There is more and more talk nationally among the talking heads about the Big 12 being the toughest conference in all the land. Whether it is or not, it just might be the toughest conference on Road teams not visiting Texas Tech or TCU, who, between them have exactly zero Home conference Wins.
Which is why Iowa State and KU remain tied atop the REAL Big 12 Standings (and, strictly coincidentally, the newspaper standings). Both have a Road Win vs. a Contender and no Home losses.
The midweek games followed the REAL Standings script. KU won at Home as projected, although Oklahoma made the Jayhawks use every iota of the Phog Phactor to do it. Iowa State won at Home as projected, although K-State made the Cyclones summon every iota of Hilton Magic to do it.
Okie St had zero problem at Home vs. Texas Tech.
The only Home loser was TCU in an at-risk game vs. Texas.
As a result:
1. The only team that made any REAL progress was Texas, picking up half a game by defeating a Tier Two team on the Road. That is, if TCU REALly is a Tier Two caliber team. Until they beat someone other than Tech, somewhere, who REALly knows? The bottom line is that the half game UT picked up is only REAL if TCU beats some Tier One team somewhere. The guess here is that someone goes down in Fort Worth. Let’s just hope it is not KU.
2. The Big 12 still goes through Lawrence. With four minutes remaining Monday night, it looked like there might be a detour through Ames or Norman. But as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friend!”
Tier 1: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia
Tier 2: K-State, Okie St, TCU
Tier 3: Texas Tech
Iowa St: (3-1) Projected Losses: at KU, at OU, at UT At risk games: at OSU, at KSU, at TCU
KU (4-1) Projected Losses: at UT, at WVU, at OU At risk games: at TCU, at OSU, at KSU
Oklahoma (3-3) Projected Losses: at BU, at ISU At risk games: at OSU, at TCU, at KSU
West Virginia (3-2) Projected Losses: at OU, at ISU, at BU, at KU At risk games: at KSU, at OSU
Baylor (2-3) Projected Losses: at WVU, at KU, at ISU, at UT At risk games: at OSU
Texas (3-2) Projected Losses: at ISU, at BU, at OU, at WVU, at KU At risk games: at KSU
K-State (4-2) Projected Losses: at KU, at WVU, at TCU, at BU, at UT At risk games: WVU, at Tech, UT, OU, KU, ISU
Okie St (3-3) Projected Losses: at KSU, at UT, at BU, at TCU, at WVU At risk games: BU, OU, KU, ISU, WVU, at Tech
TCU (1-4) Projected Losses: at WVU, at ISU, at BU, at UT, at KU, at OU, at OSU At risk games: KU, OU, ISU
Texas Tech (0-6) Projected Losses: ISU, at OU, at WVU, at ISU, KU, at UT, BU, OU, at TCU, at BU At risk games: KSU, OSU
BIG 12 SCHEDULE
1. Okie St at K-State (11:00am)***(Projected W: K-State)
K-State came close Tuesday night to injecting itself into the Tier One and March Madness discussion. Maybe even moving into first place in the REAL world, what with two Tier One Road victories and zero Home losses. Instead, four days later, they face a Must Win situation. Will it prove to be the Octagon of Doom or Gloom?
2. TCU at West Virginia (1:00pm)*1/2 (Projected W: WVU)
TCU is not beating a good team on the Road. Fortunately, there is another game being played at the same time. Namely:
3. KU at Texas (1:00pm). ***** (Projected W: UT)
KU has more sheer talent and a better coach. UT has more experience and the Home court. This is the type of game that can separate the Jayhawks from the rest of the field if they can somehow get out of Austin with a W. This is why the premise of the REAL Standings is that Championships are won on the Road.
4. Iowa St at Texas Tech (3:00pm) * (Projected W: ISU)
Lubbock is where Championships can be lost. Surely, Tubby will surprise somebody in front of the Home crowd. If you call 250 spectators a crowd.
5. Oklahoma at Baylor (5:00pm)**** (Projected W: BU)
The Sooners are running out of time to gain ground by beating a Contender on the Road. Their win in Game No. 1 at Texas disappeared into the Mystic when K-State came to town. After falling short in Lawrence, OU’s only remaining opportunities for staking its claim to the Big 12 Title are this game and at Iowa St. In other words, an early must Win game for OU. AND, already having lost at Home (to KU), for Baylor.