The Big 12 Conference continues to flex its muscles as one of the premier baseball conferences in the nation. One loss this weekend could easily set you back in the Big 12 baseball power rankings as so many teams went through the weekend unscathed. Baylor is still undefeated, yet two teams are ranked higher than them. Which two are those and why? Well, you are about to find out. Other questions to be answered: How do you skyrocket from last place to the top half? And what is one team’s scary weakness? All of these answers and more on this week’s power rankings.
1.Texas Tech Red Raiders (8-1)
Texas Tech has everything the NCAA Selection Committee looks for in a team right now. They have a road victory over a quality opponent: Mississippi State. They held a lead during their only loss, which just so happened to come at the hands of the same team. They’re undefeated at a neutral site. This weekend, they embarrassed Cal. During the Red Raiders’ four-game series sweep, they outscored the Golden Bears 23-7. This team has it all, and they’ve notched their first two College World Series appearances in the past three seasons. They are the team who has the best chance to take down No.1 TCU. And yes, right now, they’ve done more than TCU. But, it’s still super early in the Big 12 baseball season.
2.TCU Horned Frogs (6-1)
Who dare places the nation’s No.1 team in the second slot? Cameron Brock does. Why isn’t TCU in the No.1 slot anymore? They lost to Arizona State at home. Don’t get me wrong, the Sun Devils are a stout program. However, Arizona State lost to Oklahoma State in a mid-week game (Go ahead and boo me. I deserve it.) Look how far down Oklahoma State is this week. Could the Cowboys possibly be better than TCU? I think TCU will dispatch the Cowboys easily. However, a true No.1 team doesn’t leave questions unanswered. For this week, TCU is behind Texas Tech, but the Horned Frogs could very well be right back in the No.1 spot if Texas Tech slips up at the Houston College Classic this weekend.
3.Baylor Bears (8-0)
The Bears picked up their first road victory of the season with a victory against Texas State. After a 5-0 start, Baylor proceeded to sweep a South Alabama team who had previously outscored opponents 59-6. Yes, you read that correctly. South Alabama defeated Eastern Illinois 32-0 Feb. 18. While those stats are fascinating, we have our doubts about the quality of baseball at Eastern Illinois and SWAC member Alabama A&M. South Alabama has quite a bit to prove still.
4.West Virginia Mountaineers (4-2)
Someone in West Virginia must’ve given Jobu some rum and cigars this week. West Virginia went through the weekend unscathed. The most impressive part about the weekend was a 22-9 road shellacking of defending National Champion No.19 Coastal Carolina Saturday. Remember, West Virginia was ranked dead last in our first rankings.
5.Oklahoma Sooners (8-1)
Oklahoma has yet to play a road game. Two of their victories have come against Grambling State of the SWAC, which is a God-awful baseball conference. Their four victories this weekend came against northern teams who are just happy to thaw out of the cold weather climates. Northern Illinois and Villanova have two victories combined. Northern Illinois features both victories, and one of those came against Villanova. They are hardly competition. Oklahoma is a solid Big 12 baseball team, but this is weaker than a Baylor football non-conference schedule.
6.Kansas State Wildcats (6-2)
Friday games are currently the achilles’ heel of Kansas State. Any other day, Kansas State has done its job and scored more runs than the other team. On Fridays, the Wildcats are being outscored 15-5. On the bright side, Kansas State has a signature road win to its name. They defeated No.4 South Carolina at Founders Park in Columbia. Jake Scudder hit a two-run shot to place the Wildcats up by 3 during the 6-5 victory.
7.Texas Longhorns (5-3)
Dear Longhorns fans,
Don’t look too much into this. Your team has been solid thus far under a new coach. Big 12 baseball is off to a tremendous start this season, and your record is one of the conference’s worst. Also, you’ve lost three times at home. Someone had to drop, and the six above you currently have better resumes.
8.Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-3)
It wasn’t a bad week for Oklahoma State. Big 12 baseball teams just had an amazing week. However, we seem to have found a weakness for the Cowboys that could doom any chance of them competing during conference play: defense. Oklahoma State has surrendered at least four runs in every game but one. How many did they surrender in that one game? Three. A 3-5 Texas State team scored 22 runs this weekend on the Oklahoma State pitching staff. If that happens in Big 12 Conference play, expect Kansas to pass up the Cowboys.
9.Kansas Jayhawks (2-5)
There is a major problem with your program when it plays more games during a series than it scores. That was the case for Kansas this week, which only solidifies the preseason poll rankings which placed the Jayhawks in dead last. Granted, they played a solid Pac 12 team in No.20 Stanford on the road. Still, Stanford outscored Kansas 15-2 and grabbed two shutouts in the process. I’m sorry Kansas fans, but I have to mention the 1-hitter Friday. Congratulations to James Consentino for saving the team from absolute humiliation and recording the lone hit.
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