Big 12 rankings, Week Three: And they’re off

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Marcus Denmon (left) and Missouri and Pierre Jackson and Baylor enter Big 12 play undefeated. Both teams are 13-0 and ranked in the top 10.

Big 12 teams are a combined 100-26 going into conference play, which begins tonight with Baylor vs. Texas A&M. Through the first two months of the season, the conference has two undefeated teams and four ranked in the Top 25.

1. MISSOURI (13-0) | LAST WEEK: Defeated Old Dominion | THIS WEEK: Tuesday vs. Oklahoma, Saturday at Kansas State

THE RUB: The Tigers survived a road test at ODU but get an even tougher assignment Saturday in Manhattan in a game that figures to consist of 73 fouls and 110 free throws.

2. BAYLOR (13-0) | LAST WEEK: Defeated Mississippi State | THIS WEEK: Tonight vs. Texas A&M, Saturday at Texas Tech

THE RUB: The Bears picked up a nice win against the 15th-ranked Bulldogs last week and should roll into next week undefeated.

3. KANSAS STATE (11-1) | LAST WEEK: Defeated Howard | THIS WEEK: Wednesday at Kansas, Saturday vs. Missouri

THE RUB: The Wildcats have been a bit of a surprise thanks in part to a WWE-sponsored style of play. They open with the toughest first week in the conference, squaring off against two rivals.

4. KANSAS (10-3) | LAST WEEK: Defeated Howard, defeated North Dakota | THIS WEEK: Wednesday vs. Kansas State, Saturday at Oklahoma

THE RUB: Howard the Duck might have provided better competition than the University last week. The Jayhawks have a relatively light stretch to begin Big 12 play and should get off to a strong start.

5. TEXAS (10-3) | LAST WEEK: Defeated Rice | THIS WEEK: Wednesday at Iowa State, Saturday vs. Oklahoma State

THE RUB: Wednesday’s opener against Iowa State is one of the more intriguing games in the opening week of league play. The Cyclones have not been impressive thus far. Then again, Texas hasn’t been, either.

6. OKLAHOMA (10-2) | LAST WEEK: Lost to Cincinnati, defeated Northwestern State | THIS WEEK: Tuesday at Missouri, Saturday vs. Kansas

THE RUB: The Sooners wasted an opportunity against the Bearcats. Their reward for a solid start in Lon Kruger’s first season: An opening gauntlet of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Ouch.

7. IOWA STATE (10-3) | LAST WEEK: Defeated Mississippi Valley State | THIS WEEK: Wednesday vs. Texas, Saturday at Texas A&M

THE RUB: Hard to get excited about a two-point win over Jerry Rice’s former school. The opening week (Texas, Texas A&M) could serve as a springboard for the Cyclones.

8. TEXAS A&M (9-3) | LAST WEEK: Defeated Arkansas Tech | THIS WEEK: Tonight at Baylor, Saturday vs. Iowa State

THE RUB: Which has been a bigger disappointment: The Aggies on the football field or basketball court?

9. OKLAHOMA STATE (7-6) | LAST WEEK: Defeated SMU, lost to Virginia Tech | THIS WEEK: Wednesday vs. Texas Tech, Saturday at Texas

THE RUB: There’s no truth to the rumor that Doug Gottlieb is going to come out of retirement to play point guard (and shoot 17 percent from the free-throw line) for the Cowboys.

10. TEXAS TECH (7-5) | LAST WEEK: Defeated Southeastern Louisiana | THIS WEEK: Wednesday at Oklahoma State, Saturday at Baylor

THE RUB: The Red Raiders should lure Bobby Knight out of retirement, if for no other reason than to get him out of the broadcast booth.

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