REAL Standings: Third time is not the charm edition. . .

As the clock wound down Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, Kansas, Chris Piper declared, “Kansas State is alone in first place in the Big 12.” I love ya, Chris. Without you, the 1988 national championship trophy does not reside in Allen Fieldhouse.

But K-State is not alone in first place in the Big 12. They are not even tied for first place. In fact, they are tied for second place with Oklahoma. At least n the REAL world.

In the REAL world, K-State dropped ½ game in the standings, due to Oklahoma St’s win at Texas and the fact that beating Iowa St was meaningless—other, that is, than avoiding the disaster of losing a Home game.

You might wonder why beating Texas, a Tier Two team, would be worth half a game in the REAL Standings, while defeating Iowa St, a Tier One team, counts for zero.

Actually, that is a REAL good question, considering that Texas has proven to be toothless against the conference’s Top 6 teams. But getting Myck Kabongo back on Wednesday will make them a worthy challenger for the Tier One teams who have yet to visit Austin: i.e., OU, Baylor, Iowa St and K-State. Yes, an experienced point guard with skills can make that much difference. As KU fans can attest.

Certainly, UT could have been assigned to Level 3 until El Kabongo’s return, but that would have meant only that Okie St would have been credited with the ½ game they picked up today beforehand.

As for K-State gettong no credit for beating Iowa St, one of the fundamental premises of the REAL Standings is that Tier One teams are credited with W’s in all Home games in advance. There is no additional reward for actually doing it—simply a major penalty for dropping one.

At any rate, Okie St, not K-State, sits alone atop the REAL Big 12 Standings. Unless K-State wins in Lawrence Monday night—which is not the way to bet—the Big 12 is theirs to lose.

Overall, Saturday was a big snoozer. Okie St picking up ½ game was the only movement in the REAL Standings. The other games went as projected: K-State over ISU in Manhattan, OU over KU in Norman, Baylor over Tech in Waco, and West Virginia over TCU in Fort Worth, where any team with a pulse should be able to win by simply tossing their sneakers onto the court.

THE CURRENT 2013 SEASON REAL TIERS (Subject to change)

1. Tier One: Baylor/Iowa St/KU/KSU/OU/OSU

2. Tier Two: Texas/West Virginia

3. Tier Three: Texas Tech

4. Tier Four: TCU

THE CURRENT 2013 REAL STANDINGS:

1. 13.5-4.5 Okie St (7-3) Projected L’s: at ISU At-risk games: at WVU

3. 12.5-5.5

K-State (8-2) Projected L’s: at KU, at BU, at OSU At-risk games: at UT

Oklahoma (6-4) Projected L’s: at OSU At-risk games: at UT

4. 12-6

KU (7-3) Projected L’s: at OSU, at ISU, at BU At-risk games: N/A

5. 11-7

Baylor (6-4) Projected L’s: at OU, at K-State At-risk games: at WVU, at UT

Iowa St (6-4) Projected L’s: at OU, at BU At-risk games: at UT, at WVU

7. 7.5-10.5

W. Virginia (5-5) Projected L’s: at BU, at K-State, at KU, at OU At-risk games: OSU, BU, ISU

8. 5.5-12.5

Texas (2-8) Projected L’s: at KU, at OSU At-risk games: ISU, K-State, OU, BU, at Tech

9. 3.5-14.5

Texas Tech (2-8) Projected L’s: OSU, at WVU, OU, at ISU, at K-State, at KU At-risk games: UT

10. 1-17

TCU (1-9) Projected L’s: at OU, at ISU, UT, at KU, OSU, at Tech, at K-State, OU At-risk games: N/A

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What to Watch

Monday:

1. TCU at Oklahoma* (6:00p.m.) (Projected W: OU)

TCU has had its win for the season.

2. K-State at KU**** (8:00p.m.) (Projected W: KU)

Lose this game, and KU becomes irrelevant in the conference race with seven games remaining. Win, and K-State has only Baylor between it and a probable sweep of the two conference titles that matter.

Wednesday

3. Okie St at Tech*1/2 (6:00p.m.) (Projected W: OSU)

This is why the Big 12 is Okie St’s to lose. Too many easy games remaining while their competitors play cage matches.

4. Iowa St at Texas***1/2 (7:00p.m.) (At risk game)

Somebody had to play Texas in El Kabongo’s first game back. ISU drew the short straw. If the rust doesn’t show, the Cyclones are truly at risk.

5. West Virginia at Baylor**1/2 (8:00p.m.) (Projected W: Baylor)

There is only one reason to watch this game: Huggins vs. Drew could conceivably make this mismatch in talent competitive.

--Mark

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