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Big 12 rankings: Kansas on shaky ground, Tech, ISU and OU are formidable challengers | All OU Sports

1. Kansas (13-2, 2-1), Last week 1: While Udoka Azubuike being ruled out for the season and KU’s subsequent loss at Iowa State may have made the Big 12 race less certain, the Jayhawks are still the favorite. Their first three conference games have all been against top-25 opponents.

2. Texas Tech (14-1, 3-0), Last week 2: Jarrett Culver looks to be the real deal, just like that Red Raider defense. It’s a formidable combination. Culver had 23 points and 13 points as Oklahoma was held under 60 points for just the second time this season in Tech’s last game.

3. Iowa State (12-3, 2-1), Last week 3: For a second there, it seemed like the Cyclones were the conference’s new top dog. Then came the inevitable letdown, a 73-70 loss at Baylor.

4. Oklahoma (12-3, 1-2), Last week 4: The top four teams are all undefeated home, and the Sooners get a chance to add to that tally with winnable games against TCU and Kansas State before next week’s poll. With visits to the top two out of the way, this is a chance for OU to rack up some wins.

5. TCU (12-2, 0-0), Last week 6: TCU survived a scare against Baylor, and then performed well against Kansas. This team is deep offensively with five players scoring in double figures at KU. Saturday’s trip to Norman will show if the Horned Frogs have what it takes to compete with the top of this conference.

6. Texas (10-5, 2-1), Last week 5: Another perfect example of why the Longhorns can’t be trusted. They go on the road and beat Kansas State by 20 then lose at Oklahoma State. That’s a game Texas has to win if it’s going to make it to the NCAA tournament.

7. Oklahoma State (7-8, 1-2), Last week 9: Mike Boynton’s team still is the only Big 12 representative without a winning record, but the Pokes are a tough out. Each of their first three games have been decided within 10 points, and that win over Texas could be the spark of confidence they need.

8. Kansas State (11-4, 1-2), Last week 8: The good news is that Dean Wade is nearing a return. The bad news is that K-State really needed him for this stretch, road games at Iowa State and Oklahoma. The last two games, a close loss at Texas Tech and a win over West Virginia, have shown some promise, but the Wildcats still are hurting for offense.

9. Baylor (9-5, 1-1), Last Week 10: It’s hard to put too much stock in the win over Iowa State, given the Cyclones were coming off the high of beating KU. Still, Scott Drew’s team is .500 in the conference play with a chance to knock off another Big 12 power, KU, at home Saturday.

10. West Virginia (8-7, 0-3), Last week 7: If the Mountaineers don’t beat Oklahoma State at home with an 11 a.m. tip Saturday, this could go south really fast.

John McKelvey

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