Authors note: This week will be my last with the fine folks at Bring on the Cats as I will be taking over the sports desk for the Junction City Daily Union starting a week from Monday. I’ve deeply enjoyed my time here getting to write about K-State, even though it’s been rather brief and K-State has been decidedly not good since I joined. Luke Thompson will be taking over the power rankings next week and so it will be his job to figure out new ways of talking about how awesome Baylor is and how terrible K-State is every week. He’s going to do great. Having said that, please enjoy my final power rankings and for those of you in the Junction City/Manhattan area, please feel free to say hello if you see me out and about. Thanks! - Tim Everson
1. No. 2 Baylor (17-0, 9-0)
The best ever men’s basketball team out of Waco will in time outpace and outlive us. Hail Scott Drew! Hail, Hail! Anyway, the mighty Bears have the week off thanks to Covid issues. NEXT UP: A week from Saturday versus Texas.
2. No. 13 Texas Tech (13-5, 5-4)
Tech rises back up to the number two spot after a gritty win over a slightly-crippled Oklahoma team. Their final eight games split four and four between teams currently ranked and non-ranked teams and will go up to four and five if their match-up with Iowa State from last month gets rescheduled. They’re in a good spot to finish in the top three of the conference and land a top-four seed in the tournament for sure. NEXT UP: Saturday at K-State.
3. No. 9 Oklahoma (11-5, 6-4)
I hesitated to drop Oklahoma even though they did lose to the team that was right below them this week. They dominated a top-10 Alabama team and lost a close brawl to Texas Tech. They did both without two of their starters including star Austin Reeves. No doubt if OU was at full strength, they’re coming into this weekend’s game versus Iowa State on a six-game win streak. The Sooners are special. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Iowa State.
4. No. 6 Texas (11-4, 5-3)
The Horns need a big win after back-to-back deflating losses to Oklahoma and Baylor. Texas was able to hang in there versus the Bears and even had a brief second-half lead but you need a full 40-minute effort if you want to take down Baylor. Saturday is big because Oklahoma State is just as desperate to get a win and after only losing by three earlier in the year, the Pokes will be more than motivated to take the Horns down. There are few easy wins in the Big 12 and OSU will not be one of them. NEXT UP: Saturday at Oklahoma State.
5. No. 17 West Virginia (12-5, 5-3)
The Mountaineers really blew it versus Florida last weekend in the most disappointing Big 12/SEC Challenge performance and followed it up by barely beating a disheveled Iowa State. A win versus KU on Saturday would really perk WVU back up though and the ‘Eers are more than capable. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Kansas.
6. No. 23 Kansas (12-6, 6-4)
KU is fortunate that K-State is terrible. There are some pretty mediocre or bad Wildcat teams that would’ve beaten the Jayhawks Tuesday night. It wouldn’t have taken a lot. KU can look competent at times but they have no consistent scorers. This team has several more losses ahead of them before the season is up. NEXT UP: Saturday at West Virginia.
7. TCU (10-7, 3-5)
Big win for Jamie Dixon and the Frogs. After two close, disappointing losses to KU and Mizzou, the Frogs kept themselves bubble adjacent by taking down Cade Cunningham and company. They’re going to need some help if they want to sneak in into the tournament but they’re not in the worst spot. NEXT UP: Tonight at Kansas.
8. Oklahoma State (11-5, 4-5)
The Cowboys lost a must-win versus TCU on Wednesday. It’s possible that the Big 12 can get eight teams into the tournament and certainly Okie Lite has the better resume of the two but they’re going to have to pick off one of the upper-tier teams in the conference. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Texas.
9. Iowa State (2-10, 0-7)
The ‘Clones remain ninth because I have to see news about how bad K-State is every day and I can not in good conscience say there is another team in any of the power five conferences that they are better than. Having said that, as I’ve stated for multiple weeks, Iowa State is absolutely wretched. NEXT UP: Saturday at Oklahoma.
10. Kansas State (5-14, 1-9)
Intensions were in the news for the Wildcats after AD Gene Taylor confirmed to Ryan Black and the Manhattan Mercury that it would take an off-the-court disaster (my words) in order to not retain Bruce Weber next season. Gene walked that back the next day in an article with Kellis Robinett and the Wichita Eagle/Kansas City Star causing intense parsing of quotes among the Wildcat faithful. Why do I bring this up? It’s the only thing worth talking about at this point in the season in relation to the K-State men’s basketball program. The fact that there are nine games (including a possible Big 12 tournament game) left to play this season is an absolute, stone-cold bummer. NEXT UP: Saturday vs Texas Tech.