1. No. 2 Baylor (15-0, 8-0)
I’m going to paraphrase Robert Shaw’s character Quint from the 1975 classic Jaws for my Baylor excerpt this week... *ahem*
“Y’know the thing about THE BAYLOR MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM, they’ve got... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When they comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’... until they bite ya. And those black eyes roll over white, and then... oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin’, the COURT turns red, and spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and they... rip you to pieces.”
NEXT UP: Saturday vs Auburn.
2. No. 24 Oklahoma (10-4, 6-3)
Don’t count out Lon Kruger, man. After a slow start to the season, the Sooners are coming alive and are winners of four-straight including back-to-back wins over KU and Texas. They’re tough, they can defend, they can score and they’ve certainly made themselves a factor in the conference race. They can put a big topper on their streak by taking down the top-ranked SEC squad in the Crimson Tide on Saturday. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Alabama.
3. No. 10 Texas Tech (11-5, 4-4)
Mac McClung was really good again on Monday but his buzzer-beating luck didn’t carry through to the final shot against West Virginia. They’re still a team no one wants to play though and that’s why they stayed in the top three. NEXT UP: Saturday at LSU.
4. No. 5 Texas (11-3, 5-2)
Texas slides down a little further in the rankings after a tight rivalry loss to Oklahoma on Tuesday. The Horns aren’t in trouble or anything but beating teams like the Sooners and Texas Tech are musts if they wanted to keep pace with Baylor. NEXT UP: Saturday at Kentucky.
5. No. 11 West Virginia (11-4, 4-3)
Don’t look now but Huggs and company is back on the rise. After some time off thanks to Covid, the mediocre Mountaineers took a huge step forward Monday night by taking down the ascendant Texas Tech Red Raiders to reintroduce themselves into the race to finish second in the Big 12 behind Baylor. Oh, they also beat K-State by 20, but so does everyone. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Florida.
6. No. 15 Kansas (10-5, 4-4)
KU has officially boarded the struggle bus. Granted, they’re not on the struggle rocket that K-State hopped on some time after the 2018-19 season but this is certainly the worst Jayhawk team that we’ve seen in quite some time. They will probably beat TCU tonight but an intriguing matchup awaits on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Showdown as Rick Barnes and Tennessee welcome the Hawks into Knoxville. NEXT UP: Tonight vs TCU.
7. Oklahoma State (10-4, 4-4)
Oklahoma State had a competitive half versus Baylor without the help of their best player. That certainly counts for something. Not enough to move up in these rankings or in life but something I’m sure. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Arkansas.
8. TCU (9-5, 2-4)
The Frogs were off this past week thanks to Covid but return tonight to take on an equally struggling team in Kansas. I doubt they’ll win but it would be huge if they found a way. This KU team is definitely vulnerable. NEXT UP: Tonight at Kansas.
9. Iowa State (2-8, 0-6)
Not to make everything about how bad K-State is but it really shows how bad the Wildcats are that no one is talking about how pitiful Iowa State is as well. Hell, they should probably be last but they’re just a kind of boring bad. I’m curious if Clones fans are too obsessed with their new #FootballSchool status to care about the absolute choking out of Hilton Magic that Steve Prohm has accomplished over the last several years. NEXT UP: Saturday at Mississippi State.
10. Kansas State (5-12, 1-8)
Deep, heavy and endless sigh that slowly turns into tears as I sit, fully-clothed, on the floor of my shower. The hot water long gone. Thoughts drifting from turnovers to a badly missed three to another badly missed three to another turnover. There is no end. This is where we are. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Texas A&M.