Texas Longhorns Sports

Big 12 Women’s Basketball Power Rankings: Week 1

NCAA Womens Basketball: Texas at Tennessee

The Texas Longhorns are No. 1 in the Heartland College Sports Big 12 women’s basketball power rankings entering the start of the Big 12 slate on Jan. 2. Our Power Rankings will appear every Tuesday.

1. TEXAS (9-1)

The Longhorns beat two of the three ranked teams on their schedule, and they should have beaten Tennessee on the road. Call it a learning experience. Texas is still a starter down (forward Aaliyah Moore), but they’re still deep and talented. The Longhorns tune up with Alcorn State on Wednesday before opening Big 12 play at Oklahoma State on Jan. 2.

2. IOWA STATE (11-1)

The Cyclones feel like a slightly more cohesive team than our No. 3 team, at least at the moment. Ashley and Aubrey Joens give the Cyclones a great inside-outside combo, and Lexi Donarski is the latter Joens’ equal on the outside. Emily Ryan is one of the most productive point guards in the Big 12. Iowa State opens Big 12 play on Jan. 2 against West Virginia.


3. BAYLOR (9-2)

I’d qualify this with ‘right now.’ The Bears’ two losses are to Top 15 teams. The Bears are working through a new offense with head coach Nicki Collen, and it actually gives forward NaLayssa Smith MORE freedom to play like she wants, which should scare the heck out of the rest of the Big 12. Baylor hosts North Texas on Dec. 29 and then travels to Kansas State on Jan. 2.

4. KANSAS STATE (10-2)

These Wildcats are more than just the incredible Ayoka Lee. Armed with a pair of top freshmen in Serena Sundell and Brylee Glenn, the Wildcats have a real shot at making the NCAA Tournament and giving Big 12 opponents fits, starting with Baylor on Jan. 2.

5. OKLAHOMA (10-1) (Last Week: 5)

The win over No. 16 BYU, and scoring 99 points in the process, was a statement that these Sooners under first-year coach Michelle Baranzcyk can score with anyone. OU gets one more tune-up against Wichita State on Dec. 29 before going to Texas Tech on Jan. 2 to open Big 12 action. OU fans should monitor the Texas Tech women’s COVID-19 issues this week.


The Mountaineers remain a quality team, and their only hits in non-conference were against ranked teams or potential NCAA Tournament teams that aren’t ranked. WVU lost its final tune-up game against Maryland-Eastern Shore due to COVID-19 issues at UMES. So, the Mountaineers will face Iowa State to open Big 12 play on Jan. 2.

7. KANSAS (9-1)

Just one loss so far, and it’s to Tennessee on a neutral court. Just one of Kansas’ wins are against Power 5 conference teams. The Jayhawks are trying to worm their way back into the NCAA Tournament, and they’ll tune up against Northwestern State on Dec. 28 before opening Big 12 play at TCU on Jan. 2.


8. TEXAS TECH (7-4)

I like the talent on this team, led by Vivian Gray. Three of their four losses are to SEC teams, one of which was ranked. The Lady Raiders could be a problem for some of these Big 12 teams. Texas Tech saw its final tune-up with Incarnate Word on Dec. 29 cancelled due to COVID-19, so the Lady Raiders host Oklahoma on Jan. 2 to start Big 12 action.


It’s been a tough start for the Cowgirls, which included a recent canceled game with UNT, their second due to their own COVID-19 issues. OSU hosts Tulsa on Dec. 28 before hosting Texas to start Big 12 action on Jan. 2.

10. TCU (4-4)

Give TCU some big-time credit for beating Texas A&M at home before their COVID-19 pause. But the Horned Frogs are the only Big 12 team with a .500 record as they head into their Big 12 opener against Kansas on Jan. 2.

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