Big changes took place this past holiday weekend, with two teams – Oklahoma State and TCU – passing previous front-runner Texas at the top of the Big 12 Baseball Power Rankings for Week 10 in the 2014 season.
TCU went into Austin on Thursday, where the Longhorns, ranked No. 4 in the country last week by Collegiate Baseball, were 18-5 at home and had won nine of their last 10 games and 15 of 17. That hardly intimidated the visiting Horned Frogs, who pulled off a series sweep. It was the first time in 2014 that the Longhorns have been swept in a three-game series.
Horned Frog pitchers did not allow a single Texas run until the opening inning of the final game in the series. Texas made its first-inning run on Saturday stand up through six innings, but TCU finally got to Texas starter Nathan Thornhill in the sixth, scoring a couple of runs that would prove to be enough for a 3-1 win in the series finale. Prior to this game, the Longhorns had been 24-0 this season when leading after six innings.
The loss on Saturday dropped Texas (30-11, 9-6) down two spots in the conference standings to third place, and also gave starter Thornhill his first loss of the season after six victories. Thornhill leads the Big 12 with an ERA of 0.97. Opposing teams are batting just .171 off the senior right-handed ace of the Texas staff.
While the Horned Frogs were pulling off the stunning three-game sweep at Texas, Oklahoma State, which came into the weekend in second place behind the Longhorns, matched TCU by taking all three games at home against Kansas. Those three wins shot the Cowboys into first place in the conference standings with a record of 11-4 in the Big 12 and 29-11 through all games.
Every team save Texas Tech changed places in the Week 10 conference power rankings. Going a step further, six teams moved up in the rankings; only Oklahoma and Baylor went south in the rankings. That is the first time this has happened this season.
Big 12 Baseball Week 10 Power Rankings
(Movement up and down from last week’s rankings)
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (+1) – The Cowboys have a great chance to put more distance between themselves and third-place Texas when the two teams meet this weekend in Stillwater.
- TCU Horned Frogs (+1) – Hard to believe that this team has moved all the way up to second from last place several weeks ago in the conference power rankings.
- Texas Longhorns (+1) – The Longhorns couldn’t take care of business last weekend at home, and now they have to go on the road with an even tougher assignment this weekend against the front-running Cowboys of Oklahoma State.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (N/C) – The Red Raiders own the best home record in the conference this season (25-4). And this weekend Tech get reeling Oklahoma at home in Lubbock.
- Kansas Jayhawks (+1) – The Jayhawks have lost their last three games, but they are still playing better than a year ago.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (+2) – Garnered two big wins at Oklahoma last weekend, and pounded out 18 hits in one of them.
- Oklahoma Sooners (-2) – While several conference teams find themselves moving up in the power rankings and the league standings in recent weeks, the Sooners are a team that finds itself in a free fall. OU was second in the power rankings just a couple of weeks ago; now the Crimson and Cream are down to 7th.
- Kansas State Wildcats (+1) – The Cats won two of three last weekend at home vs. Baylor. Unfortunately, they are still trying to dig out of the deep hole they dug for themselves in losing seven of their first eight games to begin the season. Good bats have not been able to overcome especially erratic K-State pitching this season.
- Baylor Bears (-2) – The regular-season champions of two seasons ago are the only Big 12 team with a overall losing record.