Baylor Bears

Heavy Hitters Remain Atop the Latest Big 12 Softball Power Rankings

Texas utility Reese Atwood (14) hits a double during the Big 12 softball tournament game between the Texas Longhorns and the Kansas Blue Jays at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, on Friday, May 12, 2023.
Texas Athletics

As we head into the final weekend of the 2024 regular season, three of the nation’s top four softball teams reside in the Big 12. Texas has won 13 straight games dating back to their loss to Oklahoma in Game 1 of an incredible series in Austin (Tex.) and has been seen as the nation’s top team since besting OU.

The aforementioned Sooners have been hanging steady at No. 2 since losing that series and are on an eight-game winning streak heading into this weekend. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is the No. 4 team nationally and is also on an eight-game winning streak heading into Bedlam.

Behind that trio, several teams have proven worthy of a postseason bid. Baylor, UCF, and Texas Tech are all likely in the NCAA Tournament field right now, with teams like Kansas and BYU still having a puncher’s chance at making the field. But how do they stack up heading into the final weekend before tournament time begins? Let’s take a look.

 

Tier 1

1. Texas (42-6, 20-4); Last Week: 1

2. Oklahoma (45-4, 21-3); Last Week: 2

3. Oklahoma State (42-8, 19-5); Last Week: 3

Tier 1 remains unchanged as all three teams completed sweeps of Big 12 opponents for the second consecutive weekend in a row. Texas extended its Big 12 winning streak to 11 games (13 total) and looks very much like the best team in the country. Oklahoma went to Orlando (Fla.) and had to overcome a resilient UCF team on multiple occasions to complete their sweep. Oklahoma State run-ruled Kansas on Sunday to complete their perfect weekend, looking just as dominant as the Longhorns and Sooners. All three of these teams appear to be rounding into form as the postseason approaches, and the Sooners and Cowgirls are set for battle this weekend in one of the biggest Bedlam series to date.

 

Tier 2

4. Baylor (28-19, 11-13); Last Week: 4

5. UCF (28-21, 10-14); Last Week: 5

Baylor has now won six Big 12 games in a row and is starting to look like the team that many expected them to be all season long. The Bears sit at No. 18 in the latest RPI rankings, so they are a lock to make the postseason tournament at this point. UCF, on the other hand, is coming off a sweep at the hands of Oklahoma this past weekend and has now lost six straight Big 12 contests. Still, at No. 33 in RPI, the Knights are headed to the NCAA Tournament. Playing well in their final weekend and in the Big 12 Tournament could be crucial for both the Bears and Knights when it comes to where they’ll end up in Regional play.

Tier 3

6. Texas Tech (28-17, 8-13); Last Week: 6

Texas Tech is in Tier 3 all by themselves this week and are also well within the tournament field at 37th in RPI. The Red Raiders are coming off a series win over Houston and will look hope to climb a little higher this weekend if possible. They’ll have a wonderful opportunity to do so, too, as they will host the top-ranked Longhorns for a three-game series in Lubbock (Tex.).

 

Tier 4

7. Kansas (27-21-1, 11-13); Last Week: 7

8. BYU (26-22, 8-16); Last Week: 8

Kansas has now lost seven straight games and looks like a team that will miss the postseason tournament right now. At No. 41 in RPI, they’ve still got a good chance to make the cut, but they’ll need to break the skid to have any hope. BYU, on the other hand, is likely out of juice at this point, barring a surprise run in the Big 12 Tournament. The Cougars check in at No. 60 in RPI and have a series at Kansas to close out the year.

Tier 5

9. Iowa State (18-28, 5-16); Last Week: 9

10. Houston (24-26, 4-20); Last Week: 10

Iowa State and Houston are at the bottom of the Big 12 standings, and neither of them is in the range of making the postseason. The Cyclones check in at No. 84 in RPI, while Houston is at No. 86. To get an NCAA bid, these teams will need to win the Big 12 Tournament in two weeks, and that’s not going to happen.

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