REAL Standings: The Shuffle the Deck Edition

                                    REAL STANDINGS:  THE REBOOT EDITION

            With most Big 12 teams having played five of their 18 games, it is time for a REAL REAL Standings Reboot: necessitated by actual competition between conference teams as opposed to what happened in November and December.

            At this point, we have:

1.    Two teams that are undefeated at Home but without any Tier 1 Road Wins to validate their status:

·         KU and

·         TCU 

2.    Four teams with a Home Loss BUT one or more Tier 1 Road Win to lift them up:

·         K-State (W’s at Iowa State and Oklahoma)

·         Iowa St (W at Texas Tech)

·         Texas (W at K-State) and

·         Texas Tech (W at Texas)

3.    Two teams with a Home Loss and no Tier 1 Road Win, making them suspect:

·         Oklahoma

·         Baylor

4.    Two teams that are going nowhere and on the fast track to getting there:

·         Okie St

·         West Virginia

                                                CURRENT TIERS

                                                            TIER 1

K-STATE

71-64 at OU

At halftime of its Home game with West Virginia, K-State was looking like Tier 3 was in their near future, staring is second Home Loss in two tries in  the face, They looked like a team that might even miss out entirely on the Big Dance.

One half and 3 games later, the Wildcats find themselves looking down at everyone else in the REAL Standings. That is what a miracle Come from Behind victory from 21 points down, the return of the pre-season Player of the Year Road, the reincarnation of Barry Brown (last week’s POW), and back to back Wins in Ames and Norman will do for you. No other visitor has won at either venue yet.

KU

80-78 vs. UT

As widely predicted in the pre-season, the two Sunflower State teams lead the pack. The Jayhawks have no negatives on the season, but they do have a 17-point loss in Ames—which pales in comparison to K-State’s W there. On the brighter side for KU, the Hawks do have a Home Win over Texas, something K-State lacks; and, of course, the rumblings about the possible emergence of Silvio DeSousa sometime in the foreseeable future could turn the Big 12 race upside down. Until then, however, they are but one of 7 teams hoping that last second shots by the opponent don’t fall.

TEXAS TECH:

64-68 vs. ISU

Just when everyone was beginning to think the Red Raiders were the Big 12’s best team, they get taken down at Home. In truth, they never were head and shoulders above the rest of the Big 12, They just looked like the most consistent team They did have a nice Win in Austin, but that is it. Tied with KU and trailing K-State by a full game, they are certainly in the mix as much as anyone; but they have some work to do to atone for that Lubbock Loss to Iowa St.

TCU

98-67 vs. West Virginia

The Horned Frogs are in the same boat as KU. No negative outcomes yet but, likewise, nothing to commend their work to this point other than two REAl close calls in Lawrence and Norman. With Jaylen Fisher, they might have won both games and left the rest of the conference in their wake. Without him for the remainder of the season, they are still a contender. One of many.

IOWA STATE

Losing one Home game is devastating, perhaps fatal, in this league. It forces you to win a game you “shouldn’t.” Which the Cyclones did in Lubbock.         

TEXAS

You should not have been surprised by UT’s game in Lawrence going down to the last shot. ICYMI, here was the REAL Standings preview of the game:

            One caveat. KU better not get complacent playing this low grit, low IQ team for two reasons:

(1)   UT will be on a mission for redemption. They will come focused and ready to play for 40 minutes (or more); and

(2)   The Jayhawks have not shown themselves to be at the top of the basketball I.Q. ladder themselves. (Think Ames.)

OKLAHOMA

The Sooners have no REAL positive outcomes. In spite of playing KU close in Lawrence (who doesn’t?), OU is a soft Tier 1 team that gets the benefit of the doubt due to Lonnie Kruger.

                                                            TIER 2

BAYLOR

BU 73, Okie St 69

Scott Drew picks up a Big Road Win in Stillwater. Give credit where credit is due. What he doesn’t have is a Big Road W at a Tier 1 venue. But how is that different from OU? Why are the Bears in Tier 2 with OU looking down at them. Here is a clue: They are not coached by Lonnie, if you know what I mean.

                                                            TIER 3

WEST VIRGINIA

Until/if/when Sagaba Konate returns and gives the Mountaineers a REAL inside presence, this is the worst team of Bob Huggins’ coaching career. Any team that loses to WVU anywhere is unlikely to be a serious title contender. At least until Konate returns.

                                                CURRENT REAL STANDINGS

1. 12-6

K-State (3-2): Projected L’s: (at UT, at KU, at TCU)

Up for Grabs: (at OSU, at BU)

2. 11.5-6.5

KU (4-1): Projected L’s: (at UT, at KSU, at TCU, at TT, at OU)

Up for Grabs: (at OSU)

3.  11-7

Texas Tech (4-1): Projected L’s: (at KSU, at KU, at OU, at TCU, at ISU)
Up for Grabs: (at BU, at OSU)

TCU (2-2): Projected L’s: (at KSU, at TT, at ISU, at UT)

Up for Grabs: (at BU, at OSU)

ISU (3-2): Projected L’s: (at KU, at OU, at KSU, at TCU, at UT)

Up for Grabs: (N.A)

6.  10.5-7.5

UT (2-3): Projected L’s (at TCU, at ISU, at OU, at TT)
Up for Grabs (at BU)

7.   10-8

OU (2-3): Projected L’s: (at UT, at TCU, at ISU, at KSU)
Up for Grabs: (at OSU, at BU)

8.7-11

BU (2-2): Projected L’s (at OU, at UT, at TT, at ISU, at KU, at KSU)
Up for Grabs: (TT. at WVU, TCU, KSU, OU, UT)

9.  5.5-12.5

Okie St (2-3): Projected L’s (at ISU, at TCU, at KU, at UT, at KSU, at TT, at BU)
Up for Grabs: (OU, KSU, TT, TCU, KU)

10.  .5-17.5

West Virginia (0-5): Projected L’s (KU, at ISU, TT, OU, at TT, UT, at KU, KSU, at BU, TCU, at OU, ISU, at OSU)
Up for Grabs (OSU)


                                                AS SEEN ON TV (All times CST
Saturday

1,         1:00p.m. KU at West Virginia (ESPN) **** (Projected W: KU)

            Fran Fraschilla and others hoping against hope this to be the Year the Jayhawks Lose the     Pennant will be rooting hard for the Mountaineers Saturday. They shouldn’t. That would all            but guarantee   their fondest wish would come true. But it would be bad for ratings. If they are         smart, They will be hoping KU stays in it until around 7:00p.m on March 10.

2.          3:00p.m.: TCU at K-State (ESPN2) ***** (Projected W: K-State)

Another opportunity for TCU to stake its claim to the inside track in the Big 12 race.  Will the third time be the charm, or will it be another narrow miss a la Lawrence and Norman?

3.         5:00p.m. Texas Tech at Baylor (ESPNU) **** (Up for Grabs)

            Baylor is going to damage someone’s title hopes. A Must Win for Tech.

4.         5:00p.m.  Okie St at Iowa St (ESPNU) ** (Projected W: ISU)

            The Cyclones just righted the ship in Lubbock. Oops! Watch out for that iceberg from Stillwater courtesy of Eskimo Joe’s!              

5.         7:00p.m. Oklahoma at Texas: (LHN ****) (Projected W: UT)

            With one Loss at Home already (to Tech), UT needs this game if it wants to continue enjoying its new-found Tier 1 status.

--Mark

REAL STANDINGS: THE BIG 12 ER EDITION

                                    REAL STANDINGS:  THE BIG 12 ER EDITION

            Texas Tech held onto its half game lead over KU on Saturday as both defeated Tier Two teams on the Road: Tech winning in Austin for the first time since their days in the Southwest Conference (1996); and KU winning in Waco as usual.

            One fact that no one else has touched on: Every time KU has won in Waco during the past 14 years, they have gone on to win or share the Big 12 title. You heard it here first.  

            In other action, OU protected its Home Court against the Frog invasion from the south but lost a half game in the process to Tech and KU. You gain nothing in the REAL Standings with Home W’s. You are supposed to win at Home. If you can’t Win at Home, you quickly  find yourself behind the Magic 8-Ball. (“It Is Certain.”).

            Which brings us to Iowa State. A mere 15 seconds stood between the Cyclones and a Home court victory vs. K-State. Leading 57-56, Lindell Wiggington surprisingly missed the front end of what Curt Gowdy used to refer to as a one-on-one. Dean Wade grabbed the rebound. Eleven seconds later, Barry Brown made his way into the lane and laid the ball into the basket to send the Cyclones (which is a spiraling phenomenon) into a potential death spiral with a Home Loss.

            The good news for ISU is that one Home Loss does not necessarily end your chances of raising the Big 12 championship flag. Recall KU’s Home Loss to Tech last year—although it did mean the Jayhawks had to turn around and take down Tech in Lubbock a few weeks later. ISU will now need to win a game it “shouldn’t.” (“It Is Almost Certain.”)

            As for K-State, its second last minute victory of the week atones for its Home Loss to Texas. With Dean Wade back in the fold, they are a candidate for Tier One status. A 2 point miraculous victory at Home against the conference’s worst team (West Virginia)  is not enough to justify an upgrade at this time for a team that has a Home Loss vs. Texas and which was on the verge of dropping to Tier 3 when it trailed WVU by 21.

            Speaking of upgrading, Okie St has shown that it merits a promotion to Tier 2 with victories this week vs. Texas at Home and at West Virginia.  No, that is not the most impressive duo of feats, but it is better than what you would normally expect of a team in the lowest of Tiers.

            And West Virginia? Should its pathetic collapse in Manhattan and even pahtheticker Loss in Morgantown to Okie St result in a demotion to Level 3?

            Not quite yet. Not while Sagaba Konate is rumored to on the verge of returning. Even that, though, will not make WVU a factor in the Big 11 race, other than deciding who might be the ultimate champion by taking down a contender or two along the way.

                                                CURRENT TIERS

                                                            Tier 1

TEXAS TECH:

Tech 68, Texas 62 (Austin)

Tech is the REAL Deal. But don’t get ahead of yourself. They have accomplished nothing at this point. They have won two Road games against two Tier Two teams (WVU and UT), The West Virginia W has lost some of its luster with the passage of time, and Texas has recently begun resembling a team coached by Scott Drew South. Let’s see how the Gun-zuppers do in Lawrence, Ames, and Norman before drawing any conclusions about them.

IOWA STATE

ISU 57, K-State 58 (Ames)

The Cyclones are now -1 for the season with its Home Loss to K-State. Ouch! That hurts

KU

KU 73, Baylor 68 (Waco)

The Notorious LGV returned to his 3 point shooting form, going 6 for 8 on his birthday. And the Jayhawks needed every one of them (well, at least 5 of them) to hold off Baylor minus Tristan Clark. After leading 64-41 with 6 minutes remaining, and 72-60 at the 1:03 mark, it was a four-point game 39 seconds later (72-68). On the positive side, this scare will give KU something to work on. Tech and OU (not to mention TCU and K-State among others) will not be so accommodating as to make a run calculated to wind up short in the end.

OU

OU 76, TCU 74 (Norman)

The Sooners took control of this game at the 0:05 mark when Kristian Doolittle prescribed a jumper in the lane to euthanize the Frogs. And they never let up,

                                                TIER 2

TEXAS

            For the first time in recorded history, UT’s Dylan Osetkowski was referred to as “Ostertag.”  Not surprising considering the physical resemblance. It is like the two were separated at birth.

            In all fairness, the announcer (Lowell Galindo, I think) corrected himself immediately, Still, get help immediately if you call Shaka Smart “Phog.”

BAYLOR

Sagaba Konate, Dean Wade, Udunka Azubuike, Jaylen Fisher— now Baylor’s Tristan Clark. This year’s Big 12 race might be decided as much by who is not on the court as who is: KU might have won Saturday even had Clark been available to Scott (you know, because Scott), but his absence could not have hurt the Jayhawks’ cause. Still, Baylor competed for a few minutes and will be a typically difficult Tier Two Road game once the Bears adjust to life without him

TCU

The Horned Frogs epitomize the phrase “flying under the radar.” They are assigned to Level 2, having an unimpressive media record of 1-2. But  two of their four Tier 1 Road games (at KU and OU) are behind them. And they took both games down to the wire. They could REAListically win at Iowa St. They could REAListically win at Tech. When Jaylen Fisher returns to the rotation, all bets are off. Do not sleep on this team.

K-STATE

K-State 71-West Virginia 69 (Manhattan)

The most oft-mentioned candidates for Big 12 Player of the Year thus far this season have been Dean Wade (K-State), Dedrick Lawson (KU), and Jarrett Culver (Tech). Maybe a little support for Lindell Wigginton.

However, if POY means the player who makes the biggest difference to his team in wins and losses, consider the following: Barry Brown and Sagaba Konate. Brown for being the key figure in turning two probable losses last week into wins . . .

WEST VIRGINIA

WVU 77, Okie St 85 (Morgantown)

… and Konate, whose absence has turned West Virginia from a reputed title contender into a team that has lost its first two Home games of the conference season. If he does not return to the lineup soon and ready to play well, the Mountaineers will assume the inside track for 10th Place in the Big 12. But it could be worse. Tenth place is still better than 12th.

OKIE STATE

Not sure whether Okie St’s W at West Virginia says more about them or WVU. Whatever, they are no longer to be considered an automatic win, especially in Stillwater.

                                                CURRENT REAL STANDINGS

1. 13—5

Texas Tech (4-0): Projected L’s: (at KU, at OU, at ISU)
At risk games: (at BU, at KSU, at OSU, at TCU)

2.  12.5-5.5

KU (3-1): Projected L’s (at TT, at OU)
At risk games (at WVU, at UT, at KSU, at TCU, at OSU)

3.   12-6

OU (2-2): Projected L’s: (at ISU)
At risk games: (at UT, at OSU, at WVU, at BU, at TCU, at KSU)

4.11-7

ISU (2-2): Projected L’s (at TT, at KU, at OU)
At risk games (at KSU, at TCU, at UT, at WVU)

5.  7.5-10.5

Texas (2-2): Projected L’s (at KU, at TCU, at ISU, at WVU, at OU, at BU, at TT)
At risk games (KU, OU, ISU)

Okie St (2-2): Projected L’s (at ISU, at TCU, at KU, at UT, at KSU, at TT, at BU)
At risk games (OU, Tech, KU)

7. 7-11

Baylor (1-2): Projected L’s (at OSU, at WVU, at OU, at UT, at TT, at ISU, at KSU, at KU)
At risk games (TT, OU)

K-State (2-2): Projected L’s (at OU, at OSU,  at BU, at UT, at WVU, at KU, at TCU)
At risk games (TT, KU, ISU, OU)

TCU (1-2): Projected L’s: (at KSU, at Tech, at BU, at ISU, at OSU, at WVU, UT)
At risk games: (KU, OU, at ISU, Tech)

10.  5.5-12.5

WVU (0-4): Projected L’s (at TCU, at ISU, at TT, at KU, at OSU, at BU, at OU)
At risk games (KU, OU, ISU)


                                                AS SEEN ON TV (All times CST)


Monday  

1,         8:00p.m. Baylor at Okie St (ESPNU) **** (Projected W: (OSU)

            First time this season that Okie St has been a projected Winner.

2.          8:00p.m.: Texas at KU (ESPN) **** (Projected W: KU)

            UT lost to Oklahoma St last week in Stillwater and to Texas Tech at Home. Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman wrote that their losses were due to two things: lack of grit and    lack of high basketball I.Q. Teams often develop grit overnight when their “grit” is challenged.       It usually takes longer to gain wisdom and consistently make good decisions.

            “At least,” Bohls concluded after the Tech game, “they’re losing to better teams.”

            One caveat. KU better not get complacent playing this low grit, low IQ team for two reasons:

(1)   UT will be on a mission for redemption. They will come focused and ready to play for 40 minutes (or more); and

(2)   The Jayhawks have not shown themselves to be at the top of the basketball I.Q. ladder themselves. (Think Ames.)

            On the other hand, it’s Bill Self vs. Shaka Smart. At Allen Fieldhouse.

Tuesday

3.         West Virginia at TCU (ESPNU) **(Projected W: TCU)

            How in the world can West Virginia hope to even compete in this game on the Road vs. a                  Tier 1 candidate when the Mountaineers have been a disaster at Home?

            WVU might belong in Tier 3 Konate or no Konate, but the difference to anyone REAL             Standings-wise is so minimal that, at this point, I will give them the benefit of the doubt—            which is a lot of benefit.           

Wednesday

4.         6:00p.m.  K-State at Oklahoma (ESPN2) **** (Projected W: OU)

            Bruce Weber called K-State the Big 12’s Team of the Week after winning in Ames. If Bruce    wants a greater honor (i.e., promotion) to Tier 1, this is his chance.  Winning back to back       games in Ames and Norman just might do it.

5.         8:00p.m. Iowa St at Texas Tech 1/2: (ESPNU ****1/2) (Projected W: Tech)

            The Cyclones are looking down the barrel of their third straight loss. At least this one won’t    hurt them in the REAL Standings, being the only one of the three actually projected as a    loss.

--Mark

REAL Standings: The No Lead Is Safe Edition

                                    REAL STANDINGS:  THE NO LEAD IS SAFE EDITION

            The following happened in the span of a few minutes Tuesday night:

·         With a 19 point lead having been trimmed to 3 (71-68) corner Lindell Wigginton takes a game tying 3  from the corner with 5 seconds remaining in the game, The Bears’ King McClure fouls him during  the shot. Did Scott Drew not tell his team, “Don’t do that!”?  Did he not say, “Of all the things to do on defense, Do Not Foul a 3 Point Shooter 3 point shooter!”?

Now, this game is suddenly tied. At least it is unless Wigginton misses one of his 3 free throws--and what are the chances of that?

But wait! Wigginton only makes 2 free throws. He was only allowed two. His foot was on the 3 point line when he shot. Baylor dodges a bullet and has possession of the ball and the lead.

Baylor makes 2 FT’s, and it’s like déjà vu all over again. Scott Drew’s crew is again up 3 with 5 seconds to play.  ISU’s Nick Weiler-Babb takes the in-bounds pass and crosses the mid-court line. He puts up a deep shot to tie the game and—guess what—he gets fouled. Three free throws, and we are in Overtime. Did Drew not remind his team to not foul the 3 point shooter again? Apparently not.

But wait!  As much as the announcers call for a foul, the officials call nothing and leave the court.

Thus, the reason that Scott Drew is known as the Scott Drew of the Big 12.

As Chris Berman would day, “Come on, Man!”

·         One of the announcers wondered aloud at the fact that Iowa State had just defeated KU by 17 on Saturday yet was now losing to 0-2 Baylor. His more knowledgeable sidekick was not fooled. “That was a Home game,” he said. Therein lies the difference between someone who understands the REAL Standings and someone who doesn’t.

·         A few minutes later, Texas trails Okie St. 56-59, having cut a 19-point deficit to 3.  With 11 seconds remaining, UT’s Matt Coleman drives into the lane as the Cowboys refuse to guard him for fear of being called for a foul. 58-59.

Stan Van Gundy, a man with the expertise to coach at the highest level of basketball in the world, demonstrates that he is better at coaching in the NBA than announcing college games: “That’s something very few college teams do,” he says, “taking the easy two points in that situation. Most teams will pull up and shoot a 3.”

No, Stan. If you have watched even a few college games, you would notice that taking the quick two, knowing the defense is not going to contest your layup, is what virtually every team doe in that situations. Well, unless they are coached by Scott Drew, in which case, you take the contested 3; but do it REAL slowly, to give the Defense plenty of time to foul you while shooting, assuming their team will be as stupid as yours..

·         Moments later, with 9 seconds remaining and the score 58-61, Van Gundy declared  that OSU needed to foul the trailing team While acknowledging that he had recently seen a game where that strategy had backfired, he declared that the odds were strongly in your favor by fouling before the trailing team could get a shot off.

I have heard that theory, and it is a strategy (though a gutless one) that often does work—as does playing defense straight up. Either way, the team with a three point lead in the final seconds usually wins. The problem with Van Gundy was not that he advocated the foul the trailing team strategy, but that he was so certain of his position with nothing to support it. There have been studies on this strategy, with no definitive results result. If there were, every coach of a college basketball team would employ the favored strategy.

                                                CURRENT TIERS

                                                            Tier 1

TEXAS TECH:

Tech 66, OU 59 (Lubbock!

Every Home game is a Must Win if you want to compete for the Big 12 title,

Tech held serve.

Next!

IOWA STATE

ISU 70, Baylor 73 (Waco)

The Cyclones epitomize the essence of the REAL standings three days after taking advantage of the premise that life is tough on the Road. That’s where championships are won.

KU

KU 77, Iowa St 68 (Lawrence)

Have you ever heard an announcer root more openly than Fran Fraschills does for any KU opponent?

There was a time when a KU win at Home was a ho-hum proposition. No longer. With Udunka Azubuike out for the season and suspect outside shooting, the Jayhawks are vulnerable any time and any place vs. Big 12 opposition. Meaning Fran has a decent shot of seeing his dream of some other team—any other team—winning the Big 12 come true this year.

Then again, as Yogi Bear once said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, Boo Boo.”

Or, as Bill Self said after KU lost by 17 to Iowa State in Ames last Saturday, “The sky isn’t falling.” The Jayhawks still have four high school All Americans and a strong bench—as long as you are not looking for Dominant inside players or sharpshooters.

But if Wednesday night was any indication, Udunka’s injury might result in the team being forced to come together and requiring everyone who sees court time to contribute instead of deferring to someone else.

Time will tell. But if the Jayhawks can protect their Home Court and figure out a way to pull out 3-4 Road victories, Fran’s assessment that the ultimate Big 12 champion might only win 12-13 games could be good news for Bill Self..

                                                TIER 2

TEXAS

UT 58, Okie St 61 (Stillwater)

Texas was smoked by Okie St early, training 20-39 in the first half.

BAYLOR

The Bears are off the schneide, What tricks does Scott have up his sleeve  for KU?

TCU

If TCU can play consistently the way they did in Lawrence, they have the potential to earn a Battlefield Promotion to Tier 1.

K-STATE

K-State 71-West Virginia 69 (Manhattan)

The score was West Virginia 42, K-State 21 early in the second half. K-State was 18:40 from absorbing their second Home loss vs. a Tier 2 team and their third overall. Without Dean Wade, they looked slow, clumsy, and lethargic, as if  ready to accept their fate as being food for the rest of the Big 12. And maybe even being left out of the Big Dance.

Then Barry Brown started playing like Barry Brown, and the rest of his teammates followed. K-State lives to fight another day.

WEST VIRGINIA

What was amazing in this game was the calls West Virginia was receiving on the Road. Not simply that they were physically assaulting their opponent without getting punished, on the theory that the refs can’t call everything; but, speaking of a Big Dance, allowing Jermaine Hailey to change his pivot foot so often, he appeared to be auditioning for Dancing with the ‘Eers.

The good news for WVU is that a Road loss to a fellow Tier 2 opponent does them no REAL harm. They will beat K-State in Morgantown. (Probably)

                                                TIER 3

OKIE STATE

The Cowboys are not your father’s Tier 3 team. They are dangerous on more than A given night. They just need more talent to make the jump to Tier two, which s a tough commodity to find this time of year.

                                                PROJECTIONS

1. 13—5

Texas Tech (3-0): Projected L’s: (at KU, at OU, at ISU)
At risk games: (at WVU, at UT, at BU, at KSU, at TCU)

2.  12.5-5.5

KU (2-1): Projected L’s (at TT, at OU)
At risk games (at BU, at WVU, at UT, at KSU, at TCU)

OU (1-2): Projected L’s: (at ISU)
At risk games: (at KSU, at UT, at WVU, at BU, at TCU)

5.  8-10

Texas (2-1): Projected L’s (at KU, at TCU, at ISU, at WVU, at OU, at BU, at TT)
At risk games (TT, KU, OU, ISU)

Baylor (1-1): Projected L’s (at WVU, at OU, at UT, at TT, at ISU, at KSU, at KU)
At risk games (KU, at OSU, TT, OU)

7.7.5-10.5

TCU (1-1): Projected L’s: (at OU, at KSU, at Tech, at BU, at ISU, at WVU, UT)
At risk games: (KU, OU, at OSU, at ISU, Tech)

8. 7-11

WVU (0-3): Projected L’s (at TCU, at ISU, at TT, at KU, at BU, at OU)
At risk games (KU, OU, ISU, at OSU)

WVU, at UT

9.  6.5-11.5

K-State (1-2): Projected L’s (at ISU, at OU, at BU, at UT, at WVU, at KU, at TCU)
At risk games (TT, at OSU, KU, ISU, OU)

10. 3-15

Okie St (1-2): Projected L’s (at WVU, at ISU, OU, at TCU, at KU, TT, at UT, at KSU, at TT, KU, at BU)
At risk games (BU, KSU, TCU, WVU)


                                                AS SEEN ON TV (All times C
Saturday

1,         11:00a.m. K-State at Iowa St (ESPN2) **** (Projected WL ISU)

            Can K-State take its newfound offensive prowess on the Road?

2.          11:00p.m.: Okie St at West Virginia (ESPNU) ** (UG)

            The odds may not ever be in Okie St’s favor. On the Road.

3.         1:00p.m.: Texas Tech at Texas (LHN) *****(Up for Gra

            How many teams will beat Tech, even at Home? A W for the Longhorns would put them in a new light.

4.         1:00p.m.  TCU at Oklahoma **** (Projected W: OU)

            TCU’s opportunity to crsh the Upper Crust’s party and bring the Sooners down a notch. Not a            far-fetched reversal of fortunes.

5.         3:00p.m. KU at Baylor :**** (ESPN) (Up for Grabs)

           This needs to be one of the 3-4 Road wins KU needs to win to have a legitimate shot at No.   15. The ultimate champion will likely claim W’s at both Baylor and Okie St.

--Mark

REAL Standings: The as REAL as it Gets Edition

                                    REAL STANDINGS:  THE AS REAL AS IT GETS EDITION

             Saturday was a big nothing in the REAL Standings. Unlike the Fake Big 12 Standings, where Texas Tech, Iowa State, Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas gained ground against everyone else with generic Home Court victories, the REAL Standings reflect REALity: i.e., that none of those games accomplished anything for anyone. Nor did they hurt anyone’s championship aspirations. They were simply Projected Wins vs. K-State, KU, Okie State, Baylor, and West Virginia respectively; and, as everyone knows, when the outcome has been Projected goes as Projected, it has already been incorporated into the REAL Standings. (Note; In the previous REAL Standings Report, the Baylor at TCU game was incorrectly listed as being in the “at-risk” category; TCU should have been the projected Winner as the Home Team vs. one of its Tier’s Peers.)

            In other words, it was just a Meaningless January Saturday removed from the Big 12 schedule.

                                                CURRENT TIERS

                                                            Tier 1

TEXAS TECH:

Tech 63, K-State 57 (Lubbock)

Tech jumped out to a 14-0 lead and pretty much traded baskets with K-State the rest of the way.

IOWA STATE

ISU 77, KU 60 (Ames)

The problem with projected W’s is that you don’t gain any ground by winning but losing is catastrophic. The Cyclones avoided a catastrophe

KU

The Jayhawks are, if nothing else, honest. Dedrick Lawson, probably the best player in the Big 12, did not look like it Saturday described his own performance as “terrible,” (notwithstanding 13 points and 12 rebounds). He was right.

Bill Self noted, “We REALly struggled with passing, dribbling, and shooting.” Can’t argue with that.

Nor with Self’s assessment that: “We played very, very immature today. . . . We  don’t have the leadership--yet—that needs to develop so that we can be in situations like this and actually perform better.

No argument from here.

And, finally, again from Self: “The sky isn’t falling.”

At least it is not in the REAL Standings. This was just one projected loss in a season that has three of them. And 5.5 net projected losses. This one will not hurt the Jayhawks in the REAL Standings until some other Tier 1 team takes out Iowa State in Ames. Or one of the other Tier 1 teams on the Road.

For the time being, the Jayhawks just need to take care of business at Home and mature on the Road. The question is whether this particular group of players, with their perimeter shooting deficiencies, wants it and cares about it as much as their predecessors.

OKLAHOMA

OU 74, Okie St 64 (Norman)

Ho-hum. A Tier 1 team taking out a Tier 3 opponent at Home. That’s not what I call Bedlam. More like counting lambs in bed.

                                                TIER 2

TEXAS

UT 61, West Virginia 54 (Austin)

UT’s start epitomizes the REAL Standings’ raison d’etre. If you consider Texas a Tier 1 team, they are tied with Tech atop the Big 12 standings at 2-0. Both teams have beaten two Tier 2 teams, one at Home and one on the Road.

If UT’s shooting woes are behind them (21 of 42 vs. WVU), they are a candidate for a battlefield promotion. IF. Until they show they can do it consistently (2 games do not a trend make), they will remain in Tier 2 for the purposes of the REAL Standings, training Tech by 3.5 games.

BAYLOR

Baylor 81, TCU 85 (Fort Worth)

Both teams’ first game of the conference season went as projected.

TCU

See Baylor

K-STATE

With Kam Stokes back in the lineup, K-State did not embarrass themselves this time out. They even cut a one-time 16 point deficit to 1 (42-43) before being rebuffed.  More importantly, they did not hurt themselves in the REAL Standings by losing as projected to Tech in Lubbock They remain alive pending the return of Dean Wade.

WEST VIRGINIA

The Mountaineers are in the same position as K-State (going from a pre-November favorite to dethrone KU, to having a subpar non-conference record, to opening with a damaging loss at Home followed by a Projected Loss on the Road). The only REAL difference being that WVU’s loss at Home was to Tech, a Tier 1 team, as opposed to UT (a Tier 2 resident—at least for the moment).

                                                TIER 3

OKIE STATE

Represented themselves well on the Road vs an Upper Crust team. But, as is almost always the case with Tier 3 teams on the Road, vs. Tier 1 opponents, no cigar.

                                                PROJECTIONS

1. 13—5

Texas Tech (2-0): Projected L’s: (at KU, at OU, at ISU)
At risk games: (at WVU, at UT, at BU, at KSU, at TCU)

2.  12.5-5.5

ISU (2-0): Projected L’s (at BU, at TT, at KU)
At risk games (at BU, at KSU, at TCU, at UT, at WVU)

KU (1-1): Projected L’s (at TT, at OU)
At risk games (at BU, at WVU, at UT, at KSU, at TCU)

OU (1-1): Projected L’s: ( at TT, at ISU)
At risk games: (at KSU, at UT, at WVU, at BU, at TCU)

5.  8.5-9.5

Texas (2-0): Projected L’s (at KU, at TCU, at ISU, at WVU, at OU, at BU, at TT)
At risk games (at OSU, TT, KU, OU, ISU)

6.  7.5-10,5

Baylor (0-1): Projected L’s (at WVU, at OU, at UT, at TT, at ISU, at KSU, at KU)
At risk games (ISU, KU, at OSU, TT) (0-1)

TCU (1-0): Projected L’s: (at BU, at OU, at KU, at WV, at Tech)
At risk games: (at UT, at K-State, at OSU, at ISU)

8. 7-11

WVU (0-2): Projected L’s (at KSU, at TCU, at ISU, at TT, at KU, at BU, at OU)
At risk games (KU, OU, ISU, at OSU)

9.  6.5-11.5

K-State (0-2): Projected L’s (at ISU, at OU, at BU, at UT, at WVU, at KU, at TCU)
At risk games (TT, at OSU, KU, ISU, OU)

10. 2.5-15.5

Okie St (0-2): Projected L’s (at WVU, at ISU, OU, at TCU, at KU, TT, at UT, at KSU, at TT, KU, at BU)
At risk games (UT, BU, KSU, TCU, WVU)


                                                AS SEEN ON TV (All times CST

Tuesday  

1,         6:00p.m. (ESPNN) **** (Up for Grabs) (the at-risk designation is being changed to “Up for Grabs” in order to provide a more REAListic urgent theme for both teams

            Iowa State’s first REAL challenge of the season, as opposed to their first two Projected victories)

2.          6:00p.m.: Texas at Okie St (ESPNU) ***1/2 (UG) 

            Unless UT loses, we will not learn anything substantive about them until Saturday when they play Tech in Austin.

3.         8:00p.m.: Oklahoma at Texas Tech (ESPNN) *****(projected W: Tech))

            OU gets its second chance in the first three games of the season to take a giant step for Sooner-kind with a W in a Projected Loss game on the Road. Their only remaining opportunity will be on February in Ames (unless UT, TCU, or some other Tier 2 team is promoted to Tier 1 in the meantime).

Wednesday

4.         6:00p.m.  K-State at West Virginia (ESPNU) *** (Projected W: WVU)

            K-State’s chance to make up for its Home loss to Texas and inject itself back into solid Tier 2 Territory. And the Mountaineers’ chance to basically fall off the edge of the Big 12 Earth.

5.         8:00p.m. TCU at KU :***** (ESPN2) (Projected W. KU)

            It is REALly early in the season to talk about Must Wins, but a loss here, and the Jayhawks’ Big 12 streak is in more Jeopardy than Alex Trebek or even Art Fleming could imagine. Being turnover prone is not the way to compensate for Home Losses when you go on the Road.

            As for TCU, a Win here would be the biggest result of the young season and might well earn the Frogs a promotion to Tier 1.

--Mark

REAL Standings: The Gun Also Rises Edition

                                    REAL STANDINGS:  THE GUN ALSO RISES EDITION

            When someone says “Zup,”  is your response, “Nothing. Zup with you?”

            Or “Gun”?

            If the latter, you ere pleased by the first night of the Big 12 basketball season.

                                                CURRENT TIERS

                                                            Tier 1

TEXAS TECH:

Texas Tech draws first blood in Big 12 play, picking up a half game in the REAL Standings with a Road Victory at West Virginia. The Red Raiders did not look particularly good doing it, but any Road W is worth its weight in gold. As a different kind of Raider was wont to say, “Just Win, Baby.”

And Win they did, picking up a half game in the REAL Standings while, in the process, becoming the first team to grab the REAL Standings lead in 2019. Heck, ESPN employed (often) a graphic declaring that Tech has a 48% probability of ending KU’s title streak, while giving the Jayhawks a mere 41% chance of extending it.

As they say in Lubbock: “Gun Zup!”.

IOWA STATE

It is called “taking care of business.”  Although a Road W vs. a Tier 3 opponent is not as weighty as Tech’s Tier 2 Road victory, it is still worth its weight in some kind of semi-precious stone. The Road is a dangerous place, even in low rent neighborhoods. In other words; No ground gained; but, more importantly, none lost.

KU

If you must settle for a Home victory (as opposed to one on the Road), it might as well be against one of your prime competitors. Especially when you make only 4 of 21 shots (19%) from 3-point territory.  That is 12 points on 21 shots. Which is equivalent to 29% on the same number of shots inside the arc, Those are not normally winning numbers. But it helps if your opponent goes 5 for 22.

OKLAHOMA

If you must take a Road loss, where better than at the lair of the 14-time defending champion? No harm done and gets a projected Loss off your schedule.

                                                TIER 2

TEXAS

Tied with Tech for the best W on Opening Night, notwithstanding the fact that K-State was down two starters (Dean Wade and Kamau Stokes) instead of just the one (Wade) that was expected the morning of the game. The normally shooting-challenged Longhorns made 14 of 27 3-point attempts. That’s 42 points on 27 shots. Which is equivalent to going 21 for 27 from inside the arc (78%). Overall, they made 48% of their shots. They have Tier 1 talent if they can shoot like this consistently.

Or are they just teasing their fans? And, yes, they do have basketball fans. As Mr. Ripley would say: “Believe it or Not!”

BAYLOR

Did Not Participate.

TCU

DNP

K-STATE

“Suck” doesn’t even begin to describe K-State’s performance on its Home court. You would be hard pressed to find a K-State fan who would disagree with this assessment. But one game into the Big 12 season, the Wildcats are suddenly desperate. They needed this game to hang around until Dean Wade returns to the lineup. Instead, they start the conference season in the worst possible way: with a Big -1 on their RS record.

Their dream season took a nightmarish turn with the loss of Kamau Stokes in addition to Dean Wade. Wednesday night, they would not have beaten any Big 12 opponent anywhere. If they don’t return to full strength soon,  the man dubbed “Confident Bruce” by one of the Midwest’s top sportswriters, because he finally had a team with talent, experience, success, and moxie, will lose confidence by the day. As a corollary to Jack Palance’s assertion that “Confidence is very sexy, don’t you think,” the lack thereof is not a pretty sight.

WEST VIRGINIA

Had West Virginia played K-State Wednesday night on a neutral court, we might have had the worst Big 12 game of all time. Run that game through a computer simulation 1,000 times, and the likely outcome is 500 losses for K-State and 500 losses for WVU.  No wins. Just a thousand losses.

                                                TIER 3

OKIE STATE

The Cowboys are a notch or two above your typical Tier 2 squad. They will beat someone they shouldn’t at Home. Might even make a run at Movin’ on Up to Tier 2. But it will not be because they beat Iowa State in Stillwater. That ship has sailed.

                                                PROJECTIONS

1. 13—5

Texas Tech (1-0): Projected L’s: (at KU, at OU, at ISU)
At risk games: (at WVU, at UT, at BU, at KSU, at TCU)

2.  12.5-5.5

ISU (1-0): Projected L’s (at BU, at TT, at KU)
At risk games (at BU, at KSU, at TCU, at UT, at WVU)

KU (1-0): Projected L’s (at ISU, at TT, at OU)
At risk games (at BU, at WVU, at UT, at KSU, at TCU)

OU (0-1): Projected L’s: ( at TT, at ISU)
At risk games: (at KSU, at UT, at WVU, at BU, at TCU)

5.  8.5-9.5

Texas (1-0): Projected L’s (at KU, at TCU, at ISU, at WVU, at OU, at BU, at TT)
At risk games (at OSU, TT, KU, OU, ISU)

6.  7.5-10,5

Baylor (0-0): Projected L’s (at TCU, at WVU, at OU, at UT, at TT, at ISU, at KSU, at KU)
At risk games (ISU, KU, at OSU, TT) (0-1)

TCU (0-0): Projected L’s: (at BU, at OU, at KU, at WV, at Tech)
At risk games: (at UT, at K-State, at OSU, at ISU)

8. 7-11

WVU (0-1): Projected L’s (at UT, at KSU, at TCU, at ISU, at TT, at KU, at BU, at OU)
At risk games (KU, OU, ISU, at OSU)

9.  6.5-11.5

K-State (0-1): Projected L’s (at TT, at ISU, at OU, at BU, at UT, at WVU, at KU, at TCU)
At risk games (TT, at OSU, KU, ISU, OU)

10. 2.5-15.5

Okie St (0-1): Projected L’s (ISU, at OU, at WVU, at ISU, OU, at TCU, at KU, TT, at UT, at KSU, at TT, KU, at BU)
At risk games (UT, BU, KSU, TCU, WVU


                                                AS SEEN ON TV
Saturday (All times CST):

1,         1:00p.m.: K-State at Texas Tech (ESPNU) *** (Projected W: Tech)

Lubbock has one of the best heart hospitals in the world. It is called, strangely enough, the Lubbock Heart Hospital. Other than that, Buddy Holly’s Home town is not the place to go to resuscitate the heart of your basketball program.

2.          1:00p.m.: Okie St at Oklahoma*** (Projected W: OU) 

It IS Bedlam, so anything can happen. It’s just that it would be more likely to happen in Stillwater.

3.         3:00p.m.: Baylor at TCU (ESPNU) *** (at risk game)

The inaugural game of the 2019 season for both teams, each motivated primarily by the desire to leave their Tier 2 status in the REAL Standings behind.

4.         4:00p.m. KU at Iowa St (ESPN2) ***** (Projected W: ISU)

Brightening up an otherwise dreary Basketball Saturday, the first game of the season between two teams expected to take the Big 12 race down to the wire. Although a KU Road W here puts everyone else in a world of hurt: As in, “You want some ideas as to where you can shove your 48% probability, Tech?”

5.         8:0p.m.: West Virginia at Texas** (Projected W. UT)

“Dana Holgorsen, you beat Texas in Austin with a 2 point conversion. What are you going to do next?”

“I’m going to move to Houston. How would you like to work on the same campus as Bob Huggins?”

--Mark

PRE-SEASON REAL STANDINGS: 2019

While maneuvering my way through the mob at a Buc-ee’s Travel Store before Christmas, I came upon a tee shirt with the message, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time for a Beer.”

Maybe. Maybe not. Some might prefer July 4. Others might favor Super Bowl Sunday.

But one thing that cannot be disputed is that Now is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Yes, it is the outset of another Big 12 Conference Basketball season.

And this year, the championship is up for grabs. KU’s 14-year streak as conference champion or co-champion is at risk from the word “Go.” It promises to be the wildest chase in the history of the Big 12.  I have  heard pundits mention seven different teams as having at least an outside shot at bringing home the bacon  if they gel hot at the right time and/or receive a break or two along the way.  

The Rodney Daingerfield teams that don’t get no respect are Okie State, Baylor, and Texas. If anyone believes these three teams have shot at the Big 12 title, I have not heard about it,

Which brings us to the REAL Standings.  

Don’t be fooled by what you see in your local newspaper, USA Today, or whatever sports site you visit on the internet. I refer to them as the “Fake Big 12 Standings.” The only information the FBS provides is the number of games each team has already won and already lost. They fail totally to mention  who each team has defeated, who they have lost to, where those games were played, and who they have yet to play and where, or the strength of those teams. You cannot accurately assess any team’s true position vis a vis the rest of the field without knowing these things.

The REAL Standings are based on the premise that the ultimate champion is expected to go undefeated at Home, win every game against the conference’s lowest teams, and win more Road games than anyone else.

Winning on the Road is the fasted way to gain separation from the pack (with losing at Home being the fast track to oblivion):

·         Road W versus a team in the same tier or higher = +1 in the REAL Standings

·         Road W vs. a lower level team + 0

·         Home Loss vs. a team in the same tier or lower = -1

·         Home Loss vs. a higher level team = 0.

What does this mean? It means the first word in “Fake Big 12 Standings” is there for a reason.

            In REALity, a team that is 4-0 according to the FBS might well be in a less advantageous position than a team that is 3-1. Consider the following Tier 1 teams:

·         Team A with three Home victories vs. Tier 2 teams (+0) and a Road Win versus a team in Tier 3 (+0) for a net score of 0.0 (and 6 games remaining against Tier 1 opponents); as opposed to

·         Team B that is 2-1 on the Road versus Tier 1 teams (+2) and 1-0 at Home vs. a Tier 2 opponent (+0) for a net score of +2 (and no remaining Tier 1 Road games).

Whose shoes would you rather be in with 14 games to go?

If you say Team A, the REAL Standings are not for you,

The only subjective part of the REAL Standings is Tier Placement. I base the season’s original placements on an assessment of Ken Pomeroy’s computer rankings at Kenpom.com, the AP and Coaches polls, and the eye test.

Tier 1 teams are generally those that appear to be legitimate contenders for the conference title.

Those assigned to Tier 2 are respectable teams that look capable of beating anyone at Home but are not likely to win consistently on the Road.   

Tier 3 teams are essentially byes at Home and probable Wins on the Road for the teams in Tier 1. They will generally be competitive at Home vs. Tier 2 opponents.

Anyone who disagrees with my placements, feel free to use your own and apply the objective scoring for your own REAL Standings.                                      

                                                PRE-SEASON TIERS

                        Tier 1: The Contenders (in alphabetical order)

IOWA STATE

The Cyclones have not REALly met the eye test in the non-conference season. However, they are ranked No. 18 by Kenpom, and they received votes this week in both the AP and Coaches polls. Plus, Lindell Wigginton, their best player, is slowly working himself back into the lineup after missing much of the pre-conference season with a foot injury. Not to mention Solomon Young wo, while not a difference maker by himself, adds much needed front court depth. At full strength, ISU promises to be a team that could win every game at Home and will be a handful for everyone they play on the Road. At full strength, this could be a dangerous, dangerous team.

KU

The Jayhawks are vulnerable if they cannot score consistently from the perimeter. But they have the best player in the league (Dedric Lawson); the biggest, baddest force inside the lane (though not at the line) in the Big 12; a Senior Sometimes  Sharpshooter who, in another era, could have  served as the inspiration for Jerry Reed’s hit song  “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” (while also  illustrating the corollary “When you’re Not, You’re Not”); and a pair of freshman guards (Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes) who could turn Title  No. 15 into a formality if they come of age early in the conference season.

KenPom Ranking: 6

AP Poll: 5

Coaches Poll: 6

OKLAHOMA

Are the Sooners a better team without Trae the Trey?

You know, as in being a REAL team instead of an NBA player and associates?

No doubt Lon Kruger enjoyed coaching Trae. But focusing on one player is not Kruger’s preference—as it wasn’t when he was the Big 8’s MVP two years in a row running the point for K-State. In large part because of the Man from Silver Lake, they get the benefit of the doubt early on.

Kenpom rank: No. 24

AP Poll: 23

Coaches Poll: 25

TEXAS TECH

I started last season reluctantly placing the Red Raiders in Tier 1. But they proved their worth as the year progressed, even taking the pole position away from KU for a while before their AA caliber guard, Keenan Evans, was injured late in the season and then dropping one of the wildest games in the history of the conference to KU in Lubbock.

This year, they have taken seriously by pundits everywhere from the word “Go.” I have no hesitation at placing them in the REAL Standings’ stratosphere.

Kenpom Rank: No. 11

AP Poll: 11

Coaches Poll: 11

                                                TIER 2 (The Competitors)

BAYLOR

Which Drew would you [refer as your basketball coach: Scott or Barrymore?

It is not a trick question. As much as I have dissed Scott Drew’s game management in the past, I would probably take him over Drew Barrymore. As they say in the current AT&T commercial campaign, he’s okay (and his record shows it).

Baylor’s non-conference losses include Texas Southern (Kenpom Np. 202), Ole Miss (47), Wichita State (117) and Stephen F Austin (184). On the plus side, the Bears have defeated Arizona (56) on the Road and Oregon (39) at Home to keep them out of the dung heap otherwise known as Tier 3.

Kenpom Rank: No. 59

K-STATE

The Wildcats return all five starters from am Elite 8 team that took out Kentucky along the way. Their returnees included two of the conference’s ten best players from 2018 (Dean Wade and Barry Brown) and the Big 12’s pre-season player of the year (Wade). They were the coaches’ pre-season choice as the team most likely to dethrone KU.

Then the season started. K-State began shooting like its mascot should be the Bricklayers. Dean Wade became tentative, acting as if shooting the ball was one of the seven deadly sins.  They were not impressive when they won, and they were even less impressive when they lost in an uncompetitive effort at Marquette (Kenpom N0. 28) and a loss at Tulsa (124) in which it appeared they had left bottles of their 5 Hour Energy in Manhattan.

Then Wade was injured  anew and is currently expected to be out for a major portion of the conference season. Unless K-State is, for some reason, better without him in the lineup than with him (they did make their Elite 8 run, including their Win over Kentucky with him injured) (and they are undefeated this year since he went down), Tier 2 is their lot.

Kenpom Rank: No. 35

AP Poll: Others receiving votes

Coaches Poll: Others receiving votes

TEXAS

First, the good news for Longhorn fans: UT has beaten North Carolina (Kenpom No/ 7) and Arkansas (57) on a neutral court, and they gave Michigan St (5) all they could handle on a neutral court before fading late 68-78. They also defeated Purdue (19) in Austin.

But those losses! SMH. Two straight at Home to Radford (127) and VCU (70), as well as a third Home loss to Providence (66). You don’t contend for championships by losing at Home to lesser teams.

Kenpom Rank: No. 36

TCU

The Horned Frogs have not done anything yet to justify placement in Tier 1. They are 11-1, but their best victory is 77-69 over unranked Fresno State. And they lost 64-73 to Kenpom’s No. 60 team,Belmont. One good win on the Road, and they could stake their claim to Tier 1 placement.

Kenpom rank: 23

AP Poll: Others Receiving Votes

Coaches Poll: Others Receiving Votes

WEST VIRGINIA

The Mountaineers were expected to be one of the primary threats to KU’s quest for No. 15, But as of New Year’s Day, they have accomplished approximately nothing. Their best Win is versus Kenpom No. 84 Pitt. They have lost to Buffalo (Kenpom No. 29) at Home, as well as Western Kentucky (108), Florida (27), and Rhode Island (194) in neutral settings.

Change that: They have accomplished Exactly nothing.

Not to say they couldn’t come around. But they need to do it first to climb out of Tier 2.

Kenpom rank: No. 50

                                                TIER 3 (The Irrelevants)

OKIE STATE

            They did beat LSU (Kenpom No 40) on a neutral court. Other than that, the less said the better.

Kenpom Rank: No. 86

                                    PRE-SEASON PROJECTIONS

1. 12.5—5.5

ISU: Projected L’s (at BU, at TT, at KU)
At risk games (at BU, at KSU, at TCU, at UT, at WVU)

KU: Projected L’s (at ISU, at TT, at OU)
At risk games (at BU, at WVU, at UT, at KSU, at TCU)

OU: Projected L’s: (at KU, at TT, at ISU)
At risk games: (at KSU, at UT, at WVU, at BU, at TCU)

Texas Tech: Projected L’s: (at KU, at OU, at ISU)
At risk games: (at WVU, at UT, at BU, at KSU, at TCU)

5. 7.5-10,5

Baylor: Projected L’s (at TCU, at WVU, at OU, at UT, at TT, at ISU, at KSU, at KU)
At risk games (ISU, KU, at OSU, TT)

K-State: Projected L’s (at TT, at ISU, at OU, at BU, at UT, at WVU, at KU, at TCU)
At risk games (TT, at OSU, KU, ISU, OU)

Texas: Projected L’s (at KSU, at KU, at TCU, at ISU, at WVU, at OU, at BU, at TT)
At risk games (at OSU, TT, KU, OU, ISU)

TCU: Projected L’s: (at BU, at OU, at KU, at WV, at Tech)
At risk games: (at UT, at K-State, at OSU, at ISU)

WVU: Projected L’s (at UT, at KSU, at TCU, at ISU, at TT, at KU, at BU, at OU)
At risk games (TT, KU, OU, ISU, at OSU)

10. 2.5-15.5

Okie St: Projected L’s (ISU, at OU, at WVU, at ISU, OU, at TCU, at KU, TT, at UT, at KSU, at TT, KU, at BU)
At risk games (UT, BU, KSU, TCU, WVU)


                                                AS SEEN ON TV
Wednesday:

6:00p.m.: Texas Tech at West Virginia (ESPNU) **** (At-risk game)

If West Virginia wants to turn its season around and contend for its first Big 12 championship in one of the two sports that matter, this would a good time to do it.

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

Okie St might well hang an L on one of the contenders. They have some talent, and they compete as hard as anyone. This could be their best chance, what with Lindell Wigginton still not at full strength.

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

Both teams have had trouble making shots. First to 60 wins? How about 55? Would you believe 50?

8:00p.m. Oklahoma at KU (ESPN2) ***** (Projected W: KU)

Kruger and Kompany try to strike a blow for freedom for 9 Big 12 teams. A KU loss at Home this early in the season could make for a long two months of playing in catch-up mode for the Jayhawks.

--Mark

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