What the Kansas Jayhawks give up in bringing up the tail end of the Big 12 in football they more than make up for in serving as the locomotive that drives the Big 12's solid reputation in men's basketball.
With only one month gone in the 2012-13 college basketball season, most teams are just now hitting their stride. The top teams at this early stage of the season, however, are no real surprise to anyone who closely follows the college game.
The Big 12 is no exception to that rule, with eight-time reigning champion Kansas in its customary position out ahead of the pack. The Jayhawks are actually tied with Oklahoma State and Sunflower State rival Kansas State, all with identical 7-1 records heading into this week's action.
Only two games involving Big 12 men's teams are scheduled before Saturday, when six conference teams will be in action, including both Kansas and Kansas State, and two more on Sunday.
What follows is the first of what will become a weekly Big 12 Power Rankings of 2012-13 men's basketball once conference play begins in January:
Big 12 men's power rankings (as of Dec. 10)
1. Kansas - Head and shoulders above everyone else at this stage, both in talent and upside.
2. Oklahoma State - Three players in the conference top 10 in scoring
3. Kansas State - Senior Rodney McGruder starting to find his game again.
4. Baylor - Hard to believe that this team beat Kentucky by nine but lost at home to Northwestern.
5. Iowa State - Leads the conference in scoring offense (82.4 ppg), but next to last in scoring defense.
6. Texas Tech - No. 1 in league in steals (11 spg), averaging three more a game than anyone else.
7. Oklahoma - Much improved with excellent depth; three players averaging in double figures in scoring.
8. Texas - Struggling without services of sophomore guard Myck Kabongo, whose eligibility is in question by the NCAA.
9. West Virginia - On a three-game win streak after losing three of first four.
10. TCU - One of two league teams to have lost twice at home already.
Follow Big 12 men's basketball all season long at SB Nation Kansas City.
For the latest news and information on Big 12 men's basketball, plus single game and season statistics, visit Big12sports.com.