BIG XII RECAP
I read in the "news"paper this morning that KU had moved into sole possession of second place in the Big 12 with its victory over OU, coupled with CU's loss in Ames.
Maybe they should call it the oldpaper. Anyone who has been following the REAL Standings--which takes into account who you have played and where, and who you have left to play and where-knows that KU has been in sole possession of second place since its Road wins at College Station and Ames. KU's ultra-dramatic victory over OU, which was a projected W in the REAL Standings, was a "what else is new" non-event-much the same as the Hawks' ultra-dramatic loss in Columbia, which was a projected L.
The Jayhawks' victory simply maintained their one full game lead over the Sooners.
The psychological benefits of a bunch of freshmen and sophomores coming from 16 down in the final minutes of the game and walking off the court with a one point victory in a tight, 40 minute, heavyweight bout cannot be overstated, but that's not a REAL Standings Story. Maybe one for the surREAL Standings. . .
As for the REAL REAL Standings, the Hawks were helped to some extent by Colorado's loss to Iowa St, because that was an at-risk game for the Buffs. Falling in Ames, therefore, dropped the Buffs an additional half game behind KU.
The only other game that had any effect on the REAL Standings was k-state's ultimate demise at home vs. Okie St. Pit of Oblivion: Meet (or re-meet) k-state. Looks like new-coach-time both east and west of Lawrence on I-70.
THE REAL STANDINGS
The REAL Standings* as of February 6, 2006, are:
Texas (L at OU/No projected L's/at risk games: at Texas Tech, A&M)
Kansas (L's vs. k-state, at Mizzou/projected L at UT/at risk games at NU)
Colorado (L's at UT, vs. KU, at ISU/projected L at KU/at risk games at A&M, NU)
Oklahoma (L at Nebraska, vs. Mizzou, at KU/projected L's at CU, UT/at risk game: at Tech)
Nebraska (L's vs. ISU, at KU, at CU/projected L's at UT, ISU, A&M/at risk game vs. KU, at MU)
Texas Tech (L's at A&M, UT, OU, at KU/projected L's at CU, NU/at risk games: vs. UT, at Baylor)
A&M (L's vs. OU, at OSU, at k-state, vs. KU, at OU at UT/projected L at Tech/at risk games: at Baylor, at Mizzou)
Iowa St (L's vs. UT, at Tech, vs. A&M, vs. KU/projected L's at KU, OU, CU/at risk games: at Baylor, at k-state)
GAMES TO WATCH
Big XII Games February 6-8, with IQ (Interest Quotient) are:
1. Texas at Texas Tech (Mon. at 8p.m.)***1/2
Tech is outmatched. But they are at home and have followed the REAL Standings script precisely to this point in the season: Winning their home conference games; losing their Road games. They might not have the inside strength to stay with UT 40 minutes, but they could give a good accounting of themselves for 30 or so.
2. Mizzou at Baylor (Tue. at 7p.m.) ½*
Someone suggested to me recently that I give games less than a full one star ranking. I hadn't thought of it previously, because it didn't occur to me that there could be a college basketball game so dreadful. I was wrong.
3. Colorado at A&M (Wed. 6p.m.)****
A truly big game for both teams. CU can solidify its position as a Top 4 team. A&M is not likely to get there this year, but can enhance its credentials for an NIT slot.
4. Iowa St at k-state (Wed. at 6:30p.m.)***
k-state has officially been P.O.ed, but is still competing, which is a tribute to its Dead Coach Walking-unlike the situation in Columbia, where even the "coach" has given up.
5. KU at Nebraska (Wed. at 6:30p.m.)****1/2
This is your classic trap game. KU is coming off its biggest win-indeed, its biggest game of the season. And they are playing a team they dominated in every phase of the game earlier this season. How can a team as young as KU possibly take this game seriously? Well, they better. NU will take it seriously. They are out to atone for the fiasco in Lawrence. And they are at home--where they almost always play KU tough and have already downed OU. This is a dangerous, dangerous game for the Hawks. One of the biggest tests the rest of the conference season, along with the games at Stillwater and Austin.
6. OU at Okie St (Wed. at 6p.m.)*****
Okie St might currently reside in the Real Standings' Pit of Oblivion, but they also reside in Gallagher-Iba Arena. For OU, it is out of KU's frying pan into Okie St's fryer. The Bedlam Series is afoot!
Go Big Blue!
*Texas, KU, OU, and CU, the Tier One teams, are projected to win all of their home games, lose their road games vs. other Tier One teams, and to be "at risk" in road games vs. Tier Two teams.
The Tier Two teams are projected to win all home games with the exception of games vs. Tier One teams. They are projected to lose all road games vs. Tier One and Two teams. They are "at risk" against Tier One teams at home and on the road against the bottom-feeders.
As always, teams can move up or down in status with meaningful road wins and embarrassing (or enough) home losses.