The regular season is over and our final Big 12 baseball power rankings are here. While the Big 12 Conference can issue co-champions, there’s only “One True Champion” in our power rankings. Was there any doubt who it would end up being? As soon as Texas Tech scored a 21-3 victory over TCU, it was evident who the best team in the league was. Tech took over the top spot and never looked back. They had been the most consistent team all year long, and they did it without ace pitcher Davis Martin among other injuries throughout the season.
Speaking of injuries, TCU suffered awful news before their series with Cal. In case you missed it, make sure to read about the news below. While the Horned Frogs are definitely limping into the postseason, the sun is still there and found just a tiny crack in the clouds for a ray of hope. We also tell you what that ray of hope is.
Kansas State fans, your season is over. I look forward to seeing Bill Snyder at Big 12 Media Days. If you have any interest in understanding why your team did not qualify for the postseason, I detail some of those things for you at the bottom.
There was a ton of shifting between teams 3-7. In fact, one team who scored a big-time series victory actually dropped. The reason why this team dropped is because they can’t win away from their home turf. The biggest leap came from the same team who lost that series. Why? Well, it wouldn’t surprise us if they snuck into a super regional given their success on the road this season.
It’s tourney time! May Madness is here! The final Heartland College Sports Big 12 baseball power rankings are below. It’s been an absolute pleasure to bring these to you, and stay tuned for some bonus baseball coverage as we enter the postseason.
1.Texas Tech Red Raiders (42-13, 16-8)
Tim Tadlock is a baseball genius. We knew that when he took Grayson County College to back-to-back NJCAA National Championships in the late 90s. When Tadlock inherited the Red Raiders, he had to completely rebuild the team. After one year, which saw a miserable losing season, Tadlock kind of cleaned house of the guys he placed on the team. Since then, he’s built a juggernaut. The Red Raiders outscored Kansas this weekend 35-14 and have won eight of their last nine ball games. Tech’s ace Davis Martin (4-1, 2.57 ERA) will finally make his return at the Big 12 Tournament this week where the Red Raiders will be looking to do something they haven’t done since 1998: win the Big 12 Conference Tournament Championship.
Texas Tech is considered a lock for a national seed. It is likely they will battle for the second seed as Oregon State likely already claimed the top seed.
— Texas Tech Baseball (@TTU_Baseball) May 20, 2017
2.TCU Horned Frogs (36-13, 16-8)
I can’t imagine TCU fans feeling too well right about now. TCU has to share a crown which had basically been placed on top of their heads in the preseason. Sunday, they dropped their regular season finale to Cal, a team Texas Tech swept towards the start of the season. The Horned Frogs dropped three of their final five series in Big 12 Conference play. The only road series this team won in conference play was a sweep of Kansas State, who is the lone team left out of the Big 12 Conference Tournament. And that Kansas State sweep featured two games that went into extra innings. As if the rain wasn’t already pouring hard enough in Fort Worth, head coach Jim Schlossnagle revealed to Erin Hartigan during Big 12 Insider on Fox Sports Southwest that slugger Luken Baker is out for the Big 12 Tournament and is uncertain about his availability for the NCAA Regionals.
There is some good news though. TCU ace Jared Janczak (7-0, 2.14 ERA) returned Thursday and did not allow a baserunner in three innings on just 27 pitches. It’s likely TCU will play at least three games in both, the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA Regionals, thanks to this news.
TCU is widely considered a lock for a national seed, but will more than likely be in the 5-8 tier.
Look what i found! ?? Traver makes the bare-handed snag on a liner up the middle. pic.twitter.com/zJdJS88veS
— TCU Baseball (@TCU_Baseball) May 20, 2017
3. West Virginia Mountaineers (32-22, 12-12)
This West Virginia team played a total of 32 games away from their friendly confines. They finished with an 18-14 record in those 32 games. Not to mention, this team has to travel further than anyone else in the league. Their closest conference rival (Iowa State) doesn’t even field a baseball team. After starting conference play with six road games, the Mountaineers held a 4-2 record. There’s a reason I call this team “The Nomads”. They are road warriors and they took a game in Austin, which isn’t easy to do. Texas entered the series with a 25-7 home record. The Longhorns are very much like the 2015 Houston Astros. A team with a new coach that makes the postseason because of how well they played at home.
By no means is West Virginia a hot team right now. They dropped each of their last four series in conference play. They’ve recently lost to a Penn State team who wasn’t even in the top 200 for RPI. It hasn’t been a fun May for this team.
However, the pressure is off for them in the Big 12 Tournament. They are considered a lock for an NCAA Regional. They were on the hosting bubble, but they’ll at least to have to make it to the tournament finals to be considered for that again. While it would be a huge progression step for this program to host a regional, I’m not too worried about them. Again, they’re road tested. If they do not host, whoever’s regional they are invited to might feel unwelcomed in their own house. West Virginia is the type of team that can very well crash the party.
4. Baylor Bears (34-19, 12-12)
It was a crazy weekend in Waco. First off, Baylor scored a 21-13 victory on Thursday. The two teams squared off in a doubleheader Friday, which Kansas State swept. Sure, losing a series at home to the lone team who was left out of the Big 12 Tournament can be worrisome. If you think about it though, Kansas State had much more to play for this week than Baylor. The Bears are a lock for the NCAA Regionals. Should Baylor have played better if they wanted to host a regional? Of course. That scenario is likely out of the picture now. But Kansas State had to notch those wins just to have a shot at qualifying for the Big 12 Tournament. Even with those two victories, they could not get it done.
The Bears had a stellar May starting off 7-0 before dropping their final two games. Now, Baylor gets their first shot on the tour of revenge against a West Virginia team who upset the apple cart by taking the opening conference series at Baylor Ballpark in March.
5.Oklahoma Sooners (34-20, 12-11)
I had many reasons to place the hated Texas Longhorns below your favorite team Oklahoma fans. Some slack is being cut here. It was an AWFUL weekend for Oklahoma baseball, but I’m taking into account the fact there were several rain delays. There were so many rain delays, one game of the Bedlam Series was cancelled. Oklahoma committed four errors this weekend, and was swept in two games by the coldest team in the conference. Oklahoma State had dropped six straight games, including a series at home against Lamar. The Cowboys entered the series with a 1-7 record in the month of May. Because of this weekend, Oklahoma State University will hold the Bedlam Series trophy for its success over Oklahoma in all sports this season, and the Cowboys baseball team qualified for the Big 12 Tournament.
Oklahoma is considered a lock for an NCAA Regional berth. They will need a strong showing at the Big 12 Tournament if they want to be a regional host.
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