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2020-21 Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings: Week 1

Baylor reigns supreme, Texas surprises and K-State.... makes the list....

Jimmy V Classic Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We are roughly one week into the college basketball season and it’s already been wild. The Big 12 is a multi-headed monster that already is shaping up to be the best conference in the country. It was an exciting week one and it only figures to get even more crazy as we go on.

1. No. 2 Baylor (3-0)

I believe that No. 5 Illinois is a very good team. Baylor, destroyer of worlds, beat them by double-digits and currently looks unstoppable. The Bears would’ve been a one-seed last season if the tournament hadn’t been canceled and they are even better this year with talent all over the court and all down their bench. They are the best defensive team in the country and Saturday’s clash between the Bears and No. 1 Gonzaga may be the thing that finally brings about the heat death of the world. UP NEXT: Saturday vs Gonzaga

2. No. 17 Texas (4-0)

It’s the question everyone is asking: Does Shaka Smart get special coaching powers from his newly-grown, pandemic hair? Experts differ but the results are ironclad. Smart may have his best team that he’s ever had at Texas after grabbing a good win over No. 14 North Carolina and a 22-point blowout over probable-NCAA tournament team Indiana. Texas is experienced, long and incredibly athletic and will definitely be a major player in the Big 12 race and possibly the national race if Smart continues to let it grow. UP NEXT: Sunday vs No. 12 Villanova

3. No. 7 Kansas (2-1)

KU did not look particularly good in their win over No. 20 Kentucky but with Marcus Garrett under the weather, the Jayhawks found a way to send this year’s group of talented Wildcat freshmen and transfers back to Lexington losers. There are still a lot of unanswered questions concerning KU for me to feel completely confident about this team’s Big 12 championship chances. If Bill Self does manage to figure it out this year, it may well be his most impressive conference ring yet. UP NEXT: Today vs Washburn

4. No. 11 West Virginia (3-1)

The Mountaineers might be the most impressive looking team in the Big 12 off of the bus. Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe are monsters and Bob Huggins has assembled a impressive collection of tough guards like he does every year. However, Gonzaga showed that if you get West Virginia’s posts in foul trouble, they become a much different team. Having said that, a loss versus an excellent Gonzaga team is nothing to get upset about. UP NEXT: Sunday at Georgetown

5. No. 17 Texas Tech (2-1)

This is where things start to get fun. We know Texas Tech is going to be competing for another Big 12 title for head coach Chris Beard this season and their loss to a good Houston team does nothing to deter that. Right now they sit at the bottom of a murderer’s row of five teams, each as talented as anyone in the country. UP NEXT: Friday vs Troy

6. Oklahoma State (3-0)

Cade Cunningham has been as advertised for the Pokes and he alone makes Oklahoma State a very fun to team to watch. Paired with Rondell Walker, Mike Boynton has the best freshmen one-two punch in the conference. They snagged a solid win over Marquette on Tuesday but barely beat UT-Arlington to start the season so the difference between them at six and TCU at eight is press coverage. I don’t think either belong in the top half of the conference but time will tell. UP NEXT: Saturday vs Oakland

7. Oklahoma (0-0)

The only Big 12 team yet to play. They had to shut all operations down which led to games versus Central Florida and Florida being postponed or canceled. The Sooners are expected to be talented and experienced but until they can show us all what they can do, they’ll sit in the bottom half of my list. UP NEXT: Today vs UT-San Antonio

8. TCU (3-0)

The Horned Frogs haven’t been flashy but so far they’ve remained unblemished which is more than you can say about the two teams below them. We’ll know more about Jamie Dixon’s bunch in due time but for now, two single-digit home wins versus Liberty, Tulsa and a 24-point blowout over Houston Baptist gets you eighth. UP NEXT: Today vs Northwestern State.

9. Iowa State (2-1)

With as good and as deep as the Big 12 is this year, it is really tough to stay in the upper echelon of the conference. Losing at home to South Dakota State is a good way to find yourself on the outside looking in though, and that’s exactly where the ‘Clones are. The Jackrabbits will probably be a fine team as they are most years but you’ve got to be a lot better than losing at home to a fine team if you want to make headway in the Big 12 this year. UP NEXT: Sunday vs DePaul

10. Kansas State (1-2)

The good news is that the ‘Cats got their first win of the year on Tuesday over UMKC and will avoid the specter of a winless season. And... wait... no, hang on.... there has to be... surely that can’t be it... really? Well folks, according to this, that is all of the good news I have concerning the Kansas State Wildcat men’s basketball team. Could that change? Sure. But right now, Bruce Weber has a long way to go to get this team competing where fans would like. UP NEXT: Saturday vs UNLV