1) Oklahoma (16-2 overall, 5-2 conference)
Last week: 1 (NC)
Last game: at Baylor (W 82-72)
Next game: vs. Texas Tech (1/26)
The Sooners remain atop the rankings this week following a two road games, one being a loss and one a win. It's hard not to believe in Hilton Magic sometimes and OU witnessed it firsthand this past Monday when they fell to the Iowa State Cyclones. Still (and this is largely due to no other team being able to make a move), Oklahoma remains in the number one spot, and holistically speaking, it's certainly deserved.
2) Kansas (16-3 overall, 5-2 conference)
Last week: 2 (NC)
Last game: vs. Texas (W 76-67)
Next game: at Iowa State (1/25)
Kansas started their slate of games this past week with a loss in Stillwater against Oklahoma State. This is the third time in as many years that KU has lost on the road against Travis Ford's Cowboys. However, the Jayhawks bounced back on Saturday when they took down Texas 76-67. It wasn't the best game KU has played, but in the end it was a still a convincing win. Kansas is still a top-tier contender this year if they continue to play like they did in the second half against UT as opposed to continuing to repeat this particular first half performance.
3) West Virginia (16-3 overall, 5-2 conference)
Last week: 3 (NC)
Last game: at Texas Tech (W 80-76)
Next game: vs. Kansas State (1/26)
Similar to the teams listed above the Mountaineers this week, WVU won one and lost one this past week. They were able to edge out the Red Raiders in Lubbock, however three days earlier they took a home loss versus Texas. West Virginia is still a dangerous team obviously, but they need to win games against lesser opponents in then gauntlet that is the Big 12. A win over the WIldcats will be important for the Mountaineers before they head into the Big 12-SEC Challenge.
4) Iowa State (15-4 overall, 4-3 in conference)
Last week: 6 (+2)
Last game: at TCU (W 73-60)
Next game: vs. Kansas (1/25)
The only team in the top half of the conference standings to not lose a game last week, Iowa State jumps up two spots to #4 in this week's rankings. After two losses in a row between Jan. 9-Jan.12, the Cyclones have rattled off three straight victories, including a home win over Oklahoma (the second meeting of the season between the two teams). Iowa State may jump even higher if they can topple the Jayhawks at home on Big Monday this week.
5) Baylor (15-4 overall, 5-2 conference)
Last week: 4 (-1)
Last game: vs. Oklahoma (L 72-82)
Next game: at Oklahoma State (1/27)
Baylor went through a duo of tough games this past week in Waco. K-State took the Bears to double overtime before Baylor finally pulled away, while the Sooners came to town on Saturday and left with a win. It was a positive sign for Baylor that they limited Buddy Hield to single-digit points in the first half on Saturday, but of course he finished strong and Baylor ended up with a loss. A win at Gallagher-Iba this coming Wednesday will be very important for the Bears.
6) Texas (12-7 overall, 4-3 conference)
Last week: 5 (-1)
Last game: at Kansas (L 67-76)
Next game: vs. TCU (1/26)
Shaka Smart's Longhorns really are an enigma this season. After a huge road win against West Virginia, Texas came out gun's blazing in the first half at Allen Fieldhouse versus Kansas, but then couldn't hold a lead and ended up falling on Saturday. While Connor Lammert was stellar from three-point range versus the Jayhawks, UT is going to need a lot more than that if they want to continue to contend with the toughest teams in the league going forward.
7) Texas Tech (12-6 overall, 2-5 conference)
Last week: 7 (NC)
Last game: vs. West Virginia (L 76-80)
Next game: at Oklahoma (1/26)
Despite being generally competitive in most of their games in Big 12 play so far, the Red Raiders have very little to show for it, amassing just a 2-5 conference record. This past week, after taking down TCU, Texas Tech succumbed to West Virginia in a close matchup. This week, several teams will be pulling for Tech as they try to knock off Oklahoma in a huge upset in Norman.
8) Oklahoma State (10-9 overall, 2-5 conference)
Last week: 9 (+1)
Last game: at Kansas State (L 73-89)
Next game: vs. Baylor (1/27)
The Cowboys get a boost this week for the fact that they were able to beat Kansas at home once again. However, their follow-up game, a 16-point loss in Manhattan against Kansas State, was not so impressive. Oklahoma State has shown flashes of great play mixed in with several very poor performances. The KU win gives them a boost, but not one big enough to jump multiple spots.
9) Kansas State (12-7 overall, 2-5 conference)
Last week: 8 (-1)
Last game: vs. Oklahoma State (W 89-73)
Next game: at West Virginia (1/26)
Kansas State's one spot drop this week is effectively due to them being a victim of circumstance, considering that Oklahoma State picked up a big win over KU (despite K-State beating OSU). For the most part, the teams near the bottom of the conference standings are somewhat interchangeable, at least for the time being. The Wildcats have played some very competitive games thus far, including an exciting double overtime loss to Baylor this past week.
10) TCU (9-10 overall, 1-6 conference)
Last week: 10 (NC)
Last game: vs. Iowa State (L 60-73)
Next game: at Texas (1/26)
It's hard to describe TCU as anything other than "bad" these days. Granted, they're not helped by the fact that they play in the toughest league in America, but generally speaking their weak roster is not primed to challenge the better teams in college basketball. Considering the way Texas has played this year, maybe TCU can pull off something of a minor miracle in Austin this week.
Questions, comments, concerns, opinions? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a tweet, I'm listening.