Big 12 Power Rankings: West Virginia Back? Edition

Posted by Nate Kotisso on February 4th, 2014

Rewind to October 2011 when it was announced that West Virginia would become one of the Big 12′s newest members. Within the scope of college basketball, at least, it seemed like a home run addition to the Big 12. The Mountaineers were just a year removed from a Big East Tournament title and an appearance in the Final Four. Unfortunately the Mountaineers’ first season in the Big 12 was less than spectacular. In fact, Bob Huggins lost more games in 2012-13 than he had in any other year as head coach. But could WVU’s recent stretch of success be the breakthrough the program has waited for? Huggins’ team currently stands at 5-4 in the conference, with wins at Baylor and Kansas State in its back pocket and the second half of league play sitting before them. With Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State (twice), Texas, and Baylor next up on the schedule, we’ll see how serious this team’s at-large chances are. Below are this week’s rankings. If you disagree with us, let us know.

WVU's Juwan Staten just won Big 12 Player of the Week. He now joins the million other big time PGs in the Big 12. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

WVU’s Juwan Staten just won Big 12 Player of the Week. He now joins the million other big time PGs in the Big 12. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

1. Kansas — 3 points (previous: 1st; Brian, Nate & Taylor-1st)

Comment: “No one expected Kansas to run the table in the Big 12, but the effort at Texas on Saturday was a little concerning. As Bill Self said on Monday, the important thing is to not let one loss turn into two or three.” – Taylor Erickson (@tc_erickson)

2. Texas — 6 points (previous: 3rd; Brian, Nate & Taylor-2nd)

Comment: “While Rick Barnes is rightfully getting a boatload of attention for going from the hot seat to NCOY consideration, he wouldn’t be able to make that journey without vast improvements from Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes, who were two keys to the Longhorns’ upset over Kansas. Texas was the only team that could match up well against Kansas’ size, and they executed about as well as Barnes could have asked.” – Brian Goodman (@BSGoodman)3. Iowa State — 10 points (previous: T-4th; Nate & Taylor-3rd, Brian-4th)

Comment: “Look how silly we look after worrying about Iowa State a few weeks ago. They’ve won three of their last four, headlined by that mammoth of a win last night in Stillwater. It appears they’ll get somewhat of a break in their scheduling: TCU, West Virginia and Texas Tech are up next.” – Nate Kotisso (@natekotisso)

4. Oklahoma — 11 points (previous: T-4th; Brian-3rd, Nate & Taylor-4th)

Comment: “There’s nothing to be ashamed of about losing in Hilton Coliseum. Lon Kruger’s squad has quietly built a 6-3 record in conference play, but a trip to Morgantown this week won’t be easy.” – TE

5. Oklahoma State — 16 points (previous: 2nd; Brian & Taylor-5th, Nate-6th)

Comment: “While I focused on Stevie Clark’s dismissal on Monday, there’s much more that makes the Cowboys’ season so dramatic. Tune in for Marcus Smart’s theatrics, Phil Forte’s streaky shooting, Markel Brown’s thunderous dunks, or Le’Bryan Nash’s drives, and you’re going to feel something when you watch the Cowboys, whether you’re a fan or not.” – BG

6. Kansas State — 17 points (previous: 6th; Nate-5th, Brian & Taylor-6th)

Comment: “As you can see, I ranked K-State a spot ahead of Oklahoma State this week. Why? Although the Wildcats have been as inconsistent as the Cowboys, they have two advantages: they’ve won all of their home games in conference play, and of course, one of those victories came against OSU.” – NK

7. West Virginia — 21 points (previous: 8th; Brian, Nate & Taylor-7th)

Comment: “Quietly, West Virginia had a nice week, beating Baylor in Waco and Kansas State in Morgantown. The bigger story, though, is that Juwan Staten has been Bob Huggins’ ironman. He’s played 357 out of a possible 365 minutes in conference play and is averaging 19.3 points per contest against Big 12 opponents. He must have had his batteries recharged before Saturday’s game against the Wildcats, seeing as how he went for 35 points, 18 of which came from the free throw line.” – BG

8. Baylor — 24 points (previous: 7th; Brian, Nate & Taylor-8th)

Comment: “At this point, I’m not really sure what to think about the Bears. Should we believe in the team that won in Stillwater, or the one that got blown out on the road at Texas Tech?” – TE

9. Texas Tech — 27 points (previous: 9th; Brian, Nate & Taylor-9th)

Comment: “Hugs to Red Raider fans everywhere: Tech equaled their win total in Big 12 play from last season on Saturday. When can TTU get that elusive fourth win? They still have Oklahoma State and Kansas State coming into Lubbock this month. Let’s see how well they can play spoiler.” – NK

10. TCU — 30 points (previous: 10th; Brian, Nate & Taylor-10th)

Comment: “Seven of the 10 remaining games on their schedule are against ranked teams. While I’m certainly not rooting for it, you start to think a win in league play is unlikely.” – TE

Big 12 Video/GIF of the Week

OSU’s Michael Cobbins witnessed his team lose to Iowa State for the first time at GIA. I don’t think he took it very well.

MichaelCobbinsOKStateOpenMouthStare

Five Big 12 Games You Better Watch This Week

  1. Tuesday: Kansas at Baylor (6:00 PM CT, ESPN2)
  2. Wednesday: Oklahoma at West Virginia (6:00 PM CT, ESPNU)
  3. Saturday: Texas at Kansas State (12:30 PM CT, Big 12 Network/ESPN3)
  4. Saturday: West Virginia at Kansas (3:00 PM CT, ESPN)
  5. Saturday: Baylor at Oklahoma (6:00 PM CT, ESPN2)
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2 Responses to “Big 12 Power Rankings: West Virginia Back? Edition”

  1. Jack says:

    To be fair, didn’t Cobbins make that face after some disgusting Markel Brown dunk? They cut to him like three times, and he looked entirely unable to process the level of Brown’s athleticism. And I say that as a fan who hates OSU (mostly b/c of Smart’s immature flopping).

  2. […] You’re going to feel something when you watch the Cowboys, whether you’re a fan or not. (Rush the Court) […]

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