MIDWEEK RECAP Believe it or Not! Your Kansas Jayhawks are closer to the Big 12 championship today than they were before losing in overtime Monday in Manhattan.
How so, you might ask?
Easy. In the previous version of the REAL Standings, the Hawks were three games clear of the field, their closest pursuers being Iowa St and Oklahoma.
Despite dropping a half game in the REAL Standings by losing an at risk game at K-State, the Jayhawks , today, are still three games clear of the field, AND there are only seven games remaining, rather than eight—only three of which are on the Road, rather than four. In other words the other teams are running out of chances to catch up.
But that’s what happens when Iowa St loses, too—at West Virginia; when Oklahoma loses, as well—at Home versus Texas Tech; and when Texas, 3.5 games back, simply wins as projected against a suddenly toothless Okie St; and when the only other game, Baylor over TCU, is of no consequence to anyone.
Now for the fun part. With this turn of events, are multiple adjustments appropriate in Tier status? That is:
(a) Should K-State be promoted to Tier 1, in which case they would join Iowa St, Oklahoma, and Texas at three games back of KU? They are , after all, the only team other than KU undefeated in conference play (6-0). But they are 1-4 on the Road, with the 1 being at TCU—meaning, in essence, 0-4.
(b) Should Oklahoma, with two Home losses—one to Tech--be demoted to Tier 2? They do, to their credit, have one good Road win (at Texas) to partially compensate for that ignominy.
(c) Speaking of Tech, they are now the hottest team in the league, being the only team on a two game winning streak that includes a Road victory. Should they, at last, be set freed from their stigmatization by association with TCU in Tier 3?
(d) And what is to be made of West Virginia? They have won three of their last four, with their only loss during that time being a relatively close game in Lawrence.
The correct answers, of course, are “yes” (why not?); “no” (that W at Texas is one of the two best wins of the conference this season, along with KU’s W in Ames); “yes” (Tech is, by any measure, an at risk game at Home for KU, K-State, and Texas); and “no” (two Home losses and Road wins at the 8th, 9th, and 10th place teams).
THE CURRENT REAL STANDINGS TIERS
1. Tier One: Iowa St, K-State, KU, Oklahoma, Texas
2. Tier Two: Baylor, Okie St, Texas Tech, West Virginia
3. Tier Three: TCU
THE CURRENT REAL STANDINGS:
KU (9-2) Projected L’s: N/A At-risk games: at Tech, at OSU, at WVU
Iowa St (6-5) Projected L’s: at K-State At Risk Games: at BU
K-State (7-4) Projected L’s: at OU At-risk games: at BU, at Tech, ISU
Oklahoma (7-5) Projected L’s: at KU At-risk games: at OSU
Texas (8-3) Projected L’s: at ISU, at KU, at OU At-risk games: at Tech
W. Virginia (7-5) Projected L’s: at UT, at ISU, at OU At-risk games: KU
Okie St (4-7) Projected L’s: at Baylor, at ISU At-risk games: OU, at TCU, KU, KSU
Texas Tech (5-6) Projected L’s: at ISU, at OSU, at BU, at KU At-risk games: KU, KSU, UT
Baylor (3- 8) Projected L’s: at WVU, at UT, at KSU At-risk games: KSU, ISU
TCU (0-11) Projected L’s: at KU, at KSU, ISU, at WVU, at UT, OU At-risk games: OSU
All times CST
1. Texas Tech at Iowa St (12:45p.m.) **1/2 (Projected W: ISU)
Tech at Home. That’s what used to be referred to as a slump buster. Now it’s called playing the hottest team in the league in a must win game.
2. Oklahoma at Okie St (1:00p.m.) *** (At risk game)
By the normal Rules of Engagement, this would be considered an at-risk game, with a Tier Two team at Home playing a Tier One team. But, REALly! Can Okie St sans Marcus Smart compete anywhere against anybody not named TCU? Under the circumstances, it is tempting to allow subjectivity take over and project OU as the winner; however, Okie St still has Markel Brown, Le’Bryan Nash, Phil Forte, and the Home Court. Ans did I mention Bedlam? So I won’t summarily dismiss them against a team that just lost to Tech at Home.
3. TCU at KU (3:00p.m.) *1/2 (Projected W: KU)
TCU at Home is good for what ails ya.
4. K-State at Baylor (6:00p.m.)**** (Projected W: Baylor)
All right, K-State. Here is your chance to justify your new-found Tier One status. If, at the end of this game, you are 1-5 on the Road, you will be scrutinized closely. The ultimate conference champion will win in Waco.
5. West Virginia at Texas (7:00p.m.) ****(Projected W: UT)
The Mountaineers have as few losses newspaper-wise as Iowa St. On the other hand, they have three Road games remaining vs. Tier 1 teams and a game at home vs. KU. A W here, and they become a stock to invest in. A loss by UT, and it’s Horns down for their Big 12 title chances.