REAL Standings: Robert Zimmerman Edition

A few days ago, I pondered whether the Big 12 should be divided into two tiers, rather than three: i.e., KU and everyone else.

That thought, made partly in jest at the time, is beginning to look like one deserving serious consideration. Consider what happened Saturday:

KU further separated itself from the rest of the field with a Road W at Mizzou—this while A&M took another half step backwards at k-state, and UT, while not losing ground, was lucky to tread water, walking off its Home court with a two point victory over 11th place Colorado. Which raises the question: Is UT a legitimate contender, or is CU REALly a pretty good team that is merely misunderstood?

And Iowa St. They have won two games in a week. Not an earthshaking accomplishment in one sense, because both Mizzou and Okie St were teams ISU was given a reasonable chance of beating at Home. Still, they didn’t split these games: they won both, which suggests that they are a more competitive team than previously thought.

Not to mention k-state: are they worthy of joining--or even replacing--A&M as a Tier One Team? With their schedule, if they were categorized as a Tier One Team, they would be atop the REAL Standings at 13-3 (Only Projected L at KU, with losable games at NU, Tech, Mizzou and Baylor), while KU would drop to 12.5-3.5 (with the current losable game at Manhattan transformed into a projected L).

And what about undefeated Baylor, winners of a meaningful Road game for the first time in, what, Big 12 history?

I will let it play out a little longer before making any drastic reassessments, especially since we are not yet one-fourth of the way through the conference season. But, as a man from Hibbing once said, the times they are a-changing.

REAL STANDINGS: 1/20/08

1. 13-3

KU (3-0) Projected L’s: at UT, at A&M

Losable games: at ksu, at OSU

2. 11.5-4.5

UT (1-1) Projected L: at A&M

Losable games: at OSU, at OU, BU, ksu, TT

3. 11-5

A&M (1-2) Projected L: at UT

Losable games: at OSU, at MU, at OU, at BU

4. 9-7

k-state (2-0) Projected L’s: at MU, at TT, at NU, at BU, at KU

Losable games: at CU, KU, UT, at ISU

5. 8.5-7.5

Baylor (3-0) Projected L’s: at A&M, at UT, at KU, at OSU, at OU, at TT

Losable games: UT, at CU, A&M

6. 8-8

Tech (1-2) Projected L’s: at UT, at BU, at NU, at A&M, at KU

Losable games: at CU, UT

7. 7-9

Mizzou (1-2) Projected L’s: at TT, at KU, at NU, at ksu, at BU, at OU

Losable games: at CU, A&M

8. 6.5-9.5

NU (0-3) Projected L’s: at KU, at MU, at ksu, at A&M, at OSU, at UT

Losable games: at ISU

OU (1-2) Projected L’s: at BU, at A&M, at TT, at UT, at NU, at OSU

Losable games: UT, at CU, A&M

OSU (1-2) Projected L’s: at OU, at TT, at ksu, at A&M, at MU, at UT

Losable games: UT, KU, A&M

11. 4.5-11.5

CU (1-2) Projected L’s: at ISU, at KU, at OSU, KU, at MU, at ksu, at NU

Losable games: ksu, MU, OU, TT, BU

12. 4-12

ISU (2-1) Projected L’s: at KU, at ksu, at NU, A&M, UT, at OU, at TT, KU, at CU, at MU

Losable games: OSU, NU, ksu

FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE

Big XII Weekday Games, with IQ (Interest Quotient):

MONDAY

1. UT at OSU (8:00p.m.)***1/2

Two weeks ago, this game looked like a REAL snoozer. Okie St has been looking respectable, however, through three games. UT has looked suspect.

Projected W: None

WEDNESDAY

2. Iowa St at KU (6:00p.m.)*1/2

The Cyclones will have to wait another day for that breakthrough game on the Road.

Projected W: KU

3. Baylor at A&M (7:00p.m.)****

A MUST game for the Aggies, even with twelve games remaining after this one. A loss here, and A&M is fighting for fourth place. A W by the Bears, and they will have to be considered for a battlefield promotion to Contender status.

Projected W: A&M

4. Mizzou at Tech (7:00p.m.)***

This won’t be much of a game if Mizzou plays like it did in its first Road game (at ISU) and Tech plays like it did in its first Home game (vs. A&M). Still, a good match up IF Mizzou will play as actively and aggressively as they did vs. KU on Saturday. Not likely on the Road, but worth looking in on just in case. . .

Projected W: Tech

5. k-state at Colorado (8:00p.m.)***1/2

k-state goes for its second Road win in two tries. CU has sent notice that it will no longer simply roll over in Boulder or elsewhere. A win here will be huge for either team.

Projected W: None

--Mark

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