There is a song that I can’t help but love. When it comes on the radio, I blast the stereo and start dancing as I drive. That song is “Shake It Up” by The Cars.
This weekend, the Big 12 baseball power rankings were completely shaken up. Only one team remained in their previous position from last week’s Big 12 baseball power rankings, and that would be poor Kansas State, who finished the week 3-1 with a weekend sweep. Sadly, we don’t give too much credit for beating up on a team that was competing in Division II just a couple of years ago. However, Wildcats fans will definitely want to read about how Kansas State could still sneak into a regional. No, it’s not out of the question.
As always (at least that’s what it seems like), we have a new top dog in this week’s Big 12 baseball power rankings. Texas Tech is back in the top spot for the first time since our April 10th rankings. This is the fifth week the Red Raiders have been the top dog, which is the most weeks in the top dog spot by any team. TCU is the only other team with multiple weeks in the top dog spot with three. The only others who have been at No.1 are Baylor, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Tech, of course, reclaims its top dog status after not only securing the series victory over TCU, but absolutely humiliating the Horned Frogs on ESPN with a 21-3 massacre. The Red Raiders did this without three key players. Sure, TCU didn’t have their ace (Jared Janczak) either. However, this point is moot when the Red Raiders don’t have ace Davis Martin. I’d say the true losers of the Friday matchup are the fans, considering we didn’t get to see these two square off.
Outside of the West Texas shootout, Oklahoma got back on track by becoming the first team this year to go into Morgantown and leave with a series win over West Virginia. The Sooners finish the month of April with a 6-14 record and a two-game win streak.
Elsewhere, the weather became a factor. Texas may have been robbed of a victory the way they took care of business at Oklahoma State this weekend. Baylor continued its climb out of the gutter with a series win at Kansas despite a postponement.
The entire rankings were shaken up. Why not? It’s May! Let the madness begin!
1.Texas Tech Red Raiders (36-12, 11-7)
My goodness, what a statement! I think everyone heard, loud and clear, the message Texas Tech sent to the entire nation on ESPN Sunday. For the second-consecutive season, the Red Raiders took the series from TCU during Big 12 play. In case you missed it, Tech humiliated TCU 21-3 Sunday. Eight Red Raiders notched multiple hits. The only player to be left out of that mix blasted a home run that we’re still not sure has landed yet. Needless to say, Tech put the entire nation on notice in two nationally televised games by scoring a series win over the unanimous preseason No.1 team in the nation. This is without ace pitcher Davis Martin and lineup regulars Tanner Gardner and Michael Davis. However, they’re still one game back of the Horned Frogs in the standings with a trip to Morgantown this weekend. Anyhow, with six conference games remaining, it’s going to be difficult for the Red Raiders to win an outright title. That’s if the Horned Frogs slip up again. Tech had their chances against Baylor and Oklahoma State, and those three losses may be enough to keep the rings off the fingers of Texas Tech.
2.TCU Horned Frogs (31-11, 12-6)
It was clear who the better team was this weekend. Texas Tech embarrassed the Horned Frogs all over national television, and there wasn’t a damn thing TCU could do about it. Sometimes, teams just get locked in, and you are bound to lose. Luckily, TCU took care of business early on and is still ahead of Tech by one game in the conference standings. Even better news for TCU is that Tech has to travel to West Virginia this weekend, the only other place where TCU has dropped a conference series. Also, TCU will be hosting Texas this weekend. The Longhorns have a losing road record, and have dropped two series on the road in Big 12 play. If the Horned Frogs can sweep Texas this weekend, there’s a solid chance they can clinch a share of the Big 12 Regular Season Championship.
3. Texas Longhorns (30-16, 9-8)
What a bummer for Longhorns fans. Texas finally proved it could win on the road. They went to Stillwater and outscored Oklahoma State 12-4, notching the series victory. However, only two of the three scheduled games were played. Weather came through and wiped out a potential victory and three-game sweep for Texas. That would have been really nice provided that Texas is currently 6-8 on the road and has struggled mightily away from the friendly confines. Kudos to Morgan Cooper for seven shutout innings, racking up 11 strikeouts in the process. He only allowed one walk and gave up two hits during a 7-0 victory. Now, we’ll see just how much Texas has matured over the season. After opening conference play by being swept at home by Texas Tech, the Longhorns have scored a series win over Oklahoma and now a road series win. The maturity question will be answered when they enter Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth this weekend.
4. Baylor Bears (27-12, 5-4)
Baylor could easily be one of the most confident teams entering the Big 12 Tournament later this month. The Bears have the easiest remaining schedule as they play the two teams at the bottom of the standings. This past weekend, they became the first Big 12 team to capture a series victory in Lawrence. While Baylor continues to regain the groove it had early on the year, there is still room for plenty of improvement. The offense is currently at a rate of “just enough”. Their starting pitching isn’t spectacular, considering two of their regulars have over a 4 in the ERA department. As for this weekend? Well, usually when you commit five errors in two games, you lose. Just the opposite happened this weekend. Baylor did not commit an error in its only loss, yet committed four errors during its victory in the series opener. Consider me baffled.
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