REAL Standings: MLK Day Edition

WEEKEND RECAP

The only game of consequence in the REAL Standings this weekend was K-State’s loss to Oklahoma in Norman. This was K-State’s second L of the week that will prove extremely difficult to make up. The conference champion is not likely to lose to Baylor at Home or to OU anywhere.

Not that K-State is a bad team. Their schedule caught up with them. After playing their first three games against the three best teams in the league, they were clearly spent emotionally and could not create any energy in front of a crowd that could not even properly be called a “crowd.” I have seen better turnout and more passion at Wal-Mart the morning after Thanksgiving. Well, I’ve heard of it.

Not to mention that OU was coldly efficient, focusing on mid-range jump shorts and seemingly making them all.

At any rate, K-State is not talented enough to go on the Road, sleepwalk for thirty minutes, and walk out with a W against a team that executes its game plan on that particular day. At least not anyplace not called Lubbock.

The Almost Game of the Week was, of course, in Lawrence. This game followed the same script as K-State/OU well into the second half, with two key differences: the margin generally gravitated to 4-7 points, as opposed to 9-11; and the Jayhawks were playing catch-up at Home. Had this game been in Ames, the Hawks would likely have given up precious ground to Baylor and Mizzou--especially the latter, MU having won already in Ames. But this particular game was, indeed, in Lawrence, and the Hawks kept their heads above water heading into Monday night's first game of the year vs. Baylor.

As for Mizzou, the most notable aspect of its game vs. Texas was that it featured two players on my All-Conference team with 22% of the season having been played. That would be Marcus Denmon and J’Covan Brown, along with Thomas Robinson, Perry Jones, and Royce White. I would put that lineup up against North Carolina any day of the week. Might even challenge Florida St.

Meanwhile, Baylor put the rest of the conference on notice that, after its near death experience in Manhattan, it might have shifted gears, with a 41 point swamping of Okie St. Not that Okie St is to be taken seriously; but a 41 point margin over even a mediocre team is nothing to sneeze at.

Finally, A&M took out Tech, if anyone cares.

Or if they don’t.

THE TIERS

There will almost certainly be some reshuffling of the tiers next Saturday at the third-way point of the season next Saturday. K-State and Texas, in particular, will be subject to close scrutiny. In the meantime, only four games into the season, the Tiers as I see them remain:

Tier 1: Baylor, KU, K-State, Mizzou, Texas

Tier 2: Iowa St, Oklahoma, Okie St, Texas A&M

Tier 3: Texas Tech

REAL BIG 12 STANDINGS

1-15-12

1. 13-5

Baylor (4-0) Projected L’s: at KU, at Mizzou, at Texas

At Risk games: at OU, at A&M, at Okie St, at ISU

2. 12.5-5.5

KU (4-0) Projected L’s: at UT, at Mizzou, at Baylor, at K-State

At Risk games: at ISU, at A&M, at Okie St

Mizzou (3-1) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at Texas, at KU

At Risk games: at Okie St, at OU, at A&M

4. 11.5-6.5

Texas (2-2) Projected L’s: at K-State, at Baylor, at KU

At Risk games: at A&M, at OU, at Okie St

5. 10.5-7.5

K-State (1-3) Projected L’s: at Texas, at Baylor, at Mizzou

At Risk games: at Okie St, at ISU, at A&M 6. 8-10

Iowa St (2-2) Projected L’s: at Texas, at OU, at Okie St,

at Baylor, at K-State, at Mizzou

At Risk games: at Tech, vs. KU, vs. K-State, vs.

Baylor

7. 7-11

Okie St (2-2) Projected L’s: at ISU, at A&M, at KU,

at Mizzou, at OU, at K-State

At Risk games: vs. K-State, vs. Mizzou, at Tech, vs.

Baylor, vs. Texas, vs. KU

Oklahoma (1-3) Projected L’s: at A&M, at K-State, at

KU, at ISU, at Baylor, at Texas

At Risk games: vs. Baylor, vs. Mizzou,

at Tech, vs. Texas

9. 6-12

Texas A&M (1-3) Projected L’s: at Mizzou, at KU, at K-

State, at ISU, at Okie St, at OU

At Risk games: vs.Baylor, vs. Texas, at Tech, vs. Mizzou,

vs. KU, vs. K-State

10 2-16

Texas Tech (0-4). Projected L’s: at OU, vs. K- State,

at Mizzou, at Texas, at K-State, at KU, at ISU, vs.

Texas, at Baylor, vs. Mizzou

At Risk games: vs. ISU, vs. Okie St, vs. OU, vs. A&M

ON THE TUBE

MONDAY

Texas A&M at Mizzou*: (4:30 noon—ESPN) (Projected W: Mizzou)

How exactly does this pathetic excuse for a game honor MLK’s legacy? Other than A&M having a dream of winning in Columbia. Unfortunately for the Aggies, a dream is different from a nightmare.

Baylor at KU**********: (8:30p.m.—ESPN) (Projected W: KU)

On a four star scale, this game, in the words of the inimitable Dickie V, is a Bo Derek in her prime. A W here for Baylor, and it puts a Bear Hug on the Big 12 championship trophy. Fortunately for KU, Bill Self usually does well against the REAL Calipari, let alone his Clone.

TUESDAY

Texas Tech at Oklahoma*1/2: (7:00p.m.—Big 12 Network) (Projected W: OU)

Wake me when it’s over, Siri.

WEDNESDAY

Texas at K-State****: (8:00p.m.—ESPN2) (Projected W: K-State)

A REALly must win game for K-State. Another Home loss, and its NCAA hopes are in jeopardy.

Okie St at Iowa St***: (8:00p.m.—ESPNU) (Projected W: ISU)

Iowa St looks like it will do nothing but improve the rest of the season. If the Clones (not to be confused with Kentucky and Baylor) take care of business at Home and steal a game or two on the Road, they can look forward to being in the NCAA mix in March.

--Mark

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