12 Power Rankings stood pat last week, the rankings look completely different this week than last. Currently, we have six or seven teams who look to be in position to contend, or at least compete, the Big 12 once conference play opens up, with a few teams living up to preseason hype and some overachieving this far.
This season, the Big 12 conference again looks like a powerhouse in the nation and well on its way to sending send multiple teams to the Big Dance in March. Of course, Kansas will most likely find itself listed in the Associated Press weekly, but now the likes of Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are definitely primed to give the conference’s powerhouse a run for their money.
The league added two teams to the conference this season, in West Virginia, and TCU, who have started off their respective residences in the Big 12 a little differently. One team has found success early on, while the other finds themselves stuck at the bottom of the Big 12 food chain.
With plenty more basketball to be played and just a few weeks to go before conference play opens up, expect some more action in the power rankings come Week 6. But for now, let’s enjoy what was a wild Week 5 in Big 12 basketball, including a big upset that might not be considered that big anymore.In the following slides, we’ll recap each Big 12 team’s successes and failures this week and look forward to their week ahead.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. He will also be contributing weekly Big 12 Power Rankings during the 2012-2013 NCAAB season every Tuesday. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.
No. 10- Texas Longhorns
Last Week: 0-2 (Georgetown, UCLA)
After gaining some respectability in with a two-game win streak, the Texas Longhorns crashed right back down to earth this week, with two respective bad losses. First, No. 15 Georgetown smacked the Longhorns 64-41. In a pathetic showing, orange and white shot an abysmal 29 percent from the field, just 15 percent from three and only 53 percent from the line. Overall, Texas never led the Hoyas for even a second. Next, the Longhorns dropped a close one to the UCLA Bruins, who were struggling in their own right. Late in this one, Texas collapsed as they basically watched the Bruins use a 12-2 run to close out the game. Not a good sign for a team that has a tough final few weeks of non-conference games remaining on their schedule.
Next week, the Longhorns take on Texas State on Saturday.
No. 9- West Virginia Mountaineers
Last Week: 2-0 (Marshall, Virginia Tech)
A team that hasn’t been consistent all season, the West Virginia Mountaineers are now riding a three-game winning streak and look poised to make a run at escaping the Big 12 cellar. The put together a solid 10-point home win over Marshall on Wednesday and then squeaked out a tough 68-67 win against Virginia Tech on Saturday. With tough defense and efficient offense, the Mountaineers showed their first relevance of late-game composure this week and also showed they know how to put big leads away as well. Look for this confidence to continue for most of the week ahead.
No. 8- TCU Horned Frogs
Last Week: 0-2 (Houston, Tulsa)
The TCU Horned Frogs stumbled last week after leaping out of the gates thus far this season. In losing to Houston 54-48 and Tulsa 50-49, the Horned Frogs now face their first losing streak of the season. While they did go 0-2, the purple and black didn’t necessarily look bad. They still held their opponents to an average of 52 points per game on 40 percent shooting from the field. However, the Frogs could improve their overall shooting, only knocking down shots at 36.5 percent from the field per game.
Next week, TCU have an off week to help correct their offensive struggles.
No. 7 Iowa State Cyclones
Last Week: 2-1 (Florida Gulf Coast, Iowa, Nebraska Omaha)
While the Iowa State Cyclones boast a 7-3 record, this team still hasn’t truly beaten any steep competition in their seven victories. In fact, against another high-major opponent this week, the Cyclones fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes 80-71 on Friday. While they beat Florida Golf Coast handily and shellacked Nebraska Omaha, the Cyclones might be in for a rude-awakening once the begin Big 12 conference play when they face some more tough competition.
Next week, Iowa State will play against Drake on Saturday.
No. 6- Baylor Bears
Last Week: 0-1 (Northwestern)
After the Baylor Bears shocked the Kentucky Wildcats in Rupp Arena, the defending national champions fell out of the AP Top-25 and it was it was uncertain whether Baylor played really well or Kentucky just isn’t that good. Now, after Baylor fell to Northwestern at home this week, it looks like Kentucky wasn’t that good. A team that is loaded with talent, it looks like the Bears need to focus more on the fundamentals and teamwork. Baylor might need to refocus before conference play opens up.Next week, the Bears play Lamar on Wednesday and USC Upstate on Monday.
No. 5- Oklahoma Sooners
Last Week: 0-1 (Oral Roberts, Northwestern State)
The Oklahoma Sooners three-game winning streak ended last week when the Sooners fell to Arkansas on Tuesday. While they did lose 81-78, they battled hard and shot the ball extremely well against the Razorbacks. The ball just didn’t bounce their way. Look for Oklahoma to continue competing and potentially contend in the Big 12.
Next week, the Sooners will host Texas A&M on Saturday.
No. 4- Texas Tech Red Raiders
Last Week: 1-0 (Northern Kentucky)
The Texas Tech Red Raiders avenged their first loss of the season with a 75-69 win over the North Kentucky Norse on Tuesday. This was definitely a much-needed win for Jaye Crockett and the gang, but it still wasn’t that impressive. Tech will have to play more impressive if they want to remain a top talent in the conference.
Next week, the Red Raiders will face McNeese State on Sunday.
No. 3- Oklahoma State Cowboys
Last Week: 2-0 (Virginia Tech)
The Oklahoma State Cowboys got back on track this week with two impressive victories. They dominated USF 61-49 on Wednesday and came right back out swinging on Saturday during their 62-42 victory over Missouri State. The Cowboys with an effective offense, physical interior presence and stingy defense, truly look like a Big 12 contender.
Next week, the Cowboys take on Cent Arkansas on Sunday.
No. 2- Kansas State Wildcats
Last Week: 1-0 (UC Upstate)
This past week, the Kansas State Wildcats extended their winning streak with a 65-62 road victory over George Washington. Even though many critics could say this team should have defeated the Colonials by a larger margin, beating an A-10 team in their house is an accomplishment. But, Kansas State has a much tougher task to face in the week ahead.
Next week, the Wildcats will play No. 14 Gonzaga.
No. 1- Kansas Jayhawks
Last Week: 1-0 (Colorado)
The Jayhawks have been unbeatable at home this season. But, on Saturday, they truly made a statement that said, “Nobody is beating us in our house” with a whopping 90-54 victory over Colorado. Nothing more needs to be said about why this team is the top-ranked program in the Big 12.
Next week. The Jayhawks will entertain Belmont in the Allen Fieldhouse where, obviously, they are very difficult to beat.