Yeah, yeah, yeah. KU and UT both picked up ½ game in the REAL Standings by taking down Second Tier opponents on the Road (Colorado and Okie State respectively). But that is by the bye: these feats, while impressive in a vacuum, merely resulted in the two teams treading the proverbial H20 vis-à-vis each other; i.e., the REAL Standings gap between the two remained one full game—13.5-12.5 instead of 13-12.
The REAL move was made by Texas Tech, the third ROAD Runner beep-beeping its way through MTW portion of this week’s schedule. The Red Raiders treated Iowa St the way Acme Products treats Wile E. Coyote. In achieving the rarest of REAL Standings outcomes--prevailing on the Road to a Higher Tier team, the Techsters picked up a full game in the RS. Heck, I’d give them two games were it mathematically possible.
Or is it possible? A promotion to Tier 2 would result in an additional improvement of two full games in the REAL Standings: Projected Losses vs. KU and A&M being reclassified as at-risk games; and at-risk games vs. Okie St and Colorado being changed to Projected W’s.
A win by Tech on Saturday, vs. Okie St, will erase any concern about elevating it into the rarefied (and relatively better smelling) Tier Two Air.
As a corollary, because a lot of actions have a reaction, Iowa St is looking at movement in the opposite direction with another Home loss to another Tier Three Team (Oklahoma).
The only one of the four early week games of no consequence in the REAL Standings was K-State, as projected, outlasting Baylor in a Manhattan Foul Fest.
REAL STANDINGS: 1-27-11
Tier One (Contenders): KU, K-State, Mizzou, Texas A&M, UT.
Tier Two (Competitors): Baylor, Colorado, Iowa St, Okie St, Nebraska.
Tier Three (Bottom-feeders): Oklahoma, Texas Tech.
UT (5-0) Projected L’s: at A&M
Losable games: at NU, at CU, at BU
KU (4-1) Projected L’s: at K-State, at Mizzou
Losable games: at NU
A&M (4-1) Projected L’s: at KU
Losable games: at NU, at CU, at OSU, at BU
Mizzou (3-2) Projected L’s: at UT, at KU, at K-State
Losable games: at OSU, at ISU, at NU
K-State (2-4) Projected L’s: at KU, at UT
Losable games: at ISU, at CU, at NU
Baylor (3-3) Projected L’s: at A&M, at UT, at Mizzou, at OSU
Losable games: at OU, vs. A&M, vs. UT
Colorado (3-3) Projected L’s: at BU, at Mizzou, at KU, at ISU
Losable games: vs. A&M, vs. K-State, at Tech, vs. UT
Okie St (2-4) Projected L’s: at NU, at UT, at KU
Losable games: at Tech, vs. Mizzou, vs. A&M, at OU
Nebraska(2-3) Projected L’s: at K-State, at BU, at ISU, at CU
Losable games: vs. A&M, vs. KU, at OU, vs. UT, vs. K-State, vs. Mizzou
Iowa St (1-5) Projected L’s: at CU, at KU, at A&M, at UT, at K-State
Losable games: vs. K-State, vs. Mizzou
Texas Tech (2-4) Projected L’s: vs. KU, vs. A&M, at UT, at Mizzou, at Baylor, at OSU, at A&M
Losable games: vs. OSU, vs. CU
Oklahoma (2-3) Projected L’s: at ISU, at OSU, vs. UT, at Mizzou, at K-State, at A&M, vs. KU, at Tech
Losable games: vs. BU, vs. NU, vs. OSU
WHAT TO WATCH
1. Colorado at Baylor (12:30)***(Projected W: Baylor)
Shot clock? We don’t need no stinkin’ shot clock.
2. Texas A&M at Nebraska (1:00)***1/2 (At risk game)
A&M cannot afford to lose any game against a Tier Two Team anywhere. KU and UT have not lost one yet and don’t appear to be planning to do so any time soon.
3. Okie State at Texas Tech (3:00)***(At risk game)
A W for Tech, and it will be tough to keep them down in the Tier Three dregs. And raise some serious questions about Okie St.
4. K-State at KU (6:00)****(Projected W: KU)
Jayhawks. Wildcats. ‘Nuf said.
5. Mizzou at UT (8:00)**** (Projected W: UT)
If UT continues to play solid team basketball, with effective if not spectacular point guard play, and with Brown and Hamilton playing under control and threatening to get hot at any moment, there are precious few conference games remaining that pose a threat to them. Which raises the question: Is UT that good, or does the Big 12 kinda suck?
Regardless, although this game is a Projected W for UT, it could well be one of the two most challenging games remaining on its schedule. Mizzou has the ability to get hot and stay hot long enough to steal this game. A result which is exactly what any KU fan who cares more about his or her team than he or she disdains Mizzou will hope for. Could be a run on clothes pins in Lawrence. And yes, we are talking the REAL world, not the Bizarro kind.
Not a prediction. The prediction is the same as the projection. UT can handle MU’s press and is stronger up front. But this game is not automatic.
6. Oklahoma at Iowa St (8:00)** (Projected W: ISU)
A loss for the Cyclones, and they can hide their heads in shame. Maybe follow Nebraska and Colorado out of the conference. Petition the Big Sky for admission, so they can compete. Or we could add a Tier Four to the Big 12.
And if the Cyclones win?
Well, actually, what if they do?