REAL Standings; Got Lieb?

Cookie Miller is a punk. Doug Gottlieb said it, so it must be true.

I chastened another Big 12 color commentator recently for promoting the urban legend that Mizzou is a good defensive team. (A mantra repeated by Jon Sundvold Wednesday night while the Tigers were holding k-state to 88 points, but I will cut him some slack, being a Mizzou alum and all.)

But I also must give credit where it is due: Mr. Gottlieb not only hit the nail on the head as to Cookie, he made an insightful comment that few of the so-called experts either refuse to acknowledge or, at a fundamental level, do not understand, despite being the primary premise of the REAL Standings since its inception: any conference Road win should be valued more than any Home win. Well, unless the Road win is at Colorado or Texas Tech.

As for the mid-week action on the Court, the Word of the Day is “pathetic”—as in Baylor, Texas, and Kansas. Three putrid efforts. UT won in Waco, because—well, because one of the two “pathetic” teams that showed up (using the term loosely) had to win. It’s a law of nature. That, and Baylor out-choked them. Heck, Baylor out-choked everyone this side of Cabman John Gray. They started choking during the introductions and didn’t stop until they were back in the locker room after the game.

And KU won despite playing unalert, uninspired, and unsmart basketball on the Road for 35 or 36 of the game’s 40 minutes. But, regardless of how ugly the game was, the Jayhawks live to fight another day. And, it was that critical. With OU and UT winning on the Road, the Hawks could not afford to let this one slip away—not with more difficult Road games waiting in the wings (i.e., every Road game not in Lubbock).

Unless KU or Texas step up their games, it might all be moot anyway. Because “pathetic” was not the word for OU. No, the Sooners did not look overpowering at Okie St—it was a one point game late. What was impressive was the Sooners’ mental toughness. They responded to every challenge, and, most importantly, Austin Johnson displayed so much seniorism he should receive a discount at Denny’s and the local cinema.

In the “pathetic game of the week,” Colorado came through in the only game this season it was projected to win, holding off fellow Tier 3 denizen Iowa St. Along with k-state’s Home victory over Mizzou and A&M’s win over Tech in College Station, Projected Winners went 3-1 (the lone loss being Baylor’s Home Court gagging exhibition vs. UT) and are now 22-3 for the season (88%).

In the two toss-up (at-risk) games, the Home teams went 0-2, with NU and Okie St losing to KU and OU respectively. Home at-risk teams are now 2-6 for the season. Which makes sense, considering the Home team in these games is always a full tier lower than its opponent.

REAL STANDINGS: 1/29/09

Texas was the big winner in the mid-week REAL Standings, picking up a full RS game with its Projected L turned into a W at Baylor. Meanwhile, OU and KU each moved ½ game in the right direction with their at-risk game victories.

Baylor, obviously, was the big loser, suffering what might well be the end of any REAListic chance the Bears had of competing for the conference title.

The Big 12 hierarchy:

Contenders (Tier 1): Baylor, KU, OU, UT.

Competitors (Tier 2): A&M, k-state, Mizzou, Nebraska, Okie St,

Bottom-feeders (Tier 3): Colorado, Iowa St, Tech

1. 13.5-2.5

OU (6-0) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at UT

Losable games: at Mizzou

2. 13-3

KU (5-0) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at OU

Losable games: at Mizzou, at k-state

3. 12.5-3.5

UT (4-1) Projected L’s: at KU

Losable games: at NU, at A&M, at Okie St

4. 11-5

Baylor (3-3) Projected L’s: at UT

Losable games: at Mizzou, at Okie St

5. 8.5-7.5

Mizzou (4-2) Projected L’s: at UT, at KU, at A&M

Losable games: vs. Baylor, at ISU, vs. KU, at CU, vs. OU

6. 7.5-8.5

A&M (2-4) Projected L: at OU, at Baylor, at NU

Losable games: vs. UT, at Tech, at CU

7. 7-9

k-state (2-4) Projected L’s: at UT, at A&M, at Mizzou, at Okie St

Losable games: vs. KU, at ISU

OSU (2-3) Projected L’s: at A&M, at KU, at UT, at OU

Losable games: at Tech, vs. Baylor, at CU, vs. UT

9. 6.5-9.5

NU (2-4) Projected L’s: at Mizzou, at KU, at k-state, at Baylor

Losable games: at Tech, at CU, vs. UT

10. 4-12

ISU (1-4) Projected L’s: vs. OU, at k-state, at Okie St, at KU, vs. Baylor, at A&M, at NU

Losable games: vs. Mizzou, vs. k-state

11. 3-13

CU (1-4) Projected L’s: at KU, at OU, at ISU, vs. UT, at NU, at Baylor, at k-state

Losable games: vs. NU, vs. Mizzou, vs. Okie St, vs. A&M

12. 2.5-13.5

Tech (1-4) Projected L’s: at Okie St, vs. Baylor, at k-state, at OU, at UT, vs. OU, vs. KU, at ISU

Losable games: vs. NU, vs. Okie St, vs. A&M

FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE

Saturday Games, with IQ (Interest Quotient):

1. Oklahoma at Iowa St (12:30p.m.)** (Projected W: OU)

My guess is that Craig Brackins does not score 42 points this Saturday.

2. Okie St at A&M (1:00p.m.)*** (Projected W: A&M)

Not even February, and we already have a revenge game.

3. k-state at UT (3:00p.m.)*** (Projected W: UT)

Nothing to see here.

4. Colorado at KU (3:00p.m.)** (Projected W: KU)

Or here. . .

5. Baylor at Mizzou (5:00p.m.)**** (Toss-up)

Not much defense here. I will take the over. Whatever it is. . .

6. Nebraska at Texas Tech (7:00p.m.)* (Toss-up)

A resistable force vs. a moveable object. Nice game—if you are suffering from insomnia.

--Mark

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy steps!

-->