The Big 12 portion of the schedule begins Saturday, with a league that suddenly looks much better than preseason projections suggested, with the conference owning the No. 1 rating in the latest RPI.
How the next two-plus months shake out is anyone's guess, but here's a power ranking heading into league play.
1. Kansas (9-3). Sure, the Jayhawks have stumbled a bit, but against very outstanding competition. They'll get better. And they're still the nine-time defending conference champs.
2. Oklahoma State (12-1). The Cowboys have mostly rolled through a solid nonconference schedule and seem to have the pieces, even without Michael Cobbins.
3. Iowa State (12-0). Fred Hoiberg is only enhancing his reputation as a superb coach. The Cyclones have to prove they can win more on the road in the Big 12.
4. Baylor (11-1). The Bears always start strong, but it's their finish that always is concerning. With Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson in the middle, their frontcourt is daunting.
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