Big 12 Head of the class:
The prevailing thought is all of Kansas' uber-talented freshmen will grow up as the season continues, which means the road to the league title still goes through Lawrence. Oklahoma State will be hurt from the loss of Michael Cobbins
, but the Cowboys still take solace in having arguably the best player in the nation in Marcus Smart
. Baylor boasts one of the toughest frontcourts in the land and its proclivity to rebound will keep the Bears in most games. Honor roll potential:
Iowa State could very well run the table at home. But that theory will be tested with Kansas and Baylor in two of its first three league games in Hilton Coliseum. Headed for detention:
Maybe it's hard to find fault because the Big 12 is the one conference that has fewer teams than advertised, but it would just be nitpicking to call out a team here. Even those predicted for the cellar have not hit rock bottom.
Mountain West Head of the class:
San Diego State didn't need its 83-point win over St. Katherine to validate its status as a front-runner. Its wins over Creighton and Marquette, and playing Arizona tough, were enough to solidify that the Aztecs are legit. Honor roll potential:
Boise State fell short of getting a signature win against Kentucky and Iowa State, but the Broncos are still formidable. Headed for detention:
New Mexico got bounced from the Top 25 polls early, although Kendall Williams
, Alex Kirk
and Cameron Bairstow
could fulfill their potential at any time. UNLV may avoid detention having won six straight after a bumpy stretch that saw it lose four of six early -- and that doesn't include its exhibition loss to Dixie State.
Pac-12 Head of the class:
Arizona has maintained its No. 1 ranking for four weeks and the Wildcats are really just scratching the surface of how good they can be. Houston transfer Joseph Young
may be better than expected for Oregon, which remains undefeated. Honor roll potential:
Colorado's win over Kansas showed it will be especially tough in Boulder. UCLA has the talent and a high-powered offense, but does it have the toughness to stop teams defensively? Headed for detention:
California has lost both its road games by an average of 10.5 points.