With just a couple more weeks before the end of the regular season, Oklahoma State and TCU have pulled away from the pack both in the conference standings and in the weekly Big 12 baseball power rankings. If either of these teams is going to slip up on its way to a first Big 12 regular-season crown, it is going to have to happen against one of the leagues lowest three teams.
TCU, which is now up to No. 10 in the Collegiate Baseball weekly poll and No. 12, according to Baseball America, has remaining conference games this weekend with eighth-place Oklahoma and at seventh-place Baylor over the final weekend of the regular season. Oklahoma State travels to last-place Kansas State this weekend and finishes up with its hated in-state rival, Oklahoma, in a Bedlam Series weekend grudge match.
Oklahoma State has a postseason tournament championship to its credit (in 2004), but has never won a regular-season baseball title since the Big 12 has been in existence. TCU is looking to bring in its first Big 12 championship in its second year in the conference.
While Oklahoma State and TCU have been dominant over the past month, Oklahoma and Kansas State have found wins difficult to come by over the same time frame. The Wildcats’ record during the month of April was 6-12 overall and just 3-9 in Big 12 games.
The Sooners were 6-11 overall in April, but won only one of eight conference games. Both Kansas State and Oklahoma have been plagued all season long by inconsistent pitching.
Big 12 Baseball Power Rankings – Week 12
(Any change, up or down, from last week’s rankings are reflected in parentheses)
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (N/C) - Right now, the Cowboys’ 2-1 record vs. TCU this season gives them the tie-breaker and claim on the top perch in the conference pecking order.
- TCU Horned Frogs (N/C) - TCU is the hottest team in the league with 19 wins in its last 20 games and an active 12-game winning streak.
- Kansas Jayhawks (+3) - The pick of the Big 12 coaches to finish last in the annual preseason poll. The Jayhawks have swept their last two Big 12 series (over Baylor and Texas Tech).
- West Virginia Mountaineers (+1) - West Virginia has won 10 of its last 12 games after starting out Big 12 play winning its first three games and losing the next six.
- Texas Longhorns (-1) - Several weeks ago the Longhorns were holding down first place in the standings and in the power rankings. They’ve been in steady decline ever since.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (-3) - The Red Raiders were flying high, with two consecutive Big 12 series sweeps, before running into a buzz saw at Kansas that resulted in three consecutive losses.
- Baylor Bears (+1) - The Bears have proved they’re better than Oklahoma and Kansas State, but that’s about it this year.
- Oklahoma Sooners (-1) – The Sooners do not have as strong a team as in past seasons, but this even surprised many of the experts.
- Kansas State Wildcats (N/C) – This has been a highly disappointing season for the defending regular-season champion Wildcats.