WEEKEND WRAP-UP Damn you, Iowa State. I always note in the pre-season that the REAL Standings are flexible, and teams can be re-characterized during the season based on their performance. But I didn't expect to have to make adjustments eight days into the conference race. It is a royal pain to have to adjust the projected standings of the entire league based on every Contender's game in Ames changing from a projected w to at-risk status, and all of the Pretenders' games at Hilton Coliseum changing from at-risk games to projected L's-not to mention Colorado's only projected win (at home vs. ISU) being mercilessly yanked out of their W column.
But what can I do? The Cyclones have a win on the road, a win vs. Nebraska at home, and took the conference's best team into overtime at home. They have clearly elevated themselves above Colorado and have entered the same stratosphere as the likes of k-state, Mizzou, Tech, Baylor, Nebraska, and OU.
In retrospect, the game in Ames was an at-risk game for the Jayhawks-and with all the talk, justified as it is, about KU's schedule advantage, the Hawks are the only Contender to face this particular at-risk situation: A&M, Okie St, and Texas all play Iowa St at home and only at home.
But what about Mizzou? With Iowa St movin' on up, shouldn't Mizzou, losers of two home games already, assume the Cyclones old position in the Pit of Despair?
That could certainly happen at some point. However, Mizzou is better than their 0-2 record at home would suggest. They have been in position to win both games, falling to Iowa St on a last second shot, and letting a great opportunity against k-state slip out of their grasp on a breakaway missed dunk that would be legendary were it not for Arthur Johnson and his famous Falling Down Dunk.
So let's give Mizzou the benefit of the doubt (have those words ever been used before in a sentence?) for the time being.
REAL STANDINGS AS OF JANUARY 14, 2007 .
Kansas (2-0) (No projected L's; at risk games at Tech, at Baylor, at NU, at Mizzou, at k-state, at OU)
Texas A&M (3-0) (projected L's at KU, at Okie St, at UT; at risk games at Tech, at NU, at OU)
Oklahoma St (1-1) (projected L's at A&M, at UT at risk games: at NU, vs. OU, at Tech, at Baylor)
Texas (3-0) (projected L's at Okie St, at A&M, at KU; at risk games at NU, at Tech, at Baylor, at OU)
Iowa St (2-1)
(projected L's at Okie St, at A&M, at UT, at k-state, at KU, at NU; at risk game at CU)
k-state (1-2) (projected L's at ISU, at UT, at KU, at NU, at Okie St; at risk games vs. KU, at CU)
Texas Tech (2-1)
(projected L's at Mizzou, at OU, at Okie St, at A&M, at UT, at ISU; at risk games vs. KU, vs. A&M, vs. UT, vs. Okie St)
Nebraska (0-1) (projected L's at OU, at k-state, at Mizzou, at Tech, at KU, at Baylor; at risk games vs. Okie St, vs. UT, vs. KU, vs. A&M, at CU)
Mizzou (0-3) (projected L's at KU, at k-state, at ISU, at Okie St, at NU, at A&M; at risk games at CU, vs. KU)
(projected L's at Okie St, at A&M, at Baylor, at ISU, at Mizzou, at k-state; at risk games vs. Okie St, vs. A&M, vs. UT, vs. KU)
(projected L's at k-state, at OU, at UT, at ISU at Mizzou, at A&M, at Tech; at risk games vs. KU, vs. UT, vs. Okie St)
(projected L's at NU, at KU, at Baylor, vs. Okie St, at k-state, vs. KU, at Tech, at ISU, at Mizzou; at risk games vs. ISU, vs. Mizzou, vs. k-state, vs. NU)
GAMES TO WATCH
The Weekday Big XII Games, with IQ (Interest Quotient) are:
1. Mizzou at KU**1/2 (8:00p.m.)
The only thing that recommends this game is that it is KU vs. Mizzou. That always has to be worth at least a glance at the tube, regardless of the cavernous difference between the teams. Kinda like Duke at UNC this year.
2. Texas at Okie St**** (8:00p.m.)
UT was projected to be 3-0 at this point: How could they not be with a game at Boulder and two home games vs. Mizzou and OU? This is their first legitimate road game in conference play. If they somehow win this game, they are for real, four freshmen starters and all, and Okie St can start making plans for the conference tournament just down the road from Stillwater.
3. Baylor at k-state***
k-state lost at home (Tech) and won on the road (Mizzou) last week. Baylor needs that trend to continue to thrust itself into the fight for the Big 12's fifth NCAA tourney slot.
4. Iowa St at Colorado*1/2 (7:00p.m. MST)
The ONLY reason to be interested in this game is to see if the Cyclones are worthy of their promotion in the REAL Standings.
5. Nebraska at Oklahoma**1/2 (7:00p.m.)
Only Nebraska's second conference game, thanks to the weather Saturday. Not exactly the glamour game that the football game between these two teams has so often been through the years.