Big 12 Conference Shaping Up As Expected: Up In The Air

Luke McConnellCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY - MARCH 11:  The Nebraska Cornhuskers mascot during the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship at the Ford Center March 11, 2009 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Well, the season is certainly playing out the way people predicted in the Big 12 conference: chaotic, confusing, and wild.  

Through the first quarter of conference play, the contenders have started to separate themselves from the pack, and the pretenders who beat up on patsies in non-conference have fallen to the bottom of the barrel. 

However, there have still been many surprises to this season.

The biggest surprise has been the Nebraska Cornhuskers leading the conference at 16-0 and 3-0 in conference play.  The Huskers are ranked No. 6 in the latest AP poll.  

The Huskers have been led by post player Kelsey Griffin, who is having a fantastic season after missing all of last year with a knee injury.  She is not doing things by herself, though.  

Griffin has a great supporting cast around her that is deadly from three-point range and can get up and down the court.  The Huskers hit 12 three-pointers in their huge 65-56 win over Baylor in Waco on Sunday.  

Baylor has also been a major surprise, but not in the good way.  Junior Melissa Jones has missed all of conference play with a stress reaction in her right leg.  Coach Kim Mulkey said that she would sit Jones as long as it took to heal so that she would have Jones later in the year.  

Baylor, the coaches' preseason pick to win the conference, is 1-2 in conference, having lost in Stillwater to Oklahoma State and at home to the Huskers.  They beat Oklahoma at home last Wednesday.

Nebraska is followed in the conference standings by OU and OSU who are both 3-1.  Texas A&M is next at 2-1.  

There is a large clump of teams at 2-2 that includes Texas, Colorado, Kansas State, and Iowa State.  

Baylor and Texas Tech are 1-2 with Kansas and Missouri closing out the standing at 1-3 and 0-4 respectively.  

Conference play is only a quarter of the way through and we've already seen upsets, dramatic finishes, blowouts, key injuries, and just general surprises.  The rest of the season should contain much of the same.