clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Big 12 basketball power rankings

New, 27 comments

Our first installment of the 2014-15 weekly power rankings

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Big 12 football power ranking is done for the year, it's time to shift our focus to basketball. We're finally reaching the point in the roundball season that every team has played enough games that we can begin to evaluate them.

I should start by letting everyone know that my idea of what a "power ranking" should be might differ from some who put together similar lists. For some, power rankings are just a barometer of "who's hot, who's not." I'm less interested in evaluating momentum, and more interested in ranking the teams by quality. As such, these rankings will generally be my week-to-week evaluation of who the best and worst teams in the conference are, to the extent that this can be supported by their outcomes. You won't be seeing TCU jumping into the top half just because they're undefeated, nor will Kansas drop significantly if they lose to Georgetown. For me it's about evaluating all the information available, not just the most recent results.

With that out of the way, here's our first installment of the RCT Big 12 Power Rankings

1) Kansas
Record: 6-1
KenPom ranking: 9th
Last week: 61-56 win vs Michigan State, 71-65 win vs Florida

The Jayhawks have some holes right now, but they're slowly putting that dreadful Kentucky loss in the rearview mirror, having won five straight. This week should tell us even more about this team with a road game against Georgetown and a Sprint Center matchup against Utah.

2) Texas
Record: 7-1
KenPom ranking: 11th
Last week: 63-53 win vs UT-Arlington, 63-51 loss at Kentucky

Texas' first loss of the year came on the road against the top ranked team in the country. Texas hung around for quite a while before being put away by the Wildcats, and overall fared much better than Kansas did. You could make a case for Texas being #1, but until I see them score with any kind of efficiency or regularity, I'm not getting overly excited about this team

3) Oklahoma
Record: 5-2
KenPom ranking: 17th
Last week: 82-63 win vs Missouri

Oklahoma has two losses, but is still looking impressive. They weren't able to hang with a very strong Wisconsin team, and suffered a close road loss to Creighton, but  they've also easily dispatched respectable Butler and UCLA teams, and dismantled Missouri in the Big 12-SEC challenge. They're also playing surprisingly good defense this year, ranked 6th by KenPom

4) Iowa State
Record: 5-1
KenPom ranking: 21st
Last week: 96-59 win vs Lamar, 95-77 win vs Arkansas

Iowa State has an unimpressive loss in front of a virtual home crowd against Maryland in the Sprint Center, but that's going to happen when you rely on the three the way ISU does. They shot an abysmal 6-27 in that game from beyond the arc, but have rebounded nicely with back-to-back 90+ point performances, including blowing out a decent Arkansas team. They'll likely have a few more slip-ups when they struggle to shoot, but they're looking like a competitive team

5) West Virginia
Record: 8-1
KenPom ranking: 25th
Last week: 74-73 loss vs LSU, 67-42 win at Northern Kentucky

West Virginia might have pushed ISU for 4th had it not been for a home loss to a very mediocre LSU team. The Mountaineers' record is impressive, but their only noteworthy win so far was over a then-ranked Connecticut team that's now just 3-3. West Virginia will be competitive this year, but I'm not ready to call them a top 25 team just yet

6) Baylor
Record: 7-1
KenPom ranking: 13th
Last week: 75-49 win vsTexas Southern, 66-63 at Vanderbilt

KenPom loves Baylor, but I'm not convinced. Their only really impressive performance was a blowout win over a suspect Memphis squad. The best team they've faced (Illinois) beat them on a neutral court. Baylor may end up being better than 6th, but I want to see them play against better competition

7) Oklahoma State
Record: 7-1
KenPom ranking: 28th
Last week: 87-61 win vs North Texas, 75-49 loss at South Carolina

Before the season started I was touting Oklahoma State as a team that would surprise people, and I was feeling pretty good about that pick until they got drubbed by Frank Martin's South Carolina squad. Now, SC is headed in the right direction and that loss isn't quite as bad as it sounds, but scoring 49 against the Gamecocks and losing by 26 is worrisome. This team has some young talent and is likely to be mercurial over the course of the year

8) Kansas State
Record: 4-4
KenPom ranking: 75th
Last week: 84-66 win vs Nebraska-Omaha, 65-64 loss at Tennessee

Honestly, I don't think Kansas State is the 8th best team in the Big 12, but what evidence can I use to argue against it? They lost to Long Beach State (113th in KenPom) and were crushed by Pitt (46th). They were competitive in losses to respectable Arizona and Tennesee teams, so the 4-4 record may be misleading, but right now K-State is playing just ok offense, and bad defense. I think they'll climb the rankings as the season goes on, but as of today they could be in some trouble

9) TCU
Record: 8-0
KenPom ranking: 58th
Last week: 66-54 win at Ole Miss

TCU looks like they're improving, but I don't put a ton of stock into their undefeated record. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are their two biggest wins, and they won't play another power conference opponent until Big 12 play starts. They could very well finish the non-con 13-0, then win only a handful of games in the Big 12

10) Texas Tech
Record: 5-1
KenPom ranking: 125th
Last week: 46-44 win vs Auburn

Tech will likely spend the season fighting to climb out of 10th. They're 5-1, but without a win over anyone in KenPom's top 150, and that includes a couple of close calls against Auburn and Air Force. Their offense looks horrendous, and they may end up giving TCU their first non-last place finish as members of the Big 12

Questions? Comments? Input? Feel free to contact me at PenHawkRCT@gmail.com, and follow me on twitter @kspen124