As of this writing, Texas is the cream of the crop. They have wins over (7) Tennessee, (9) Texas A&M, (15) Stanford, and UCLA. Texas is winning their games, on average, by 21.7 points. They have only had two games not decided by double-digits. The first, Texas A&M, can be chalked up to a heated rivalry game. The second was a road victory over (15) Stanford. This is a team no one wants to play this year. I always hoped that Karen Aston would become the head coach of Texas after all the time in waiting, but given how quickly she has vaulted Texas to the upper echelon, I am beginning to second guess that opinion.
As much as I love my Lady Bears, I cannot in good faith put them in first right now. For starters, Texas is one of only four teams currently undefeated. Secondly, while Baylor has several solid wins against top talent ((21) Syracuse, Michigan State, (16) Oklahoma State), each of those victories required a second half rally to overcome a halftime deficit. That can win you a lot of games, but sat against Texas, I think it forces me to put them in a slot behind Texas. However, I believe that Texas and Baylor are the cream of the crop for the Big 12 this year and in a tier to themselves. I have every intention of watching our Lady Bears take on Texas at Ferrell Center this month and expect Baylor to come away the victor (anyone got extra tickets?).
(3) Oklahoma State
You may be wondering how I can put a team that Baylor beat by 16 into the third place spot. First, I have realized that going into the half with a lead over Baylor only activates The Incredible Mulk, and you do not want to cross The Incredible Mulk. Secondly, Oklahoma State's only non-conference loss came on the road to (8) North Carolina by two points. They have handily beaten the remainder of their non-conference opponents. A loss to a top tier team won't hurt many teams in the power rankings this year, I imagine. At this time, Oklahoma State is the sole occupant of Tier II for me.
(4) Iowa State
Here's where my raking starts to get a little murky. At this point, the third tier of the rankings emerges: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. The resume of Iowa State and Kansas State are quite similar, winning against poor competition, losing to better competition. Because of the overall poor quality of non-conference opponents, to the victor goes the spoils.
(5) Kansas State
Like I said in the Iowa State Recap, the resume of Iowa State and Kansas State is very similar and so I feel comfortable placing Kansas State just behind Iowa State in the Group of Shrug.
(6) Texas Tech
I'm not rightly sure what to do with Texas Tech. They only played two teams with an RPI better than 100 and they lost both games, by an average margin of 24.5 points. For the games they did win, they won by an average of 10.3 points. So there is not much I can feel I can draw from their non-conference slate other than to say they aren't in the top two tiers.
As if the other teams weren't hard enough to rank, Oklahoma proves to be one of the hardest. On the one hand, their non-conference record, 6-5, is the worst in the Big 12. However, all their losses came against RPI Top 100 teams. On the flip side, they do have quality wins over Washington and Illinois. In addition, they opened conference play with a win against West Virginia. It will be interesting to see how conference play unfolds for Oklahoma, but in all my time watching women's basketball, one thing I have learned is not to count out Sherri Coale.
(8) West Virginia
West Virginia started the year ranked and remained so for the first seven weeks of the season. Their second game of the year was a win over (RV) Seton Hall, followed by a loss to (14) Mississippi State. They continued to pull out solid wins over poor competition until they met unranked Ohio State, and laid an egg, 54-96. After enacting revenge on (RPI 270) Saint Francis, they went to Oklahoma and lost by 11. This is not the same team we faced last year and it looks like this year will be a transitional year for the Mountaineers.
Kansas's best win was over (RV) Cal but also lost to (RPI 153) Alabama, the worst loss of all the Big 12. When playing Texas, they lost by 14 points. Otherwise, there is not much to glean from their non-conference schedule, although kudos for playing the second toughest schedule in the Big 12. So Kansas gets the penultimate position basically by losing with style.
Their best win has an RPI of 196. Their worst loss has an RPI of 128. They lost to Texas Tech by 15. I don't know that much more needs to be written for the last position.