First, some amusing media moments from the past week:
• Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman wrote last Sunday:
The bet here is Missouri wins the Big 12 basketball title. Love their intensity, athleticism and Mike Anderson’s coaching.
Kirk, apparently, is not a REAL Standings aficionado. Which is surprising, being the No. 1 columnist on a fairly large newspaper, notwithstanding that his readership is lacking in basketball fanatics. Had Kirk heeded the lessons of the REAL Standings, he would have REALized that Mizzou, whatever you think of its intensity, athleticism and coaching, was always a long shot, at best, to win the Big 12 title. As noted in the pre-season REAL Standings, Mizzou (along with K-State), started the conference season two full games behind KU, UT, and A&M. They would need to be head and shoulders above the rest of the pack to make up that kind of disadvantage.
• Fran Fraschilla, during the K-State/Okie St game, stated ad nauseum that its victory would give the Cowboys their first quality win this season. Fran makes the common mistake of giving a team credit for winning a game on its Home Court. Repeat after me, Fran: “Home Wins prove nothing.” You win championships and earn respect on the Road and on neutral courts. Call me when Okie St beats a good team somewhere other than Gallagher-Iba Arena.
• Jason King (former KU beat writer) tweeted: “The Big 12 is 11 deep this year.”
Two problems with this comment: First, what does he mean by “deep”? If he means “adequate,” he might be close. Second, even assuming he means “adequate,” where does he find 11 teams that fit that description? Tech and Oklahoma both suck out loud. Twelve minus two equals ten. Plus, Iowa St and Nebraska still need to demonstrate that they are even adequate. Playing each other to a standstill is hardly persuasive. Not saying they aren’t adequate. But who knows?
As an aside, Jason tweeted after the KU/Michigan game that KU is not the best team in the Big 12 right now: He says UT is, but KU will catch and pass them as the year progresses. I agree on both counts, IF KU can find someone with a handle to run the offense. . .
Nothing particularly noteworthy happened Saturday. Colorado and Okie St both picked up ½ game in the REAL Standings by taking out Mizzou and K-State respectively in games that were labeled as at-risk games for all parties prior to those games. The only REAL significance of these games is that Mizzou and K-State, already two games back before setting foot on the court in their season openers, already trailed the three leaders by two full games. Both were in dire need of winning all four of their at-risk games--a tall order, indeed. Now, they are faced with the even taller order of going at least 3-1 in their four Road games vs. their other Tier One opponents. Their title hopes, one game into the sixteen game season, are now hanging by a thread. A flimsy thread.
Baylor picked up ½ game with a W in Lubbock in an at-risk game. That’s the one good thing about Tier Two status: you get credit for taking down a Bottom Feeder on the Road.
Meanwhile, A&M, taking out Oklahoma, the other Tier Three team, was of no REAL consequence. A Tier one team beating a Level Three team, even on the Road, is meaningless. It is merely knocking a projected W off the schedule.
Likewise, Nebraska’s Home court victory over Iowa St, a fellow Level Two team, also a projected W, had no effect on the REAL Standings.
THE 1/9/11 REAL STANDINGS
1. Tier One (Contenders): KU, K-State, Mizzou, Texas A&M, UT.
2. Tier Two (Competitors): Baylor, Colorado, Iowa St, Okie St, Nebraska.
3. Tier Three (Bottom-feeders): Oklahoma, Texas Tech.
KU (0-0) Projected L’s: at K-State, at Mizzou Losable games: at ISU, at BU, at CU, at NU
UT (0-0) Projected L’s: at KU, at A&M Losable games: at OSU, at NU, at CU, at BU
A&M (1-0) Projected L’s: at UT, at KU Losable games: at NU, at CU, at OSU, at BU
K-State (0-1) Projected L’s: at Mizzou, at A&M, at KU, at UT Losable games: at ISU, at CU, at NU
Mizzou (0-1) Projected L’s: at A&M, at UT, at KU, at K-State Losable games: at OSU, at ISU, at NU
Baylor (1-0) Projected L’s: at ISU, at K-State, at A&M, at UT, at Mizzou, at OSU Losable games: vs. KU, at OU, vs. A&M, vs. UT
Okie St (1-0) Projected L’s: at A&M, at CU, at Baylor, at NU, at UT, at KU Losable games: vs. UT, at Tech, vs. Mizzou, vs. A&M, at OU
Colorado (1-0) Projected L’s: at K-State, at NU, at BU, at Mizzou, at KU, at ISU Losable games: vs. Mizzou, at OU, vs. KU, vs. A&M, vs. K-State, at Tech, vs. UT
Iowa St (0-1) Projected L’s: at OSU, at Mizzou, at CU, at KU, at A&M, at UT, at K-State Losable games: vs. KU, vs. K-State, vs. Mizzou
Nebraska(1-0) Projected L’s: at Mizzou, at KU, at K-State, at BU, at ISU, at CU Losable games: at Tech, vs. A&M, vs. KU, at OU, vs. UT, vs. K-State, vs. Mizzou
Oklahoma (0-1) Projected L’s: at BU, at UT, at ISU, at OSU, vs. UT, at Mizzou, at K-State, at A&M, vs. KU, at Tech Losable games: vs. CU, vs. BU, vs. NU, vs. OSU
Texas Tech (0-1) Projected L’s: vs. UT, at K-State, at OU, at ISU, vs KU, vs. A&M, at UT, at Mizzou, at Baylor, at OSU, at A&M Losable games: vs. NU, vs. OSU, vs. CU
What to Watch
1. UT at Tech (6:00)* (Projected W: UT)
The Longhorns can leave their anti-perspirant in Austin. They shouldn’t work up a sweat in this game.
2. Oklahoma at Baylor (8:00)* (Projected W: Baylor)
An H&H game. A REAL Ho-Hummer.
3. Nebraska at Mizzou (6:00)**( (Projected W: Mizzou)
How good is Mizzou, REALly? And is Nebraska REALly adequate? This game could offer some clues both ways.
4. Okie St at A&M (7:00)*** (Projected W: A&M)
Okay, Okie St. This is your chance to pick up your first quality win of the season. If you do, tell Fran to call me.
5. Colorado at K-State (8:00)*** (Projected W: K-State)
K-State desperately needs to figure out some way of winning its final game before Curtis Kelley returns from Dillard’s—errr, suspension. If they don’t, the conference season will be past the point of no return.
6. KU at Iowa St (8:00)**** (At risk game)
I don’t know if Iowa St is adequate. I imagine, however, that they are as good as Michigan. The Hawks better come ready to play 40 minutes of energetic and smart basketball—something they have not done yet this season. If they don’t, the Basketball Gods might not smile on them in the closing seconds this time. . .