Big 12 basketball rankings, first edition

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Without Laurence Bowers, most pegged Missouri as a bubble team. Nobody thought the Tigers would look as good as they have in the first two months of the season, but they’re two games away from entering Big 12 play undefeated. Because of the impressive start, Missouri opens the rankings on top:

Faith in Haith: How can you not have it when Missouri has rolled to an 11-0 start?

1. MISSOURI 11-0 | LAST WEEK: Defeated Kennesaw State, William and Mary | NEXT: Vs. Illinois

THE RUB: Even without injured forward Laurence Bowers, the Tigers have been dominant all season, winning every game by double digits, including Notre Dame (29 points), California (39) and Villanova (10).

Perry Jones and the Bears are off to a fast start ... against a schedule that'd make Bill Snyder proud.

2. BAYLOR 9-0 | LAST WEEK: Defeated Bethune-Cookman, BYU | NEXT: Vs. Paul Quinn

THE RUB: Paul Quinn? I guess the Bears ran out of directional schools to play on one of the weakest schedules by a power conference team in college basketball.

The absence of Tyshawn Taylor might actually bring Bill Self's blood pressure down several hundred points.

3. KANSAS 7-2 | LAST WEEK: Did not play | NEXT: Vs. Davidson

THE RUB: The bad news … the Jayhawks may struggle without 14th-senior Tyshawn Taylor (they may not without his nine turnovers a game). The good news … they’re grammar just got a lot better. Point plankn.

OMG ... we beat Alabama!

4. KANSAS STATE 7-1 | LAST WEEK: Defeated North Florida, Alabama | NEXT: At Southern Illinois

THE RUB: The Wildcats’ slug-it-out, beat-the-crap-out-of-you defensive style can be tough to watch, but it’s also effective; they have two of the conference’s best wins (at Virginia Tech, vs. Alabama).

Shhhh ... J'Covan Brown and the Longhorns are about to see their winning streak end at North Carolina this week.

5. TEXAS 9-2 | LAST WEEK: Defeated Nicholls, Temple | NEXT: At North Carolina

THE RUB: The good: Seven straight wins. The bad: The Longhorns play at North Carolina this week. The ugly: Losses to Oregon State and North Carolina State.

The Aggies didn't put up much of a fight against Florida during Saturday's rout.

6. TEXAS A&M 8-2 | LAST WEEK: Lost to Florida | NEXT: Vs. Rice

THE RUB: Much like the school’s football team, the Aggies, who many picked to challenge for a Big 12 title, are overrated. Saturday’s blowout loss at Florida was ugly.

Lon Kruger has already led the Sooners to more than half the number of wins they had last season.

7. OKLAHOMA 8-1 | LAST WEEK: Defeated Houston | NEXT: Vs. South Carolina State

THE RUB: The Sooners won all of 14 games last season. First-year coach Lon Kruger has already won eight games in his first six weeks.

If ISU continues to play the way it has in key games, there will be plenty of seats available at Hilton Coliseum this year.

8. IOWA STATE 8-3 | LAST WEEK: Defeated Central Michigan | NEXT: Vs. Lipscomb

THE RUB: The Cyclones are the Misfit Island of college basketball with a roster full of transfers. They don’t have a signature win and have lost both of their games against legitimate competition (Michigan, Northern Iowa).

It may be a long season for Oklahoma State as LeBryan Nash and the Cowboys struggle through growing pains.

9. OKLAHOMA STATE 6-4 | LAST WEEK: Lost to New Mexico | NEXT: at Alabama

THE RUB: The young Cowboys have struggled thus far, and it doesn’t get any easier with a road game against Alabama this week.

What do I do with this bunch?

10. TEXAS TECH 5-4 | LAST WEEK: Defeated Grambling State | NEXT: At Oral Roberts

THE RUB: Expect Billy Gillispie to turn the Red Raiders around, but it won’t happen this season. This team is as bad as any LMFAO song.

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