Baylor Bears

Big 12 Softball Power Rankings: OU, OSU Leading into Conference Play

We’ve finally reached conference play as the final tournament weekend of the 2023 season is behind us.

The Oklahoma teams have established themselves as the top two teams in the Big 12 and the country, while Texas and Baylor have also looked like contenders.

Texas Tech is also proving to be a much-improved ball team, while Iowa State and Kansas trade spots back and forth at the bottom of the conference.

 

Here’s the latest breakdown for each team as we prepare for Big 12 play this weekend.

1. OKLAHOMA (27-1); LAST WEEK: 1

Oklahoma recorded four ranked wins this week, taking down No. 6 Florida State, No. 24 Northwestern, and two wins over No. 19 Auburn. The Sooners outscored its seven opponents by a score of 61-7 on the week on their way to a 7-0 record. OU has looked every bit of the national title contender that we thought they would after losing to Baylor early on. The Sooners lead the country again in several offensive categories, while their pitching staff is proving to be one of the top units in the nation again.

2. OKLAHOMA STATE (25-2); LAST WEEK: 2

Oklahoma State has been nearly as impressive as their in-state rivals this season, which is an impressive feat in its own right. The Cowgirls recorded an impressive series win over No. 6 Florida State, and this week they added to their win total, which now stands at 25 on the year. Oklahoma State’s offense has been the story this season in Stillwater as the Pokes have the run support to back their pitching staff. This team is capable of making the same kind of run that we saw last season out of Kenny Gajewski’s squad, and maybe even taking the one step that they missed on last year.

 

3. TEXAS (26-5-1); LAST WEEK: 3

The Longhorns went down to Tampa, Florida, this week and come back to Austin with a 4-1 record from the week. The hometown USF Bulls took one game from Texas this week, but otherwise, they outscored their opponents 30-7 on the week. Texas’ offense is elite and can score from all points on the lineup. While they drop games from time to time, Texas has looked like one of the best teams in the country when it is rolling. Even with Janae Jefferson out of the lineup, the Longhorns are capable of running with the best teams in the nation.

4. TEXAS TECH (25-8); LAST WEEK: 5

Welcome to the show Texas Tech. The Red Raiders went on the road and recorded a dominant win over a ranked Maryland team. The Terps did split the series, but Texas Tech announced its arrival to the Big 12 race this weekend. Makinzy Herzog and Peyton Blythe lead this team from the plate, while Sage Hoover and Kendall Fritz have combined for a 19-1 record in the circle. This team is surging right now and can certainly make some waves in the Big 12 race in 2023.

 

5. BAYLOR (22-5); LAST WEEK: 4

After dropping three games in a row, Baylor got back on track with a win over South Dakota State and a series sweep over Houston. Dariana Orme is among the nation’s best in the circle at this point in time. The Bears have some of the best statistical players in the Shaylon Govan and Orme. With a conference that is littered with star power like the Big 12, that’s an impressive feat. Baylor is still in a tier with Texas and Texas Tech, but until we get a look at them in conference play, they are kind of difficult to get a read on thus far.

6. KANSAS (17-11); LAST WEEK: 7

Kansas found itself in the cellar of the Big 12 Power Rankings last week but managed to move back ahead of Iowa State after two wins over Tulsa, and a win over Nebraska and Kansas City this week. The Jayhawks are about as unpredictable as a team there is out there, and they are capable of making noise at times. Unfortunately, KU falls on the losing side of things in 50/50 games more often than not this year. Right now, this is probably the ceiling for Kansas, as the five teams ahead of them are clearly looking like better teams right now than either Kansas or Iowa State.

7. IOWA STATE (11-13); LAST WEEK: 6

Iowa State canceled and postponed its games this week against BYU and Omaha, leaving it at 11-13 on the year. The Cyclones have struggled out of the gate this year, and Big 12 play is going to be much tougher than what they’ve seen to this point. A game against Nebraska is the only thing standing between Iowa State and a three-game series with Oklahoma. This team had better buckle up, because Texas and Oklahoma State are also waiting inside the first four weeks of conference play.

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