Big 12 rankings, take six

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 1. Kansas (26-1, 12-0, +6): Closing on yet another Big 12 championship. Projection: 29-2, 15-1.

2. Kansas State (22-4, 9-3, +2): Clearly the second-best team in the league. Projection: 25-5, 12-4.

3. Texas A&M (19-7, 8-4, +2): Aggies have won five of six. Projection: 22-8, 11-5.

4. Baylor (20-6, 7-5, +1): Outside of win at UT, Bears have struggled on the road. Projection: 23-7, 10-6.

5. Missouri (20-7, 8-4, +2): Young Tigers finally starting to come together. Projection: 22-9, 10-6.

6. Texas (21-6, 7-5, +1): Longhorns have not fared well against the league’s best teams. Projection: 23-7, 9-7.

7. Oklahoma State (19-7, 7-5, +1): Win over Baylor was huge with brutal closing stretch up next. Projection: 20-10, 8-8.

8. Texas Tech (16-10, 4-8, -2): Red Raiders are a few baskets away from being a tourney team. Projection: 18-12, 6-10.

9. Colorado (12-14, 3-9, -3): Playing out the string. Projection: 14-16, 5-11.

10. Oklahoma (13-13, 4-8, -2): Most disappointing team in college hoops, other than North Carolina. Projection: 13-17, 4-12.

11. Iowa State (13-14, 2-10, -4): Close again against A&M, but another loss. Projection: 14-17, 3-13.

12. Nebraska (13-14, 1-11, -5): War at K-State might have been all fight Huskers had left. Projection: 15-16, 3-13.

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Big 12 rankings part five

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Not much change. Plus one for a road win. Minus one for a home loss.

1. Kansas (25-1, 11-0, +6): Can only lose the conference title with an epic collapse. Projection: 30-1, 16-0.

2. Kansas State (20-4, 7-3, +2): Rolling in the midst of soft part of conference schedule. Projection: 25-5, 12-4.

3. Texas A&M (18-7, 7-4, +1): Aggies had their chances Monday against Kansas. Projection: 22-8, 11-5.

4. Baylor (20-5, 7-4, +1):  Tough closing stretch includes three road games, home games vs. A&M and Texas. Projection: 24-6, 11-5.

5. Texas (20-5, 6-4, +1): Longhorns 3-5 in last eight games. Projection: 23-8, 9-7.

6. Missouri (18-7, 6-4, +1): Tigers could use win tonight against Texas or against KU to bolster NCAA hopes. Projection: 21-10, 9-7.

7. Oklahoma State (17-7, 5-5, even): After tonight’s game at ISU, OSU faces brutal stretch (vs. BU, at Texas, vs. KU, at A&M). Projection: 19-11, 7-9.

8. Texas Tech (16-9, 4-7, -1): Red Raiders about to be 4-9 with games against Texas, K-State up next. Projection: 17-13, 5-11.

9. Oklahoma (13-11, 4-6, -1): It’s possible the Sooners won’t win another game the rest of the regular season. Projection: 14-16, 5-11.

10. Iowa State (13-12, 2-8, -2): Cyclones have been competitive but have one win since Jan. 16. Projection: 15-16, 4-12.

11. Colorado (11-13, 2-8, -3): Buffs have lost seven of eight. Projection: 14-16, 4-12.

12. Nebraska (13-12, 1-9, -4): Spring ball isn’t far off. Projection: 14-16, 3-13.

Big 12 rankings, part four: Kansas running away, A&M heating up

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So I got ripped for having Missouri second last week. I would like thank the Aggies for putting a clown suit on that ranking (I deserved it). A look at my Big 12 rankings midway through the conference season (plus-1 for a road win, minus-1 for a home loss):

1. Kansas (22-1, 8-0, +4): The Jayhawks were lethargic in wins against Colorado and Nebraska. If that continues Monday night at Texas, they’ll be 8-1. Projection: 28-3, 14-2.

2. Kansas State (19-4, 6-3, +2): The Wildcats are making the most of a Charmin soft middle-of-the-conference schedule and that shouldn’t change this week against Colorado and Nebraska. Projection: 24-6, 11-5.

3. Texas A&M (17-6, 6-3, +1): Aggies had a monster week, rallying to snap Missouri’s 32-game winning streak at home and knocking off No. 20 Baylor at home. Projection: 22-8, 11-5.

4. Baylor (17-5, 4-4, even): Bears get the nod over the Longhorns at No. 4 because they won in Austin (and didn’t get manhandled by Oklahoma). Projection: 23-7, 10-6.

5. Texas (19-4, 5-3, +1): The Longhorns got embarrassed by a motivated Oklahoma team on Saturday. Texas needs a win Monday against Kansas. Projection: 24-7, 10-6.

6. Missouri (17-6, 5-3, +1): Still experiencing some growing pains (blew a nine-point lead in the last 10 minutes to A&M), but bounced back with a road win at Colorado. Projection: 21-10, 9-7.

7. Oklahoma (13-9, 4-4, even): If only the Sooners consistently played with the fire they displayed Saturday against Texas. They do have a good chance to make a run with Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Colorado coming up. Projection: 16-14, 7-9.

8. Oklahoma State (16-7, 4-5, even): This team has really struggled lately. Some of that can be attributed to Ray Penn’s injury. And James Anderson can’t win by himself. Projection: 19-11, 7-9.

9. Texas Tech (15-7, 3-5, -1): The Red Raiders have only lost one conference game at home (in overtime against Missouri), but they’re 0-4 on the road. Projection: 17-13, 5-11.

10. Colorado (11-12, 2-7, -3): The Buffaloes had Kansas on the ropes, but didn’t finish. They followed it by getting run out of their own building against Missouri. Projection: 14-16, 5-11.

11. Iowa State (13-10, 2-6, -2): You’d think a team with Craig Brackins and Marquis Gilstrap would be a little better. Doesn’t get any easy with back-to-back road trips to Columbia and Lawrence. Projection: 15-16, 4-12.

12. Nebraska (13-10, 1-7, -3): Have to admire that the Huskers haven’t quit, but they’re still bad. Projection: 15-16, 3-13.

Big 12 rankings, part three: It’s a fight for second with KU pulling away

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Big 12 rankings after the third week. It looks like a race for second at this point after Kansas had a big week with back-to-back critical wins. Plus one for a road win, minus one for a road loss.

1. Kansas (20-1, 6-0, +3) – The Jayhawks may have secured the regular-season title last week with a rout of rival Missouri at home and a gutsy win at Kansas State. Up this week: at Colorado, vs. Nebraska. Should be 8-0 by this time next week. Projection: 29-2, 15-1.

2. Missouri (16-5, 4-2, +1) – Am I convinced this is the second-best team in the league? No. But unlike Kansas State and Texas, the Tigers have taken care of business at home. Up this week: Vs. Texas A&M, at Colorado. Must-win at home, and winning both would help cause for NCAA bid. Projection: 22-9, 10-6.

3. Kansas State (17-4, 4-3, -1) – Might want to pull back on that whole “Octagon of Doom” thing after back-to-back losses at home. The good news is the Wildcats won at Baylor. The bad news is they failed to make a statement Saturday against Kansas. Up this week: At Nebraska, at Iowa State. A loss in either could cost the Cats a first-round bye in the conference tournament. Projection: 25-5, 12-4.

4. Baylor (16-4, 3-3, even) – The Bears got a huge win Saturday at Texas, a place they hadn’t won at in a decade to take the sting out of a loss at home to Kansas State. Up this week: Vs. Iowa State, at Texas A&M. Baylor has been good on the road. A win at A&M would be a good start to the second half of the conference race. Projection: 23-7, 10-6.

5. Texas (18-3, 4-2, even) – It appears the Longhorns have been overrated. They’ve lost both of their games against ranked Big 12 teams and do not have an impressive conference win. Up this week: At Oklahoma State, at Oklahoma. Dangerous week for a team that isn’t clicking. Projection: 23-8, 9-7.

6. Oklahoma State (16-5, 4-3) – Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Damien James get most of the headlines, but James Anderson is the best player in the conference. Dude can control a game. Up this week: Vs. Texas, at Texas Tech. Big week for OSU, which missed injured point guard Ray Penn Saturday at Missouri. Projection: 20-10, 8-8.

7. Texas A&M (15-6, 4-3) – The Aggies enter a brutal four-game stretch that includes games against Missouri, Baylor, Texas Tech and Kansas. Up this week: At Missouri, vs. Baylor. Two wins may mean a top-five finish. Projection: 18-12, 7-9.

8. Oklahoma (12-9, 3-4) – Go figure. The Sooners beat ISU without Crocker and Warren, and get smoked by Nebraska when both return. No reason to think this team is any better than NIT material. Up this week: Projection: 15-15, 6-10.

9. Texas Tech (14-7, 2-5) – The Red Raiders remain competitive, but they can’t get over the hump. The played with Texas and A&M well into the second half last week. Up this week: Vs. Oklahoma State. Must-win game. Projection: 17-13, 5-11.

10. Iowa State (13-8, 2-4): Either Lucca Staiger met more to this team than most thought, or it just isn’t very good. ISU lost to undermanned OU and barely beat Colorado at home last week. Up this week: At Baylor, vs. Kansas State. Tough week for a struggling team. Projection: 17-14, 6-10.

11. Colorado (11-10, 2-5): Winning at Iowa State would have been a solid step forward for this program. A sprained knee injury for freshman Alec Burks could hurt the Buffs the rest of the way. Up this week: Vs. Kansas, vs. Missouri. Split would be big for the Buffs. Projection: 14-16, 5-11.

12. Nebraska (13-8, 1-5): Doc Sadler’s teams always play hard, have to give them that. Saturday’s rout of Oklahoma should give a young team confidence. Up this week: Vs. Kansas State, at Kansas. Likely losses. Projection: 15-16, 3-13.