Doug Bell introduced the Big 12 double-header Saturday by proclaiming that "The Big 12 has been anything but predictable in conference play." He also stated that Texas Tech, "easily favored, [faces] a Tiger team fueled by Mike Anderson's energy and the prospect of a W."
Again, it is enough to make you wonder why people who get paid to talk about college basketball are so lazy they make comments that might sound like they make sense at first blush, but are, in REALity, stupid. Or is this merely the natural extension of the Vitale-ization of college basketball.
In truth, the Big 12 has been extremely predictable. Although the REAL Standings do not purport to be predictions, if you had based predictions on them, you would have been 6 for 6 Saturday: All the Home Teams were projected winners, and they all won.
No change in the REAL Standings.
In fact, the only surprises thus far in the conference season have been in the middle of the standings: Tech's victory at k-state; k-state's victories at Mizzou and Iowa St, and Iowa St's victory at Mizzou. These are the only games in which a Projected Winner bit the dust.
The few other games in which some non-discriminating media types have expressed surprise were not surprises at all: Tech losing at Baylor (that was a Projected W for Baylor); Iowa St losing at Colorado (in an at-risk game for ISU); KU losing at Tech (in an at-risk game for KU); and A&M losing at Tech (in an at-risk game for A&M). That's it: unless you count Mizzou achieving its first conference victory over CU in Boulder (in an at-risk game for Mizzou), which hardly sent shock waves through the conference.
As for Tech being "easily favored" over Mizzou, the Tigers were a 3 point Home favorite and a projected winner in the REAL Standings.
To paraphrase a motto from the political arena: "It's the Home Court, Stupid."
One more thing: maybe Randy Riggs of the Austin American-Statesman should ask this question: "If Baylor and Mizzou have only 1 and 2 conference wins respectively what does that make Texas Tech?" Suffice it to say: "Not a REAL Contender."
"THE" REAL STANDINGS AS OF JANUARY 28, 2007
(No projected L's; at risk games at NU, at Mizzou, at k-state, at OU)
(projected L's at A&M, at KU; at risk games at Tech, at Baylor, at OU)
Texas A&M (5-1)
(projected L's at KU, at Okie St, at UT; at risk games at NU, at OU)
Oklahoma St (4-2)
(projected L's at UT at risk games: at NU, at OU, at Tech, at Baylor)
(projected L's at UT, at KU, at NU, at Okie St; at risk games vs. KU, at CU)
Texas Tech (4-2)
(projected L's at OU, at Okie St, at A&M, at UT, at ISU; at risk games vs. UT, vs. Okie St)
Iowa St (2-4)
(projected L's at A&M, at UT, at k-state, at KU, at NU)
(projected L's at k-state, at ISU, at Okie St, at NU, at A&M; at risk games vs. KU)
(projected L's at Mizzou, at Tech, at KU, at Baylor; at risk games vs. KU, vs. A&M, at CU, vs. Okie St)
(projected L's 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 ISU at Mizzou, at A&M, at Tech; at risk games vs. UT, vs. Okie St)
(projected L's at Baylor, vs. Okie St, at k-state, vs. KU, at Tech, at ISU, at Mizzou; at risk games vs. k-state, vs. NU)
The Early Week Big XII Games, with IQ (Interest Quotient) are:
1. KU at Nebraska***1/2 (8:00p.m.)-Swing Game: No Projection
NU had a seven foot shot in the closing seconds to take down UT. Who do you think the Huskers would prefer to beat: UT or KU? This is a dangerous, dangerous game for the Jayhawks, especially if they are peeking ahead to Saturday.
2. Longwood at Oklahoma* (7:00p.m.)
I thought Longwood Longwood was suspended. Shouldn't this game have been played in October-around UT weekend, when it could have gotten all the attention it deserved?
3. Colorado at Baylor* (7:30p.m.)-Projected W: Baylor
Speaking of games that should have been played in October.
Or September. . .
4. Iowa St at A&M*1/2 (6:30p.m.)-Projected W: A&M
It just keeps getting worse and worse for the Cyclones.
5. Mizzou at k-state***1/2 (8:00p.m.)-Projected W: k-state
Revenge is a dish best served cold. Mizzou is intent on ridding its palate of that foul tasting loss to k-state at home-highlighted by a Marshall Brown blown breakaway dunk just when it looked as if the Tigers were about to take control of the game. But can Mizzou take its game on the road? (No, Colorado doesn't count-I'm talking about the REAL Road, where more the attendance is greater than 93.) Still, the Revenge Factor makes this game one to keep an eye on as a potential upset.
6. Texas at Texas Tech**** (8:00p.m.)- Swing Game: No projection
Can Tech take down its third Contender at home in less than two weeks. It will be intriguing to see what Bobby Knight devises for Durant, Augustin, Abrams, et al. Don't miss this one. Better yet, split your screen between this game and the one in Manhattan.