REAL Standings--Jayhawks Tread Water

The major surprise of the Mid-week Big 12 games was Texas Tech's victory in Manhattan. The Red Raiders picked up a full game in the REAL Standings, moving them into a tie for the coveted fifth place slot, which carries with it a likely NCAA tourney berth.

k-state, meanwhile, in dropping a full game just days after giving second place A&M all it could handle in Aggieland (not to be confused with Aggieville), is in dire straits already. To this point, anyway, Huggins is getting Money for Nothing.

A&M and Iowa State (again) take half a step forward, prevailing in at-risk games at Baylor and vs. Nebraska respectively. If the Cyclones don't watch out, they will force me to upgrade their status from Level 3 (Have-Nots) to Level 2 (Pretenders). It will probably not be this weekend, though.

KU, OU, and UT all picked up projected wins at home vs. Okie St, CU, and Mizzou. No news there.

REAL STANDINGS AS OF JANUARY 11, 2007 . 1. 13-3

Kansas (1-0) (No projected L's; at risk games at Tech, at Baylor, at NU, at Mizzou, at k-state, at OU)

2. 11.5-4.5

Texas A&M (2-0) (projected L's at KU, at Okie St, at UT; at risk games at Tech, at NU, at OU)

3. 11-5

Oklahoma St (1-1) (projected L's at A&M, at UT at risk games: at NU, vs. OU, at Tech, at Baylor)

Texas (2-0) (projected L's at Okie St, at A&M, at KU; at risk games at NU, at Tech, at Baylor, at OU)

5. 7.5-8.5

k-state (0-2) (projected L's at Mizzou, at UT, at KU, at NU, at Okie St; at risk games at ISU, vs. KU, at CU)

Mizzou (0-2) (projected L's at KU, at k-state, at Okie St, at NU, at A&M; at risk games at CU, at ISU, vs. KU)

Texas Tech (2-0) (projected L's at Baylor, at Mizzou, at OU, at Okie St, at A&M, at UT; at risk games vs. KU, vs. A&M, vs. UT, vs. Okie St, at ISU)

8. 6.5-9.5 Nebraska (0-1) (projected L's at OU, at k-state, at Mizzou, at Tech, at KU, at Baylor; at risk games vs. Okie St, vs. UT, vs. KU, vs. A&M, at CU)

Oklahoma (1-1) (projected L's at UT, at Okie St, at A&M, at Baylor, at Mizzou, at k-state; at risk games vs. Okie St, at Iowa St, vs. A&M, vs. UT, vs. KU)

10. 6-10

Baylor (0-2) (projected L's at k-state, at OU, at UT, at Mizzou, at A&M, at Tech; at risk games vs. KU, at ISU, vs. UT, vs. Okie St)

11. 5.5-10.5

Iowa St (2-0) (projected L's vs. KU, at CU, at Okie St, at A&M, at UT, at k-state, at KU, at NU; at risk games vs. k-state, vs. Baylor, vs. Mizzou, vs. OU, vs. Tech)

12. 2-14

Colorado (0-2) (projected L's vs. A&M, at NU, at KU, at Baylor, vs. Okie St, at k-state, vs. KU, at Tech, at ISU, at Mizzou; at risk games vs. Mizzou, vs. k-state, vs. NU)

GAMES TO WATCH

The Weekend Big XII Games, with IQ (Interest Quotient) are:

1. Okie St at Nebraska *** (12:30p.m.) Huge early season game for both teams. NU can't afford to start 0-2 with a loss at Iowa State and one at home. Okie St cannot afford to drop two straight, even if both are on the road, with a big game vs. UT staring them in the face next Tuesday in Stillwater. Lose this one, and the Cowboys are out of wiggle room if they want to even pretend to be a Contender rather than a Pretender.

2. KU @ Iowa St *** (1:00p.m.) This game will be no competition if the Jayhawks come to play with the intensity on defense they showed at South Carolina and vs. Okie St. Or will they revert to the type of listless play they have shown on occasion in non-conference play? ISU's two wins in two conference games should get their attention, even with Mizzou on the radar screen, but until they demonstrate that they are serious about being consistently on top of their game, there is reason for the Cyclones to hope.

3. Oklahoma at UT ** (2:30p.m.) Should be a snoozer, unless you just wan to catch Kevin Durant before he moves on to bigger and better things.

4. k-state at Mizzou *** (3:00p.m.) This game should be competitive if not particularly well played. This is where we separate the boys form the smaller boys. One of these teams starts the conference season with three losses. Worse yet, if Mizzou takes that honor, is that two of the losses will be at home, and neither to a Contender.

5. Texas Tech at Baylor ***(3:00p.m.) Time for Baylor to put up or shut up. If they start 0-3, with tow losses at home, the cry will be heard throughout the land that they are "Still Baylor." A win here, and Tech has an NCAA bid to lose.

6. Texas A&M at Colorado *1/2 (5:00p.m. MST) The Buffs showed more life at home vs. UT than expected. They might keep this watchable for 20-25 minutes.

--Mark

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