The pre-season Tier One assignments separated KU, UT, A&M, K-State, and Mizzou from the rest of the pack. It did not take long to conclude that the first two were a cut above the others, and the latter three eventually wound up in a Tier of their own. In the final analysis, Mizzou, along with Colorado, our two dysfunctional 8-8 teams, probably deserve a Tier of their own, below No.Two, but above the six teams with losing records. Although, as a great man from Lubbock once said, with no projections remaining, I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.
The biggest upward movement from the Pre-season projections was made by KU. Projected to go 12-4, along with UT and A&M, the Jayhawks finished 14-2.
Technically, you could argue that Texas Tech and Oklahoma matched KU’s +2 achievement. They did. However, improving to the tune of two games is more of an accomplishment when you have to win twelve games before any amount improvement kicks in than when you only have to win three. In fact, 12 plus 2 will earn you coach of the year honors. As opposed to 3+2, which might not even save your job.
Performance vs. Pre-Season Projection:
+2 KU (14-2) Oklahoma (5-3) Texas Tech (5-3)
+1.5 Colorado (8-8)
+1 UT (13-3)
+.5 Nebraska (7-9)
Even-Steven K-State (10-6)
-.5 Baylor (7-9)
-1 Okie St (6-10)
-2 Mizzou (8-8) Texas A&M (10-6)
-3.5 Iowa St (3-13)
Next year, with the double round robin set-up, all teams in the same Tier will begin the season with the identicalProjected Record. There will not be a two game separation from Day One, as there was this year, when Mizzou and K-State, even had they been the conference’s best two teams, were facing a two game handicap before setting foot on the court in their first conference game. Next year, no team will have an edge that it does not earn on the field of play.
The REAL Standings will have a function, as in the days of the Big 8, but that function will be to assess the difficulty of the remaining schedule, taking into consideration the value of games won—as in Home vs. Away, Contender vs. Others.
Should be fun.
Signing off until January 2012, when KU will test the Van Patten theory.