MIDWEEK RECAP Another one bites the dust.
Yes, Oklahoma St can hang it up for another year. Their goose was probably cooked after losing to Baylor at Home on Saturday, but it was skinned to the bone and devoured Monday night by Iowa St in double overtime. Dropping two full games in the REAL Standings at Home, in consecutive games or otherwise, is hardly conducive to winning championships.
On the other side of the same coin, Iowa St’s pickup of a full game vs. Oklahoma St thrusts the Cyclones back into the periphery of the championship picture.
In a sense, ISU’s Road win against a Tier One team, only one of four in the entire conference during the first half of the season, made up for its own Home loss to KU. Except it didn’t, seeing as how it cannot atone for that loss vis a vis KU, having been swept by the Jayhawks. It does serve the Cyclones well, however, against everyone else or if KU encounters some unexpected turbulence along the way.
In the rich get richer department, KU pulled another half game ahead of the pack with its victory in Waco.
And the poor—i.e., Baylor—get poorer.
Oklahoma, in the meantime, which appeared to be the team most likely to make a run at KU, due to its favorable schedule, suffered a near fatal blow instead, dropping half a game in overtime at West Virginia. The half game WVU picked up has no REAL effect on the Big 12 race, but does look good on the resume of a bubble team such as the Mountaineers.
The only totally meaningless game of the early in the week schedule was Texas’s win, as projected, at TCU.
When all is said and done, something dramatic and unexpected will have to happen to keep KU from claiming “We are the Champions” again. But that’s why they call them “freshmen.”
THE CURRENT REAL STANDINGS TIERS
1. Tier One: Iowa St, KU, Oklahoma, Okie St, Texas
2. Tier Two: Baylor, K-State, West Virginia
3. Tier Three: TCU, Texas Tech
THE CURRENT REAL STANDINGS:
KU (8-1) Projected L’s: at OSU At-risk games: at KSU, at WVU
Iowa St (5-4) Projected L’s: N/A At Risk Games: at WVU, at K-State, at BU
Texas (7-2) Projected L’s: at ISU, at KU, at OU At-risk games: at K-State
Oklahoma (6-4) Projected L’s: at OSU, at KU At-risk games: N/A
Okie St (4-5) Projected L’s: at Texas, at ISU At-risk games: at BU
K-State (5-4) Projected L’s: at BU, at OU, at OSU At-risk games: UT, KU, at Tech, ISU
W. Virginia (6-4) Projected L’s: at KU, at UT, at ISU, at OU At-risk games: ISU, KU
Baylor (2- 7) Projected L’s: at OU, at WVU, at UT, at KSU At-risk games: TCU, OSU, ISU
Texas Tech (3-6) Projected L’s: OSU, OU, at ISU, KU, at OSU, at BU, at KU, UT At-risk games: KSU
TCU (0-9) Projected L’s: at ISU, at KU, at KSU, ISU, OSU, at WVU, at UT, OU At-risk games: BU
All times CST
1. Texas at K-State (12:30p.m.)* *** (At risk game)
Last Saturday, Texas took advantage of having a week to rest and prepare for KU. They played as if they were a recording on FF while the Jayhawks were in Slo-mo. This week, the shoe is on the other hoof. K-State has been lying in wait all week for this opportunity to avenge the game UT stole from them in the final second in Austin.
If Texas prevails, it will be its best win of the season and make them a team that has to be taken seriously—not only as a prime contender for second place in the conference, but a team to be reckoned with if KU falters in the second half of the season.
2. TCU at Iowa St (3:00p.m.) * (Projected W: ISU)
TCU tried to bore Texas to death Tuesday night. They had a legitimate chance to win (if you disregard the fact that they’re TCU) in the final minute, despite being out-rebounded by a 51-20 margin. The Hilton crowd will keep the Fighting Mayors awake—boos and all.
3. West Virginia at Kansas (3:00p.m.)** * (Projected W: KU)
The Mountaineers are quietly putting together a respectable season. They are a worthy opponent. KU would be wise to put this title away before its return game in Morgantown in the final game of the regular season.
4. Baylor at Oklahoma (6:00p.m.) **** (Projected W: OU)
Which Baylor team will show up: the one that looks like it has never been coached or the one that looks like its coach is Scott Drew. For bonus points, which is worse?
5. Okie St at Texas Tech (8:30p.m.)*** (Projected W: OSU)
After losing two games at Home in three days, Okie St takes to the Road looking for redemption. The way the Cowboys have been playing, this is not a gimme.