Several teams in the league played only one game last week, and no one lost, so there isn't a lot of movement in the rankings to speak of. However, it's becoming increasingly clear that this is the toughest basketball league in the nation, and that some teams we didn't think would be a factor may pull some upsets once we get to league play. It's setting up to be an interesting season.
LW ranking: 1st
KenPom ranking: 9th (LW: 9th)
Last week: 75-70 win at Georgetown, 63-60 win vs Utah
I feel like KU is getting really lucky right now, and KenPom agrees (he has us ranked as the second luckiest team in D1). Still, in four days we knocked off Kenpom's 21st ranked team on the road, then managed a win against number 20. Neither was a dominant performance, and it's hard to feel great coming off our second half against Utah, but I couldn't bring myself to knock them down to #2 after finding ways to win both those games. My confidence in this group is definitely waning though, and Devonte Graham potentially being done for the year doesn't help.
LW Ranking: 2nd
KenPom ranking: 11th (LW: 11th)
Last week: 59-27 win vs Texas State
Texas is very close to grabbing the top spot, and holding a D1 opponent to 27 points didn't hurt their case. Texas is playing fantastic defense right now. Their offense still makes me hesitant to make them the favorite to win the league title, but Kansas' offense isn't exactly blowing the doors off anyone right now, and the Longhorns' D is better than anything the Jayhawks are doing. They're in a virtual tie for 1st right now
LW ranking: 3rd
KenPom ranking: 17th (LW: 17th)
Last week: 87-68 win at Tulsa
Tulsa isn't great competition, but a 19 point road win is never a bad thing. Oklahoma's defense is still ranked 7th by KenPom, and their offense 51st. I would expect them to drop in the former, and improve in the latter as the season goes on.
4) Iowa State
LW Ranking: 4th
KenPom ranking: 18th (LW: 21st)
Last week: 73-56 win vs UMKC, 90-75 win at Iowa, 88-78 win vs Southern
Iowa State played a few games last week, played pretty well in all of them, moving up a few spots in the KenPom rankings. As we've come to expect from Hoiberg's squads, this ISU team looks like they'll be able to score, but will run into trouble with some cold shooting here and there.
5) Oklahoma State
LW ranking: 7th
KenPom ranking: 19th (LW: 28th)
Last week: 73-55 win at Memphis
Memphis is starting to look pretty bad, but again, 18 point road wins don't come around every day. Aside from a bad slip up against South Carolina, Okie State is looking like they could be relevant in the Big 12 again. I liked Okie State from the start, so I'm buying in and bumping them up a bit in the rankings.
KenPom ranking: 13th
Last week: 77-63 win vs Texas A&M
Not much to learn about Baylor this week. They continue to score very well, and beat a decent Texas A&M team by double digits. It looks like Baylor is going to get through their non-con schedule without playing a really good team, so we probably won't learn a ton about them until January.
7) West Virginia
LW Ranking: 5th
KenPom ranking: 31st (LW: 25th)
Last week: 69-66 win vs Marshall
West Virginia got a close win over an awful Marshall team, and trailed for much of the game in the process. I didn't buy in on West Virginia's early success, and now this game made their home loss to LSU seem a bit less flukey. I'm leaning more and more toward this team being who we thought they were going into the season.
8) Kansas State
LW ranking: 8th
KenPom ranking: 76th (LW: 75th)
Last week: 50-47 win vs Bradley, 73-53 win vs Savannah State
Who is this team? After being considered by some to be a factor in the Big 12 title race in the preseason, the Wildcats have turned in one disappointing performance after another. A home loss to KenPom's 300th ranked team in Bradley probably would have effectively sealed their fate fighting for an NIT spot. They managed to squeak out 50 points and avoided the upset, but you have to wonder where the points are going to come from if they want to be respectable come conference play. The 20 point win over Savannah State is nice, but Savannah is also one of the worst teams in D1.
LW ranking: 9th
KenPom ranking: 60th (LW: 58th)
Last week: 80-69 win vs Furman, 68-50 win vs McNeese State
TCU and K-State continue to make their cases that I should switch them in the rankings, but I'm holding off for now. TCU is doing what good teams do, in that they're beating bad teams, but I really want the chance to see how they do against a good one. KenPom says they've played just about the weakest schedule in all of D1 ball to date.
10) Texas Tech
LW ranking: 10th
KenPom ranking: 109th (LW: 125th)
Last week: 73-56 win vs Fresno State, 79-51 win vs Prairie View
Tech was the biggest Big 12 mover in KenPom's rankings this week, jumping 16 spots with two convincing wins. Still, they look like they'll be the worst team in the conference by some margin
Questions? Comments? Input? Feel free to contact me at PenHawkRCT@gmail.com, and follow me on twitter @kspen124