It’s much better news if you’re a K-State fan in this week’s power rankings. The Cats move out of the cellar after a strong showing versus Iowa State to start Big 12 play while the middle of the conference continues to shift around as we learn more about those just outside of the top-tier of the conference.
1. No. 2 Baylor (4-0)
The Bears hold pat after a week off thanks to COVID-19 running rampant in Waco. Things seem to be getting under control though so all signs are pointing to hitting the road on Saturday to Manhattan to take on the CURRENT CO-NO. 1 TEAM IN THE BIG 12! Certainly, a Clash of Titans awaits us. NEXT UP: Saturday vs K-State.
2. No. 5 Kansas (6-1)
The Jayhawks had just one game this week versus future K-State non-con opponent Omaha and they absolutely obliterated them (as they should). Kansas opens up the Big 12 season tonight in Lubbock in what should be the first puzzle piece to figuring out the hierarchy of the top tier of the Big 12. NEXT UP: Tonight vs Texas Tech
3. No. 8 West Virginia (6-1)
Bob Huggins and the ‘Eers picked up a nice home win over No. 19 Richmond on Sunday to lead into Big 12 play. West Virginia’s perimeter game has really made the difference this year mixed with their terrible twosome on the low block. They seem to get an easy one to lead into Big 12 play by hosting the struggling Cyclones but I’m not counting anyone out. NEXT UP: Friday vs Iowa State
4. No. 13 Texas (6-1)
The Horns were supposed to open up Big 12 play last week versus juggernaut Baylor but COVID came and that was rescheduled. Texas took care of Sam Houston State Wednesday night and now will set their eyes and Shaka Smart’s remarkable head of hair toward an Oklahoma State team looking to bounce back after earning their first loss of the season. NEXT UP: Sunday vs Oklahoma State
5. No. 14 Texas Tech (6-1)
Tech has taken care of business since their early loss to a good Houston team but now the level of difficulty is about to get ramped way up as KU comes to town. Chris Beard has shown that he can beat Bill Self but I worry that they won’t be ready quite yet for a Jayhawk squad that is much more battle-tested. A win here would prove that the Red Raiders very much belong among the top of the pack in the Big 12 and possibly the country. NEXT UP: Tonight vs Kansas.
6. Oklahoma (4-1)
We still don’t know much about the Sooners aside from the fact that they got the first Big 12 win of the season last week. The only team worth mentioning that they’ve played outside of TCU is a Xavier team that’s receiving votes in both polls and they got piledrived in that game. They have another gimmie versus Houston Baptist before taking on Texas Tech in an identity-establishing Tuesday night game. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Houston Baptist.
7. TCU (6-2)
After starting off the conference season with a loss to an Oklahoma team that still is kind of a mystery, TCU made a big statement by taking down undefeated Oklahoma State to get their first conference win of the year. Just before that, they blasted Texas A&M at home. They still need to beat someone more exciting before I completely buy-in but the Frogs definitely look interesting. They’ll have a couple of smaller non-conference games to wrap-up the month of December before getting back into Big 12 play on Jan. 2 at K-State. NEXT UP: Tuesday vs North Dakota State.
8. Oklahoma State (6-1)
Well, the Cade Cunningham magic finally wore off Wednesday night in a nail-biting loss to TCU, their first of the season. The Pokes shouldn’t worry though, after grabbing a buzzer-beating road win over Wichita State, asking a team this young to do that again may have been a bit much. They don’t have much time to lick their wounds though as they head down to Austin before a little break in their schedule for Christmas. NEXT UP: Sunday at Texas.
9. Kansas State (3-4)
K-State fans take a nice, deep breath of that fresh air because for the first time this season you are out of the basement and into the glorious light of only being second to last in the conference. This team’s effort versus Milwaukee and Iowa State over the past week has been refreshing and invigorating. The freshmen and sophomores are emerging, Mike McGuirl isn’t being forced to carry the entire load and they’re starting to look like a team that will at least be competitive. Does it make the Fort Hays loss even more frustrating? Yes, absolutely. But that was then and this is now. K-State basketball is fun to watch, THANK GOD. Enjoy the win because the Bears come to Bramlage on Saturday after sitting around thanks to COVID and you best believe they’ll be hungry. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Baylor.
10. Iowa State (1-3)
The Clones aren’t very good. Granted they’ve played the least amount of games of anyone in the Big 12 this season and they still have a bunch of new parts that they’re trying to integrate but losing to K-State on your home court is not something you can do if you’re trying to get yourself established. Steve Prohm has a lot of work to do this season. Things won’t get easier on Friday either when they travel to Morgantown to face a West Virginia team that, on paper, is significantly better than they are. NEXT UP: Friday at West Virginia.