Raise your hand if you have any idea what's going to happen game-to-game in the Big 12 conference. If your hand is raised, sorry, but you're lying.
With every team playing no more than three games, only two, Kansas and Iowa State, are left undefeated.
Texas is good, right? Well, they were number one in these rankings last week. Spoiler alert: They're not this week. The Horns got blasted by 21 to Oklahoma last Monday. They followed that up with a loss at Oklahoma State.
So Oklahoma is the favorite, right? Not so fast. Five days after the Sooners put a beating on Texas, they lost a home game to 7-loss Kansas State.
The message here: Take these rankings with a grain of salt. The only way I know to order the teams is by their current resume.
The conference is continuing its dominance over the rest of the country. Check out this tweet from the Big 12 yesterday:
Another RPI note - #Big12MBB boasts 7 teams in top 31 of RPI. The COMBINED total of ACC, B1G, Pac-12, SEC in top 31 = 10— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) January 12, 2015
Let's get to the rankings:
1. Kansas Jayhawks, 13-2, 2-0 (previous rank: 3)
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Jayhawks seem to be back on track from their blowout loss at Temple. Kansas barely squeaked by Baylor in Waco, but a win is a win is a win on the road in this league. Two weeks ago I had Iowa State #1 in these rankings, and they promptly laid an egg against South Carolina. Last week the Longhorns were #1, and they dropped two games by a combined 32 points. So basically what I'm saying is that it's a stone cold lock that the Pokes and Cyclones get big wins this week.
Last week: Defeated #22 Baylor 56-55 (1/7), Defeated Texas Tech 86-54 (1/10)
This week: Vs. #24 Oklahoma State (1/13), @ #11 Iowa State (1/17)
2. Iowa State Cyclones, 12-2, 2-0 (previous rank: 4)
The Cyclones got two close wins over two ranked teams (although Okie State wasn't ranked at the time). Abdel Nader came up big in Iowa State's win in Morgantown, scoring 19 points off the bench. No time to relax, though, as the Cyclones have a road game against a ranked Baylor team and then a home tilt against Kansas.
Last week: Defeated #24 Oklahoma State 63-61 (1/6), Defeated #16 West Virginia 74-72 (1/10)
This week: @ #22 Baylor (1/14), Vs. #9 Kansas (1/17)
3. West Virginia Mountaineers, 14-2, 2-1 (previous rank: 2)
Had West Virginia been at least average shooting the ball on Saturday, they'd be the only team in the league sitting at 3-0. However, shooting 32.4% in this league isn't going to win you very many games. The Mountaineers have to start getting more out of Jonathan Holton if they want to be serious contenders for the conference championship. Holton is currently averaging only 5.7 PPG in league play. Not good.
Last week: Defeated Texas Tech 78-67 (1/5), Lost to #11 Iowa State 74-72 (1/10)
This week: Vs. #18 Oklahoma (1/13), @ #20 Texas (1/17)
4. Oklahoma Sooners, 11-4, 2-1 (previous rank: 5)
A balanced effort (6 players scoring 9 or more points) led to the thrashing of Texas. Buddy Hield scored 31 against Kansas State, but it wasn't enough to keep the Sooners undefeated in league play.
Last week: Defeated #10 Texas 70-49 (1/5), Lost to Kansas State OT 66-63 (1/10)
This week: @ #16 West Virginia (1/13), Vs. #24 Oklahoma State (1/17)
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 12-3, 2-1 (previous rank: 6)
The Cowboys narrowly missed out on a huge road victory in Ames, but got a statement win a few days later against Texas. Le'Bryan Nash and Phil Forte III each scored 20 points in the win over the Longhorns. Oklahoma State probably has the toughest slate this week, traveling to Lawrence and then Norman. Good luck.
Last week: Lost to #17 Iowa State 63-61 (1/6), Defeated #20 Texas 69-58 (1/10)
This week: @ #9 Kansas (1/13), @ #18 Oklahoma (1/17)
6. Texas Longhorns, 12-4, 1-2 (previous rank: 1)
This is a big dropoff for Texas, and I still think this team can become a Final Four quality team. But man, last week was ugly. Texas only scored 14 first half points against the Sooners. After a poor outing against Oklahoma, head coach Rick Barnes moved Myles Turner back to the bench for the Oklahoma State game. The big man responded by going 4-4 from three for 18 points, with 6 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Last week: Lost to #18 Oklahoma 70-49 (1/5), Lost to #24 Oklahoma State 69-58 (1/10)
This week: Vs. #16 West Virginia (1/17)
7. Baylor Bears, 12-3, 1-2 (previous rank: 7)
Just three days after Baylor was a missed layup at the end from defeating Kansas, they needed overtime to defeat TCU. Again I say, this league is madness. Kenny Chery had a huge game against the Jayhawks, scoring 25 points on 8-14 shooting.
Last week: Lost to #9 Kansas 56-55 (1/7), Defeated TCU 66-59 OT (1/10)
This week: Vs. #11 Iowa State (1/14), @ Kansas State (1/17)
8. Kansas State Wildcats, 9-7, 2-1 (previous rank: 9)
Maybe last week was just what the Wildcats needed to get going. There won't be many teams this year that walk out of Norman, Oklahoma with a victory. Marcus Foster came up huge for K-State in their victory over the Sooners, hitting a three with four seconds to go in overtime to get the win. If Kansas State continues to improve, there is a legitimate chance that the Big 12 gets 8 teams, or 80% of its members, into the NCAA tournament.
Last week: Defeated TCU 58-53 (1/7), Defeated #18 Oklahoma 66-63 OT (1/10)
This week: Vs. Texas Tech (1/14), Vs. #22 Baylor (1/17)
9. TCU Horned Frogs, 13-3, 0-3 (previous rank: 8)
TCU was dangerously close to getting their first conference win this week, battling Kansas State to the end and taking Baylor to OT. The Horned Frogs are first in the conference in field goal percentage defense, allowing their opponents to only shoot 34.5% from the field. I still believe this team is going to win a few Big 12 games, and their first one may come Saturday.
Last week: Lost to Kansas State 58-53 (1/7), Lost to #22 Baylor 66-59 OT (1/10)
This week: @ Texas Tech (1/17)
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders, 10-6, 0-3 (previous rank: 10)
Texas Tech at least made the game against West Virginia competitive, but they had no shot against Kansas. Texas Tech shot only 32.7% against the Jayhawks. It's going to be a long year in Lubbock.
Last week: Lost to #16 West Virginia 78-67 (1/5), Lost to #9 Kansas 86-54 (1/10)
This week: @ Kansas State (1/14), Vs. TCU (1/17)