Baylor Bears

Big 12 baseball Power Rankings: March 6th, 2017

Jim Schlossnagle big 12 baseball

There is one sport the SEC can usually claim dominance and still back it up on a consistent basis. That sport is baseball, and yet, Big 12 baseball humiliated the SEC in it’s bread-and-butter sport this weekend. Big 12 teams finished the weekend 8-2 against SEC teams this weekend. And the way LSU fans infiltrated Minute Maid Park, you may as well consider all of those as road games. Only Baylor fell to the Tigers, but the closest team to the facility is Texas A&M. Just like LSU, those silly Aggies finished the weekend 1-2, losing to one of the teams it was replaced by. It was an impressive week in the Big 12 baseball power rankings, as the conference can officially claim dominance over the SEC in all three of the major sports.

1.TCU Horned Frogs (10-1)

There is a reason this team is the No.1 team in the nation, and they proved it at the Shriners Hospitals of Texas College Classic in Houston this weekend. So, their No. 1 ranking in the Big 12 baseball power rankings should not be a shocker. The SEC is considered the best conference in baseball by far. And unlike in football, they’ve actually backed it up. The Big 12 Conference humiliated the SEC this week in Houston, and TCU swept all three of the top-15 teams it faced. Not only did they sweep each of those teams, but they scored 25 runs in the process. If that doesn’t indicate its explosive offense, then maybe this will: TCU has scored at least five runs in all 11 of its games.

2.Baylor Bears (11-1)

This team sold me this weekend, hence their improvement from 3 to 2 in the Big 12 baseball power rankings. They had yet to be tested, but they passed their first weekend test with flying colors. The Bears finished 2-1 at the Shriners Hospitals of Texas College Classic. After defeating No.11 Ole Miss on Friday, Baylor ended the tournament in style. Tucker Cascadden blasted a walk-off grand slam against old Big 12 and Southwest Conference foe Texas A&M. What’s scary is, this team is going to get better as the season carries on as head coach Steve Rodriguez is in just his second year at the helm. The rest of the Big 12 baseball teams need to watch out for the Bears.

3.Texas Tech Red Raiders (11-2)

Texas Tech has the potential to be the No.1 team, not just in Big 12 baseball, but the country. They actually won the series in Fort Worth against TCU in 2016, and held the lead against the Horned Frogs heading into the ninth inning during their first game at the College World Series. They host TCU in Lubbock this season. That series will be fun, but it will have to wait until April 28-30. Ole Miss basically gave the Red Raiders a win Saturday with three errors, including two charged to starting pitcher James McArthur on pick-off attempts. That’s what built up a 3-0 lead. However, Texas Tech was able to outhit the No.2 team in the nation during a 5-4 walk-off victory against LSU. Yes, there was that 9-0 drubbing Texas A&M gave the Red Raiders. Any true baseball fan knows that even the best pitchers are susceptible to having an off-day. Quite frankly, that’s what happened to Tech ace Davis Martin. Still, the Big 12 team whose performance was the worst, came off 2-1 facing all top-15 teams. That’s pretty damn good!

4.Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-5)

Adding to the teams with a stellar weekend tournament display, while dispatching of an SEC team is Oklahoma State. The Cowboys shut out Nebraska Friday and then topped Arkansas Sunday, helping them make the biggest leap of the week from #8 to #4 in our Big 12 baseball power rankings. Their only slip up during the Frisco College Baseball Classic came Saturday with a 10-9 defeat at the hands of No.14 Arizona. Josh Holliday is gearing his team up for Big 12 Conference play. This is supposed to be a rebuilding year, yet they may just find a way to get into an NCAA Regional. If they can just sneak into the field of 64, anything is possible from there.

5.Oklahoma Sooners (13-1)

Honestly, I’d like to rank this team way lower right now. They have yet to leave the friendly confines, and they just beat up on a northern team who didn’t even play the opening weekend. However, I keep Oklahoma in the top five for a pair of reasons. I can’t justify placing them over certain teams who were humiliated on the road this weekend, and the Sooners are probably a really good baseball team this year. This pre-conference schedule will likely hurt them in the long run. If the Sooners do not compete in conference play, they can kiss their regional hopes goodbye.

6.Kansas State Wildcats (9-2)

Congratulations to Parker Rigler on his no-hitter Sunday! Rigler surrendered two walks and fanned six hitters during the gem. His team did commit one error during the 14-0 drubbing. Despite the amazing news, I ragged on Baylor last week for destroying a team who beat Eastern Illinois 32-0. It’s only right for me to rag on Kansas State for not even reaching the 20-run mark. Is it a bit absurd? Yes. But so is Kansas State’s non-conference schedule. However, at least they’ve hit the road unlike a certain team from Norman, Oklahoma.

7.Texas Longhorns (7-6)

Texas will probably get into a regional with just a winning record. As long as Rice, Stanford and Connecticut hold up their end of the bargain, this team does not have to do much. I’d love to place them higher, but that’s tough when Texas goes 1-3 at No.19 Stanford. But remember, this team is transitioning to the David Pierce era. This is arguably the toughest non-conference schedule in Big 12 baseball, so take their standing in the Big 12 baseball power rankings with a grain of salt. Plus, they do have a winning record through the meat of it. I’m buying the Longhorn stock while it’s cheap.

8.West Virginia Mountaineers (7-4)

You know this conference is a good one when its most inconsistent team is ranked second to last. I have scratched my head every week when I look at the results of West Virginia. The first weekend, they lost a series to a mid-tier Conference USA team. The following week, the Mountaineers destroy the defending national champions and sweep through a tournament away from the friendly confines. This week, they drop two out of three against a team who entered the weekend with just one victory. West Virginia is the epitome of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.

9.Kansas Jayhawks (4-7)

Another week, and another 9th place finish for KU in the Big 12 baseball power rankings. The offense seems to have woken up for the Jayhawks. We will see if that is the case soon. Kansas used the weekend to gain confidence against Northwestern State. The Jayhawks scored 25 runs during a series victory at home. They’ll need to continue building as much confidence up as they can, because their first conference series is at Lupton Stadium: the home of TCU. What a way to start the Big 12 baseball schedule for the Jayhawks.

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