5.Oklahoma Sooners (30-16, 8-7)
Entering Saturday, Oklahoma had dropped eight of its last nine games. The Sooners also featured a 4-11 record in the month of April entering Saturday’s game. It seemed as if that trend would continue through the first six innings Saturday, but in the seventh inning, Oklahoma scored three and took a road victory at West Virginia. One victory in Morgantown is pretty nice, but a road series is hard to come by. The Sooners did it. They flew up to Pittsburgh, made the 80 minute bus trip to Morgantown, and left with a series victory. After blowing a 4-0 lead on Sunday, Oklahoma scored three in the 10th inning and seriously damaged the chances of West Virginia potentially winning the Big 12 Regular Season Championship. Is Oklahoma back? Let’s just leave it at this: Right now, Oklahoma is a solid regional team. They have 30 victories with Kansas State and Oklahoma State remaining on their schedule. The Sooners own a series victory over Texas Tech and took the series on the road from Baylor and West Virginia. That’s a solid resume. Oh, and before I forget, Oklahoma actually has the best chance of topping TCU in the Big 12 standings. The Sooners have only one more loss right now, but nine games remaining. Three of those are against TCU in Norman. It’s okay if you want to jump up and down while screaming with excitement like a little girl, but do so in the privacy of your own room. Remember, you still have to beat Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Last time I checked, each of those teams holds a series victory over a team currently in the top three of the standings.
6. West Virginia Mountaineers (25-17, 10-8)
Is this team the next to go free falling? Baylor and Oklahoma both rolled down the hill after being named No.1 for exactly one week. West Virginia was named top dog two weeks ago when it was the only team left standing without a series loss. Since then, they are 0-for-2 and now feature a home series loss. These aren’t just losses though. No, they’re head scratchers. First, West Virginia provides Kansas State with their only series victory so far. This past weekend, West Virginia dropped a home series to an Oklahoma team who had dropped 8 of its previous 9 games. Ouch! If West Virginia had taken care of business and won these past two series, they would be tied with TCU at the top of the standings. Now, they have to turn around and face a Texas Tech team who just placed up 21 on the Horned Frogs in a single game. This series is guaranteed to eliminate one team from the Big 12 Regular Season Championship race.
7. Kansas Jayhawks (22-22, 9-9)
Last week, I mentioned two things about Kansas.
- They are in the Big 12 Regular Season Championship race
- A Texas Tech victory over TCU would help Kansas
Texas Tech did take the series from TCU, but Kansas dropped the ball this weekend. Some may blame it on the rain. Whatever the case may be, Kansas is now three games back of TCU with each team having six games to go. The Jayhawks still have to travel to Lubbock. Stick a fork in Kansas. This team is done. We’re hoping Kansas will have a winning overall record after this weekend, but that’s going to cost them quite the RPI drop. As of Tuesday night, Texas Southern is currently No.273 out of 299 teams in the RPI rankings. The Jayhawks will play this team four times. If Kansas loses one of those games, I am going to ask Bob Bowlsby why he didn’t strip the basketball team of their most recent conference championship. That’s exactly what Kansas would deserve if they lost just once to Texas Southern: for their basketball team to be stripped of their championship.
Am I being outrageous? Absolutely! But losing to a SWAC team at home is also outrageous. Don’t do it blue chickens. I’m warning you. Don’t do it.
8.Oklahoma State Cowboys (23-18, 6-11)
This team is solidly on the bubble. The cancellation of one game seriously hurt Oklahoma State. Of course, the way the weekend was going, it may have saved them too. This team has a ton of work to do. Here are a couple of nice things. Lamar and Oral Roberts are both within the top 140 in the RPI rankings. Those are the non-conference teams remaining for Oklahoma State. Take care of business, this will help the pokes. For Oklahoma State to get off the bubble, they’ll need to win each of their next two conference series. These are no easy tasks. First, they travel to Baylor. The last series of the season is Bedlam, which features one game in Tulsa and the other two in Oklahoma City. Taking one of these series should give Oklahoma State some comfort. However, there’s a reason it is called the bubble. Cowboys fans will want to pay attention to the tournaments of other conferences closely because your chances of a regional berth could very well hinge on who wins those tournaments.
9.Kansas State Wildcats (24-20, 4-11)
Kansas State should be feeling good about themselves right now. First, they took a game on the road against Oklahoma State. The following weekend, they scored a victory over a top-10 nationally ranked team in Texas Tech. One weekend later, they scored two victories over a nationally ranked West Virginia team. This past weekend, they swept Abilene Christian and outscored the Wildcats 31-9. Sure, it was against a team who is currently in reclassification from Division II to Division I. Kansas State needs to keep building momentum. The past three weekends, they have been home and scored success in some sort of way. Now, Oklahoma will travel to Manhattan. After Oklahoma, the Wildcats play Kansas, then Baylor. I don’t think Kansas State will do it, but being No.98 in the RPI rankings with the current situation, Kansas State could play its way into the bubble and perhaps backdoor its way to a regional berth. Before any of that happens, they must qualify for the Big 12 Tournament. To qualify for the Big 12 Tournament, you just have to avoid being last.
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