REAL Standings: A Knight's Tale

MID-WEEK WRAP-UP

All Right. I confess. I did not see Tech over A&M coming.

I have seen a lot of basketball over a lot of years, and feel that even if I can't predict upsets, I have a feel for when a potential upset might be in the air. But not this time. The only explanation I have for it is that A&M is new to the world of big time basketball and not used to having a target on its back. Sorta like KU winning emotional games at UT and vs. k-state on consecutive weekends in football to take the lead in the big 12 North and move into the Top 5 in the BCS rankings-then losing to Iowa St at home, playing like they expect to be protected by the home field and their national ranking.

Well, it doesn't work that way.

As a result, A&M drops to 2nd place in the REAL Standings, as the Aggies still have tough Road trips to Norman, Austin, and Stillwater.

The Good News for the Aggies is that their trip to Stillwater has been re-characterized as an at-risk game, as opposed to a Projected L. I was asked the other day why Okie St was still a Tier 1 team in spite of their pathetic performances on the Road. My explanation was that I generally place teams in Tier 1 if they appear capable of winning all their Home games and half their Road games (regardless of whether they actually do so or not), and I have a practice of not changing teams' tiers unless I can no longer articulate a basis for maintaining the status quo. And, hey, Okie St was (and is) still undefeated at Home.

Normally, a mere loss on the Road to UT would not result in a lowering of status. I was waiting expectantly for a loss at Home before attending to that unpleasant detail. But Road losses of 30 to KU, 18 to A&M, 29 to UT, and 12 to Color-freakin'-ado, is too much to rationalize. Tier 2, meet the Cowboys, undefeated Home record and all.

Otherwise, the Mid-week portion of the Big 12 schedule was without intrigue. Iowa St beat OU at Home as projected. Nebraska beat k-state at Home as projected. Mizzou beat Baylor at Home as projected. And KU put in its time in Boulder, going through the motions in picking up its projected W.

REAL STANDINGS AS OF FEBRUARY 16, 2007

1. 12.5-3.5

Kansas (9-2)

(projected L at k-state; at risk game at OU)

2. 12-4

Texas A&M (9-2)

(projected L at UT; at risk games at OU, at OSU)

3. 11.5-4.5

k-state (7-4)

(at risk game at Okie St)

4. 11-5

Texas (8-3)

(projected L's at KU; at risk games at Baylor, at OU)

5. 8-8

Texas Tech (5-6)

(projected L's at UT, at ISU)

6. 7.5-8.5

Oklahoma (6-5)

(projected L's at Mizzou, at k-state; at risk games vs. A&M, vs. UT, vs. KU)

Nebraska (4-6)

(projected L's at KU, at Baylor; at risk games at CU)

8. 7-9

Oklahoma St (5-5)

(projected L's at Tech, at Baylor, at NU; at risk game vs. A&M, at k-state)

9.. 6-10

Iowa St (4-7)

(projected L's at k-state, at KU, at NU)

Mizzou (4-7)

(projected L's at Okie St, at NU, at A&M)

11. 4.5-11.5

Baylor (2-9)

(projected L's at A&M, at Tech; at risk games vs. UT)

12. 2.5-13.5

Colorado (2-9)

(projected L's at Tech, at ISU, vs. k-state, at Mizzou; at risk game vs. NU)

UPCOMING GAMES

Saturday's Big XII Games, with IQ (Interest Quotient) are:

1. Mizzou at Okie St** (1:30p.m.)

Okie St returns Home after failing again to compete on the Road. They will be in an unhappy mood. They will not take kindly to their embarrassing downward movement tin the REAL Standings. Expect them to take out their frustrations on the Tigers.

2. A&M at OU**** (2:30p.m.)

The Aggies were fortunate to defeat the Sooners in College Station. This time, they will be fighting for their championship dreams. Rated R for Strong Language, Violence and Adult Situations.

3. Nebraska at KU*1/2 (3:00p.m.)

Nebraska looked pretty good in their win over k-state game. The score will not ever be 43-8 this time around, but that's about all that will change.

4. Iowa St at k-state**1/2 (5:00p.m.)

This is where k-state needs to act like a Tier 1 team and make easy work of Iowa St at Home.

5. Colorado at Tech* (6;30p.m.)

Rated B for Boring. Tech still has a long way to go to rid itself of the taste of a Bobby Knight 5 game losing streak. You think he was tired of losing to Purdue. . .

6. UT at Baylor**1/2 (7:00p.m.)

Baylor played UT tough for 39 minutes in Austin. Does that portend a long day in Waco for Durant and Co., or does it mean that UT will take the Bears seriously and dispose of them handily?

–Mark

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