REAL Standings: The Less Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

BIG XII RECAP

UT, KU, OU, CU, A&M, and Mizzou all won at home as projected.

NU, ISU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Okie St, and k-state all lost on the Road as projected.

So no change in the REAL Standings since mid-week-except that the standings have been expanded to include all twelve conference teams. I had left the Pit Dwellers out of the REAL Standings previously on the theory of "Who cares?"

In case somebody does. . .

THE REAL STANDINGS*

The REAL Standings, as of February 12, 2006:

1. 14.5-1.5

Texas (L at OU/No projected L's/at risk game: at A&M)

2. 13-3

Kansas (L's vs. k-state, at Mizzou/projected L at UT/at risk games: None)

3. 11-5

Oklahoma (L at Nebraska, vs. Mizzou, at KU/projected L at UT/at risk games: at Tech, Colorado)

4. 9-7

Colorado (L's at UT, vs. KU, at ISU, at A&M/projected L's at KU, at NU/at risk games: vs. OU, at k-state)

5. 8.5-7.5

Nebraska (L's vs. ISU, at KU, at CU, vs. KU, at UT/projected L's at ISU, A&M/at risk game at MU)

6. 7.5-8.5

A&M (L's vs. OU, at OSU, at k-state, vs. KU, at OU at UT/projected L at Tech/at risk games: at Baylor, at Mizzou, vs. UT)

Iowa St (L's vs. UT, at Tech, vs. A&M, vs. KU, at k-state, at KU/projected L's at OU, CU/at risk game at Baylor)

Texas Tech (L's at A&M, UT, OU, at KU, vs. UT, at CU/projected L at NU/at risk games at Okie St, Baylor, vs. OU)

9. 5-11

Mizzou (4-7/Projected L's at KU, CU, ISU/HAC games vs. A&M, vs. NU)

10. 4.5-11.5

k-state (4-6/ Projected L's at Tech, OU, NU, vs. UT, vs. KU/HAC game vs. CU)

Okie St (3-7/Projected L's at ISU, OU, vs. KU, vs. UT/HAC game vs. Tech)(Projected W vs. Baylor)

12. 3.5-12.5

Baylor (2-8/Projected L's at UT, KU, Okie St/HAC games vs. A&M, vs. ISU, vs. Tech)

GAMES TO WATCH

Big XII Games February 13-15, with IQ (Interest Quotient) are:

1. KU at Okie St (Mon. at 8p.m.)****

Although not listed as an at-risk game for the Jayhawks, this is a dangerous game. Okie St went into the season arguing that they had the top recruiting class in the conference-indeed, some thought, the country. Don't think they aren't tired of watching KU grab W after W on their way to becoming the media's sweethearts. Of course, it's not KU's fault that they are on the verge of being the trendy pick to go deep in March-maybe even to make it to April. And it's not KU's fault that Okie St has floundered like-well, a bunch of flounders washed ashore--after doing everything but beating Gonzaga in Seattle and after running SEC top dog Tennessee out of the Ford Center. But they have talent, and they have incentive-including trying to win one for the gimpy-i.e., Eddie Sutton. The Hawks, being the team on a roll, should win this one. It is their last dangerous game until Austin. Of course, if they falter, Austin suddenly becomes much less meaningful.

2. Baylor at Texas (Tue. at 7p.m.)1/2*

Baylor on the Road. Why bother?

3. Nebraska at Iowa St (Wed. at 7p.m.)***1/2

If NU wants a first round bye and any consideration for the Big Dance, they must win in Ames or College Station-preferably both. A tall order Wednesday, what with ISU already handling them easily in Lincoln. The Cyclones must beat the Huskers again, or prepare themselves for calling Mizzou, k-state, Okie St, and Baylor Pit-Brethren.

4. k-state at Texas Tech (Wed. at 7p.m.)*1/2

As I drove to the Kansas City airport the day after the OU game, I tuned to 810 on the radio dial and listened to some bozo-I didn't catch his name-explain how k-state could go 6-2 in its final eight games and entertain hopes of an NCAA bid. He claimed that only OU in Norman and UT in Manhattan were not winnable games. Evidently, he has not been following the REAL Standings. What he should have tried to figure out is how k-state could manage two wins and lose only six times the remainder of the regular season. They do have a chance in Lubbock-but if they can't win in Baylor or Columbia, why would Bobby Knight let them come into Lubbock and slow down his trek to the all time win record?

5. Oklahoma at Colorado (Wed. at 7:30p.m.)*****

They do get bigger than this in the Big 12, but not by much. CU can take a big step toward a 10-6 record and a probable berth in the NCAA tourney with a win here. This game and a win at k-state or Nebraska would put them over the top. Lose, and they have to win in both Manhattan and Lincoln (unless they find a way to win in Lawrence-like that's gonna happen.) OU, of course, must win this game to stay in the title hunt, as well as to maintain a strong argument for a Top 4 seed in March. Could be a barn-burner.

. . .or OU could pound the Buffs into submission.

Go Big Blue!

--Mark

*Texas, KU, OU, and CU, the Tier One teams, are projected to win all of their home games, lose their road games vs. other Tier One teams, and to be "at risk" in road games vs. Tier Two teams.

The Tier Two teams are projected to win all home games with the exception of games vs. Tier One teams. They are projected to lose all road games vs. Tier One and Two teams. They are "at risk" against Tier One teams at home and on the road against the teams that have cast themselves into the Pit of Oblivion.

As for the teams in the Pit, each is projected to (a) lose every Road game; (b) lose every home game vs. the Tier One teams; (c) win every home game vs. each other; and (4) to have a Half-Assed Chance to win every home game vs. a Tier 2 team.

As always, teams can move up or down in status with meaningful road wins and embarrassing (or enough) home losses.

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