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Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings: Opening Weekend Of Conference Play Brings Changes To Rankings

West Virginia rises as high as they've been all season in this week's rankings, jumping to #2 after Iowa State's bad loss.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Man, this is getting tough. After Iowa State backed into the #1 spot in our rankings last week, they go out and lose to a mediocre South Carolina team.

We now, finally, have some head-to-head conference results. West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, & Oklahoma State all started conference play off with a victory, while TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Baylor faced defeat.

It's all conference play from here on out, and we'll quickly see where everyone stands.

Let's get to the rankings:

1. Texas Longhorns, 12-2, 1-0 (previous rank: 2)

The Longhorns finally have Isaiah Taylor back, although he was rusty in his return. Taylor had 8 points on 2-10 shooting and 6 turnovers in UT's conference-opening win against Texas Tech. With everyone healthy and at full strength, though, Texas is probably the toughest team to beat in the conference.
Last week: Defeated Rice 66-55 (12/29), Defeated Texas Tech 70-61 (1/3)
This week: Vs. #18 Oklahoma (1/5), @ Oklahoma State (1/10)

2. West Virginia Mountaineers, 13-1, 1-0 (previous rank: 3)

West Virginia was able to get a double digit victory on the road without their best player and preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, Juwan Staten. No matter who it's against, that's a quality win. West Virginia's depth and nonstop pressure defense is a pain for any opponent. Jonathan Holton and Devin Williams are 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the conference in offensive rebounds per game.
Last week: Defeated Virginia Tech 82-51 (12/30), Defeated TCU 78-67 (1/3)
This week: @ Texas Tech (1/5), Vs. #9 Iowa State (1/10)

3. Kansas Jayhawks, 11-2, 0-0 (previous rank: 4)

Kelly Oubre has gone from barely getting off the bench to now playing over thirty minutes a night. Whatever issues he had when the season started seem to have been worked out. Over his past four games, Oubre is averaging 16 PPG.
Last week: Defeated Kent State 78-62 (12/30), Defeated UNLV 76-61 (1/4)
This week: @ #22 Baylor (1/7), Vs. Texas Tech (1/10)

4. Iowa State Cyclones, 10-2, 0-0 (previous rank: 1)

Iowa State allowed South Carolina to pick up their first victory over a top 10 team in five years, per ESPN. Georges Niang and Bryce Dejean-Jones combined for only 13 points in the loss.
Last week: Defeated Mississippi Valley State 83-33 (12/31), Lost to South Carolina 64-60 (1/3)
This week: Vs. Oklahoma State (1/6), @ #17 West Virginia (1/10)

5. Oklahoma Sooners, 10-3, 1-0 (previous rank: 5)

TaShawn Thomas and Buddy Hield combined for 44 points in Oklahoma's 10 point victory over Baylor. Thomas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage, at 60.4%.
Last week: Defeated George Mason 61-43 (12/31), Defeated #22 Baylor 73-63 (1/3)
This week: @ #11 Texas (1/5), Vs. Kansas State (1/10)

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 11-2, 1-0 (previous rank: 8)

Oklahoma State needed overtime to beat a bad Missouri team, but followed it up with a quality 14 point victory over Kansas State. Phil Forte had 20 points on 8-13 shooting in the victory over the Wildcats.
Last week: Defeated Missouri 74-72 OT (12/30), Defeated Kansas State 61-47 (1/3)
This week: @ #9 Iowa State (1/6), Vs. #11 Texas (1/10)

7. Baylor Bears, 11-2, 0-1 (previous rank: 6)

Baylor shot just 29% in the second half in their loss to Oklahoma. The Bears have a chance for a statement win this week, when the Kansas Jayhawks come to Waco.
Last week: Defeated Norfolk State 92-51 (12/30), Lost to #18 Oklahoma 73-63 (1/3)
This week: Vs. #13 Kansas (1/7), @ TCU (1/10)

8. TCU Horned Frogs, 13-1, 0-1 (previous rank: 7)

I'm still not completely sure what to make of TCU. They're (without a doubt) much improved from last year, but I'm not sure how many conference wins that translates to. They won't go winless in conference again, though, and the trip to Manhattan, Kansas this week will tell us more about this team.
Last week: Defeated Tennessee State 60-40 (12/29), Lost to #17 West Virginia 78-67 (1/3)
This week: @ Kansas State (1/7), Vs. #22 Baylor (1/10)

9. Kansas State Wildcats, 7-7, 0-1 (previous rank: 9)

Kansas State is just not a very good team right now. The Wildcats are riding a three game losing streak, with losses to Texas Southern and Georgia followed up by a double-digit defeat to Oklahoma State. K-State is last in the conference in scoring offense and total rebounds per game.
Last week: Lost to Georgia 50-46 (12/31), Lost to Oklahoma State 61-47 (1/3)
This week: Vs. TCU (1/7), @ #18 Oklahoma (1/10)

10. Texas Tech Red Raiders, 10-4, 0-1 (previous rank: 10)

Texas Tech battled back from a 20 point deficit to Texas to make the score look more respectable. Things don't get any easier for the Red Raiders this week, with games against two top-15 teams.
Last week: Defeated North Texas 60-45 (12/29), Lost to #11 Texas 70-61 (1/3)
This week: Vs. #17 West Virginia (1/5), @ #13 Kansas (1/10)