Big 12 Power Rankings 2/13

February 13, 2012

Been too long since the last edition of the power rankings. So much has changed since then, though, as usual, most of the movement is in the middle of the pack. At this point, we have a clear top 2 in the conference, Baylor,  a second tier, and Texas Tech.

1. Missouri (23-2, 10-2)

The Tigers impressed again on Saturday, blowing #6 Baylor out with a barrage of three point shooting. Right now, there isn’t a better offensive team in the country. The schedule has set up nicely for Frank Haith, and there is probably only one regular season loss left. Unfortunately, that is February 25th, against Kansas, and it is the battle for the conference title.

2. Kansas (20-5, 10-2)

Jeff Withey has responded wonderfully from his no-show against Missouri last weekend. 43 points, 25 rebounds, and 10 blocks in two Jayhawk wins. Should the Jayhawks win tonight against Kansas State, everything sets up for a winner take all showdown in Lawrence against Missouri.

3. Baylor (21-4, 8-4)

While the conference title is probably out of the question, Baylor could still be a major threat in the NCAA tournament. Remember, they haven’t lost outside of the Top 10 this season. Whatever is broken with Perry Jones, they need to fix it.

4. Iowa State (18-7, 8-4)

The NCAA tournament is a real possibility for the Cyclones. They already have one signature win, over Kansas, and can get another one tonight against Baylor. Most encouraging thing right now: Royce White hasn’t been a big scorer in the last two Cyclone wins. They’re learning to win without relying solely on him.

5. Texas (16-9, 6-6)

The comeback win against K-State on Saturday probably saved the Longhorn’s season. Rick Barnes has his team playing the kind of defense that gives the other team fits. The lack of a signature win hurts for NCAA selection purposes, but they still have a game against Baylor and one against Kansas.

6. Kansas State (17-7, 6-6)

The Wildcats are a mess right now, but they have some hope on the horizon. A home win tonight against their rival Kansas would go a long way. With a win against Missouri already in pocket, beating the Jayhawks probably puts Frank Martin on the right side of the bubble.

7. Oklahoma State (12-13, 5-7)

Travis Ford saved his job in conference play. His team still defends well, and Le’Bryan Nash has started playing like the All-American recruit he was supposed to be. While there won’t be much postseason play this year, there is tons of hope in Stillwater. Plus, we get to watch Markel Brown dunk some more, which is just too much fun.

8. Oklahoma (13-11. 3-9)

Steven Pledger is a nice building block, and the Sooners are hanging with much better teams, they just don’t know how to win yet. Lon Kruger should be applauded for the job he’s done this season.

9. Texas A&M (12-12, 3-9)

Currently on a four game losing streak, the Aggies are having a truly miserable season. Injuries to players and the new coach cannot be ignored, but this season is still a major disappointment.

10 Texas Tech (8-16, 1-11)

Well, they won’t go winless in conference play after all. Actually, with Texas A&M up next, the Red Raiders could squeeze out a two game winning streak here.


Big 12 Power Poll 12/15

December 15, 2011

After a busy weekend, the Big 12 is taking it easy this week. That means there isn’t much movement, though I’m switching the Oklahoma teams.

1. Baylor Bears

I might have to write expanded thoughts on the Bears later today, but for now, I’ll just say this: They are the most exciting team in the conference, and maybe the country.

2. Missouri Tigers

The next test for the Tigers: facing a team that can successfully slow them down. I’m not sure any team outside of Baylor can beat Missouri when the game is played in the 70s and 80s. I’m sure this will be Illinois’ strategy next week.

3. Kansas Jayhawks

They got a big name win at home, albeit one with a large asterisk. Won’t lie, I think KU still winds up winning the Big 12 this year. Thomas Robinson is so NBA ready it’s scary.

4. Texas Longhorns

I really like the way Rick Barnes has his freshman playing. Come next week, they will FINALLY get a big test against North Carolina.

5. Texas A&M Aggies

Khris Middelton is back. They finally play a team of value, going to Florida this Saturday. Time to see what they are made of.

6. Oklahoma Sooners

I way undervalued the Sooners last week, they deserve to be here right now. Steven Pledger leads a really good offensive attack, and Lon Kruger is a very good coach. At the same time, I don’t think the Sooners are going to fare well in conference play.

7. Kansas State Wildcats

Too bad nobody on this team is capable of making a play on their own. Once again Frank Martin has a tough, defensive minded team. They are going to give a Baylor, Kansas, and Missouri plenty of trouble, but in the end, a lack of a go to scorer will be their downfall.

8. Oklahoma State Cowboys

This is a very good team, no doubt about it. Probably one of the better defending teams in the conference. They struggle to score though, which is why the continued improvement of Le’Bryan Nash is so important.

9. Iowa State Cyclones

Royce White has shot 22-31 from the field his last three games. Not quite at the level of a Ricardo Ratliffe, but damn impressive.

10. Texas Tech Red Raiders

At least TCU knows they will be able to win some conference games next winter.


Big 12 Power Rankings

December 6, 2011

We’re deep enough into the non-conference season to put together the first power rankings of the season. Expect weekly updates (probably Tuesday’s) the rest of the season.

1. Baylor Bears

Baylor has been more than just the most talented team in the conference so far this season. While the early season script wasn’t pretty (too much mental wandering during second halves) the results have been. Perry Jones III is back, which has benefited the team across the board. JuCo transfer Pierre Jackson has been impressive for stretches off the bench, which provides Baylor with the outside threat they need to be great.

2. Missouri Tigers

Somehow going away from the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball has made the Tigers even faster. The speed of Phil Pressey and Mike Dixon has given opposing guards nightmares all year long. Inside play will be a question all season, but the emergence of Kim English as second banana to Marcus Denmon gives Mizzou hope for a run at the conference title.

3. Kansas Jayhawks

A loaded non-conference schedule will pay off later in the season. Kansas has a lot of work to do, but looks good to challenge for the conference title. Thomas Robinson is a star, and Tyshawn Taylor has really stepped up. To stay with Missouri and Baylor all season though, Kansas needs better three-point shooting, and more scoring from Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford.

4. Texas Longhorns

The freshman have looked good so far, especially Jonathan Holmes and Myck Kabango. J’Covan Brown is a scoring stud, and will benefit from the surprising help he’s gotten so far. I think this Texas team does a lot more damage than people were thinking a month ago.

5. Texas A&M Aggies

Not sure yet what TAM is, especially with Khris Middelton injured. Not sure we will know much about them until conference play starts.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys

I haven’t been terribly impressed by Le’Bryan Nash, and Keiton Page is in a terrible shooting slump. Right now, this team isn’t anything special, despite having intriguing talent.

7. Kansas State Wildcats

Undefeated so far, but haven’t played much. Win over Virginia Tech is nice, beating West Virginia on Friday would be better.

8. Iowa State

Have a feeling Iowa State is going to lose a lot of really close games all season long. Royce White is dark horse candidate for conference player of the year.

9. Oklahoma

Only loss is to an impressive SLU team, but haven’t played much competition. Their offense has been impressive all season, which should keep them in games this season.

10. Texas Tech

You lose to DePaul, you get ranked last. Tech already has issues scoring, that will only get worse once Big 12 play starts.

 


March(!) 2nd League Poll

March 2, 2011

As you know, last night K-State beat the OTHER elite team in the Big 12, winning at Texas on Big Monday. The Wildcats, who everyone (including us) assumed were doomed for a bad season, are now just about a lock for the NCAA tournament.

It’s a fresh start from there.

1. Kansas Craig: A tough week looms with Texas A&M and Missouri on tap, but the Jayhawks can grab a No. 1 seed with wins at the Big 12 tournament, where they’ve dominated in recent years. Along the way, they’ll likely claim a share of the league title for the 7th straight year. (24)

T2. Texas Craig: The Horns have suffered back to back losses for the first time all year, to Nebraska and Kansas State. But this isn’t another late season cave-in, this team is too good. Right? (21)

T2. Kansas State Justin: This is the team we thought we were going to see all season. Jacob Pullen can easily carry this team to the Sweet Sixteen. (21)

4. Texas A&M Justin: Kind of lost in the shuffle, but still plugging away. They have a great shot at going deep into March. (18)

5. Colorado Craig: Showed a lot of heart and ability in a furious rally at home against Texas. How will the Buffaloes look in their final Big 12 Tournament? (15)

6. Missouri Craig: Simply put, the Tigers looked horrible at Nebraska. Can they get their act together between now and Selection Sunday? (14)

7. Nebraska Craig: Lance Jeter saved the Huskers for a few minutes with a buzzer-beater at Iowa State, but the Cyclones prevailed in overtime. Not good for Nebraska’s NCAA hopes. (12)

8. Baylor Craig: Chance after chance has been blown, including Tuesday’s night’s game at Oklahoma State, an 11-point loss. Last year’s Elite Eight run ends up sandwiched between two disappointing seasons. (11)

9. Oklahoma State Justin: Wonder if they can make a little noise in the conference tournament. Wouldn’t shock me. (8)

T10. Oklahoma Justin: Schedule sets up so they can finish out with a win or two. (5)

T10. Texas Tech Justin: After looking like he saved his job, I’m guessing Pat Knight is winding down his Red Raiders career. (5)

12. Iowa State Justin: Hey, at least they try hard. Craig: Nice win against Nebraska. (2)

Craig’s Poll – Kansas, Texas, K-State, Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado, Baylor, Nebraska, Ok. State, OU, Texas Tech, Iowa State

Justin’s Poll – Kansas, K-State, Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Baylor, Ok. State, Texas Tech, OU, Iowa State


Feb. 17 League Poll

February 17, 2011

Kansas’ surprising loss at Kansas State gives Texas a two-loss conference lead with six games to go. This would be the first season in six years where the Jayhawks did not win at least a share of the conference regular season title.

1. Texas (22-3, 10-0) Craig: The Longhorns pushed past Baylor for their tenth straight win. They are the nation’s 6th best rebounding team. With their toughest games behind them, an outright conference title (their first since 1999) is likely. (36)

2. Kansas (24-2, 9-2) Greg: The Jayhawks looked like they sorely missed Sherron Collins and his calming presence on Monday night. That being said, that loss could end up being the best thing that happened to them if it leads to some maturity and focus. (33)

3. Missouri (20-6, 6-5) Craig: The defense was unimpressive in the Tigers’ 92-84 win over Texas Tech, who were still productive in getting two straight wins. How well will Mizzou play on the road Saturday in Ames? (29)

T3. Texas A&M (20-5, 7-4) Justin: Road wins are hard to get in the Big 12, and they got two last week. (28)

5. Baylor (17-8, 6-5) Greg: Other than Texas Tech (which has played better of late), the Bears don’t have an easy game left on the schedule. They played hard against Texas, so I have hope they’ll grab a couple wins in their last five games and bolster their resume. (24)

6. Kansas State (17-9, 5-6) Justin: For one night, all was right with the Wildcats. (21)

7. Colorado (16-10, 5-6) Greg: The Buffaloes are 2-6 in their last 8 games, which is no way to be trending when your resume comes before the selection committee. But they have a big opportunity against Texas at home to grab a K-State-esque win to revive them. (18)

8. Nebraska (16-8, 4-6) Craig: The Huskers happily claimed a tossup game with a 65-54 win against Oklahoma State. Will their slow pace work better Saturday against Texas than it did against Kansas? (14)

T8. Oklahoma State (16-8, 4-6) Craig: Unless they win at Texas or at Kansas, the Cowboys will have at least eight conference losses by this time next week. That doesn’t bode well for NCAA chances. (13)

10. Oklahoma (12-12, 4-6) Justin: I want to fast forward to next season, just to see if they are a threat. (9)

11. Texas Tech (11-15, 3-8) Justin: I’ll give Pat Knight credit. He doesn’t have much talent, but his team has really improved the last month. (6)

12. Iowa State (14-11, 1-9) Craig: The Cyclones should have a better game against Missouri this time around, especially if more people get to play. (3) 

Craig’s Poll – Texas, KU, Mizzou, Texas A&M, Baylor, K-State, Colorado, Nebraska, Ok. State, OU, Texas Tech, I-State

Greg’s Poll – Texas, KU, Mizzou, Texas A&M, Baylor, K-State, Colorado, Nebraska, Ok. State, OU, Texas Tech, I-State

Justin’s Poll – Texas, KU, Texas A&M, Mizzou, Baylor, K-State, Colorado, Ok. State, Nebraska, OU, Texas Tech, I-State


Feb. 8 League Poll

February 10, 2011

Kansas and Texas have kept winning and still have opportunities to earn an NCAA No. 1 seed. That’s a long way off though, which is good for the rest of the league. Who are the likeliest tourney participants? A&M and Missouri? Baylor and K-State? Nebraska, Colorado or Okie State? Plenty of time remains.

1. Texas Justin:  I still think they are better than any other team in the country. (36)

2. Kansas Greg: The Missouri game showed how many weapons the Jayhawks have, even with their future lottery pick sitting on the bench. (33)

3. Missouri Craig: The Tigers should win their next four games. Their lack of interior depth was painfully obvious in Lawrence. (28)

(+) 4. Baylor Justin: Don’t look now, but they do have the talent to take down a Kansas or a Texas, especially inside. (27)

() 5. Texas A&M Craig: A win against Baylor would have allowed the Aggies to pull away from the middle of the pack, but the Bears prevailed in overtime. Road games against Colorado and Texas Tech are both winnable. (26)

(+) 6. Kansas State Greg: Just when it looked like the Wildcats had some momentum (two straight wins), they are mired in another off-the-court issue with Curtis Kelly. (19)

(+) 7. Oklahoma State Justin: Won their last two, and still have an outside shot at sneaking in to the NCAA tourney, just need a big resume upset to help them out. (18)

() 8. Oklahoma Greg: Jeff Capel has done a great job this season but it looks as if the Sooners may have already hit the high point in their season. Still, if they can get to six or seven conference wins it would be a successful campaign. (14)

9. Colorado Craig: The Buffaloes were surprisingly uncompetitive at Missouri. With that effort, they won’t beat Texas A&M or Kansas State either. (13)

() 10. Nebraska Justin: They will play you tough, but they really need to be in the Big 10 for their style to translate into wins. (9)

11. Texas Tech Craig: Tech’s fate might be sealed in the next three games against Texas A&M, @ Missouri and @ Baylor. (6)

12. Iowa State Greg: Diante Garrett is the iron-man of the Big 12: he has played 40 minutes five times this season and has played at least 33 minutes in every conference game. (3)

Craig’s Poll – Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Texas A&M, Baylor, K-State, Colorado, Ok. State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas Tech, I-State

Greg’s Poll – Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Baylor, Texas A&M, K-State, Ok. State, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas Tech, I-State

Justin’s Poll – Texas, Kansas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Missouri, Ok. State, Oklahoma, K-State, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas Tech, I-State


Feb. 1 League Poll

February 2, 2011

So far this season, if the eyes of Texas are upon you, you’re about to lose a conference game. The No. 3 Longhorns (19-3, 7-0) embarrassed Texas A&M Monday night even more thoroughly than in their first matchup. This followed a comfortable home win over No. 14 Missouri.

This week, Nebraska prepares for No. 2 Kansas and Kansas State. The Jayhawks bounced back Saturday night with an easy victory over the Wildcats in Lawrence.

In addition to point totals from the vote, we’ve included how each team has moved through the power poll over the four prior weeks.

1. Texas Justin: Not just the best team in the conference, right now they are the best team in the country. (36 points, 3-T2-3-1)

2. Kansas Greg: The Jayhawks survived a tough road test in Colorado and spanked a Kansas State team in disarray. It was sort of a ho hum week for another Big 12 team that will likely go far in the tournament. (33 points, 1-1-1-2)

3. Missouri Justin: They got a big wakeup call Saturday night, and now have to take care of lesser teams and get back on track. (30 points, 2-4-4-3)

4. Texas A&M Greg: The schedule eases up in a major way for the Aggies, and because of that they should be able to rebound from the rough stretch they’ve experienced. (27 points, T4-T2-2-4)

(+) 5. Nebraska Craig: Give the Huskers credit for staying true to their low-scoring, methodical identity. They’ve yet to lose by double digits in Big 12 play. The only other team that can say that is UT. (24 points, T9-9-9-8)

(+) 6. Baylor Justin: Scott Drew’s team needs a big upset or two to get back into the NCAA conversation. (20 points, 6-8-10-7)

(+) 7. Oklahoma Justin: Very quietly sitting at .500 in conference. Hell of a coaching job going on. (18 points, T11-11-11-T10)

() 8. Colorado Craig: Buffaloes are on a cold streak lately. Toughest games are still ahead (@ Mizzou, @ Kansas, Texas) (15 points, T9-7-5-6)

(+) 9. Texas Tech Greg: Three wins a row might be the beginning of Pat Knight’s job being saved. It’s going to take a major upset in the next few weeks, however, to keep that sentiment rolling. (11 points, T11-12-12-12)

() 10. Oklahoma State Greg: It’s looking like a nondescript season for the Cowboys. It’s a shame they couldn’t grab an emotional win in last week’s game against Texas.  (10 points, 7-5-7-T8)

() 11. Kansas State Craig: Wally Judge left the team, and each week K-State’s season looks more and more like a stunning disappointment. (7 points, T4-6-8-5)

() 12. Iowa State Craig: Expect a lot of close losses from I-State this season. Frustrating, but this is what everyone expected all along. (3 points, 8-10-6-T10)

Craig’s Poll – UT, KU, Mizzou, A&M, Nebraska, Baylor, Colorado, Oklahoma, Ok. State, K-State, TTech, I-State

Greg’s Poll – UT, KU, Mizzou, A&M, Nebraska, Baylor, Oklahoma, Colorado, TTech, Ok. State, K-State, I-State

Justin’s Poll – UT, KU, Mizzou, A&M, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Baylor, TTech, Colorado, Ok. State, K-State, I-State