1) Oklahoma (19-3 overall, 7-3 conference)
Last week: 1 (NC)
Last game: at Kansas State (L 69-80)
Next game: vs. Texas (2/8)
This is the closest 1-2-3 group of the season thus far. Kansas easily could have vaulted back over OU due to their now equal Big 12 records plus KU's head to head victory, and West Virginia has a claim to it since they are now solely in first place in the Big 12 standings. After cruising past TCU, Oklahoma hit a wall against K-State at Bramlage Coliseum. OU has looked phenomenal for much of the season, but this hiccup closes the gap between them and the rest of the field (not that it wasn't close before).
2) Kansas (19-4 overall, 7-3 conference)
Last week: 2 (NC)
Last game: at TCU (W 75-56)
Next game: vs. West Virginia (2/9)
The Jayhawks have assembled a brief winning streak, building it up to three games with an easy win over TCU this past Saturday. That doesn't necessarily erase the memory of that rough 5-game stretch for the Jayhawks during January however, a stretch in which they lost three of five games. KU's next two games are at home against West Virginia and on the road against Oklahoma (their final meeting of the season with each team). If Bill Self's squad can get through this week with two victories, Kansas will be the easy and obvious choice for number one in next week's rankings.
3) West Virginia (19-4 overall, 8-2 conference)
Last week: 3 (+2)
Last game: vs. Baylor (W 80-69)
Next game: at Kansas (2/9)
The Mountaineers are now in sole possession of first place in the Big 12, but they take that mark into this week's biggest matchup in the conference, as they will head to Allen Fieldhouse to take on the Jayhawks. As previously stated, it's very close between the top three teams this week, and by next Monday it's very possible West Virginia has its name in the top spot of the rankings.
4) Texas (16-7 overall, 7-3 conference)
Last week: 6 (+2)
Last game: vs. Texas Tech (W 69-59)
Next game: at Oklahoma (2/8)
Texas achieves their highest power rankings position of the season following a win over Texas Tech, extending their winning streak to four. Three of those games were at home against mediocre or worse teams (but to be fair, the toughest game was on the road versus Baylor), but the streak is impressive nonetheless, especially compared to the other teams in this section of the rankings and their recent performances. The Longhorns have a grueling schedule coming up though; their next two games are on the road in Norman and Ames.
5) Baylor (17-6 overall, 6-4 conference)
Last week: 4 (-2)
Last game: at West Virginia (L 69-80)
Next game: at Kansas State (2/10)
6) Iowa State (17-6 overall, 6-4 conference)
Last week: 4 (-2)
Last game: at Oklahoma State (W 64-59)
Next game: at Texas Tech (2/10)
Just as it looked like Iowa State was making a run for the title of best team in the conference. they fall in the Big 12/SEC Challenge to Texas A&M, then follow that up with a home loss versus West Virginia. Clearly these transgressions aren't fatal for the Cyclones, as both of those teams are very good, but it certainly raises some questions (and it should be noted that they did win their most recent game). ISU needs to keep up the momentum and knock off Texas Tech this Wednesday or they may not be able to make up much ground in the power rankings.
7) Kansas State (14-9 overall, 3-7 conference)
Last week: 7 (NC)
Last game: vs. Oklahoma (W 80-69)
Next game: vs. Baylor (2/10)
Kansas State has pretty much secured itself as the "best of the (relatively) bad teams" in the Big 12 this season, solidified by their huge upset win over Oklahoma this past Saturday. While not a major player nationally this year, K-State made waves with an upset nobody expected. We'll see if they can pick up another huge home upset in their next game, when they host Baylor.
8) Texas Tech (13-9 overall, 3-7 conference)
Last week: 9 (+1)
Last game: at Texas (L 59-69)
Next game: vs. Iowa State (2/10)
When you get down this far in the power rankings, things such as the simple overall record are used as tiebreakers. Texas Tech has a better record than Oklahoma State but they still haven't been all that impressive since Big 12 play began. It gets no easier coming up for the Red Raiders; their next thee games are against Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma.
9) Oklahoma State (11-12 overall, 2-8 overall)
Last week: 8 (-1)
Last game: vs. Iowa State (L 59-64)
Next game: at TCU (2/8)
Unlike Texas Tech, Oklahoma has a true signature win this season, when they took down Kansas on Jan. 19 at home. However, the Cowboys also have an overall losing record this year, which clearly doesn't help their case at all. It's been a down year for OSU, compounded by their last two games, losses against Texas Tech and Iowa State.
10) TCU (10-13 overall, 1-9 conference)
Last week: 10 (NC)
Last game: vs. Kansas (L 56-75)
Next game: vs. Oklahoma State (2/8)
Not that this is new information to anyone, but TCU is not very good. With a -142 point differential in Big 12 play this year, it's been pretty awful for the entirety of the conference season, aside from squeaking out a win against Texas in Ft. Worth in early January. We'll see if TCU can pick up a second win against the number nine team in these power rankings (a team that already beat the Horned Frogs by 21 earlier this season).
Questions, comments, concerns, opinions? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a tweet, I'm listening.