Though it's perfectly legit, I'm almost thinking Big 12 fan (myself included) needs to stop talking about how tough this conference is. I mean, we're starting to sound like SEC fan, and that makes me want to punch myself in the face ...
1. Kansas Jayhawks (15-4, 6-0) — Andrew Wiggins proved in five minutes that he probably could beat TCU 1-on-5 if he wanted to, and KU coasted against one of the nation's worst teams in a tuneup for Wednesday's tilt against Iowa St. in Lawrence.
2. Oklahoma Sooners (16-4, 5-2) — Bedlam in Norman is a Top 25 showcase this week after OU has grinded out three-straight wins. This team is playing with some fire right now, illustrated best by Gonzaga transfer (and Oklahoma native) Ryan Spangler, whose rebounding effort is fun to watch.
3. Oklahoma St. Cowboys (16-3, 4-2) — When Marcus "flop nasty" Smart finally quits spending his time and effort on begging for every call, OSU will be better off for it. Good thing Le'Bryan Nash bailed him out against a West Virginia bunch that obviously gives the Cowboys fits.
4. Texas Longhorns (16-4, 5-2) — The Longhorns are now Top 25'ish as they have already matched their win total from a year ago. Rick Barnes and staff did a great job this past offseason replacing "me" guys with team guys, and the results are obvious. The Longhorns get KU on Saturday.
5. Iowa St. Cyclones (15-3, 3-3) — The Cyclones weren't going to keep losing, though they weren't very convincing in hanging on against K-State in Ames. How the Bubu Palo reinstatement distraction affects this team remains to be seen.
6. Kansas St. Wildcats (14-6, 4-3) — Bruce Weber said it best after the ISU loss: This is a good team. It's up to them if they want to be a great one. We know K-State is talented enough to be as high as No. 2 on this list, but the young guys are learning the margin of error is a thin one in Big 12 play.
7. Baylor Bears (13-6, 1-5) — This really isn't funny anymore. It's hilarious. After getting blasted by Texas, playing WVU in Waco might serve as a little breather ... might ... but then OSU, KU and OU all are on tap. The Bears could be 2-8 or 1-9 in conference play. Say what?
8. West Virginia Mountaineers (11-9, 3-4) — Bob Huggins has two of the Big 12's most exciting scorers, but this team doesn't seem to have that same rugged feel of Huggins' classic rosters, especially across the front line. I mean, Kevin Noreen just doesn't rate high on the fear factor scale.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (10-10, 2-5) — Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert are having good years, and the team is making better teams work for 40 minutes instead of 30 and coasting to a win. It's an interesting matchup for the Red Raiders as they head to Manhattan. If KSU's bigs get into early foul trouble, or have an off night, look out.
10. TCU Horned Frogs (9-10, 0-7) — The Frogs have completed 38.9 percent of their Big 12 schedule. That's about the best thing we can say at this point. It surely isn't the fact that of the next eight games, it's conceivable that six or even seven of them could be against Top 25 opponents.