There is a reason that KU’s game in Stillwater was labeled as an At-risk contest. Namely, that any Road game versus a team one Tier lower on the Road is risky business. The opponent is not going away on their Home Court in front of their Home fans and classmates. You better bring it for 40 minutes. Certainly, more than twenty. With its At-Risk loss, the Jayhawks come back to the field to the tune of a half game, and Hope springs eternal—or is revived—for the other Tier One teams. The biggest news of the weekend, however, was made in West Virginia, where Baylor and Scott Drew picked up a full game in the REAL world and moved from the fringe of championship contention into legitimate contender status. The Mountaineers, conversely, dropped a full game and are on life support.
In other contests, Oklahoma defeated TCU, as projected, in Fort Worth; Iowa State defeated Tech , as projected, in Ames; and, if anyone cares, Texas picked up a game in the REAL Standings by squeezing past fellow Tier Two occupant K-State in Manhattan. Though without Marcus Foster in the lineup, K-State might not be a legitimate Tier Two outfit. Or Three.
As a result:
1. Oklahoma and Iowa St both pull within one REAL game of the Jayhawks. That is, from their perspective, a lot better than being down two REAL games when neither will have an opportunity to make up ground mano a mano.
2. Baylor, then, although trailing both Oklahoma and Iowa State by a full game, might be in the best position of any team trying to catch KU, because they are the only one of the three that can make up ground on its own. With a game in Lawrence next Saturday, the Bears will have an opportunity to manufacture its own two game swing: i.e., by grabbing an un-projected Win and dealing KU an un-projected Loss.
3. The Big 12 still goes through Lawrence, despite the hiccup in Stillwater. The right shoulder, however, is closed until further notice.
Tier 1: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia
Tier 2: K-State, Okie St, Texas
Tier 3: TCU
Tier 4: Texas Tech
KU (8-2) Projected Losses: at WVU, at OU At risk games: at KSU
Oklahoma (7-4) Projected Losses: at ISU At risk games: at KSU
Iowa St: (6-3) Projected Losses: at OU At risk games: at OSU, at UT, at KSU
Baylor (6-4) Projected Losses: at KU, at ISU At risk games: at UT
West Virginia (6-4) Projected Losses: at ISU, at BU, at KU At risk games: at OSU
Okie St (6-5) Projected Losses: at BU, at WVU At risk games: at TCU, ISU, WVU
Texas (4-6) Projected Losses: at OU, at WVU, at KU At risk games: ISU, BU
K-State (5-6) Projected Losses: at WVU, at BU, at UT At-risk games: OU, at TCU, KU, ISU
TCU (1-9) Projected Losses: at UT, at KU, at OU, at OSU, ISU At risk games: OSU, KSU
Texas Tech (2-9) Projected Losses: KU, at UT, BU, OU, at TCU, OSU, at BU At risk games: N/A
BIG 12 SCHEDULE
1. Okie St at Baylor (6:00pm)****1/2( Projected W:BU)
Don’t look now, but if Baylor wins this game, as they should, the Bears play in Lawrence Saturday for a share of first place in the REAL Standings.
2. Iowa St at Oklahoma (8:00pm)**** (Projected W: OU)
Don’t look now, but Iowa St is playing for a share of first place in the REAL Standings in Norman.
3. KU at Texas Tech (8:00pm)*** (Projected W: KU)
Don’t look now, but this might be the most critical game remaining on KU’s schedule. A W here and theJayhawks get to 13 wins just by winning their remaining Home games; and 13-5 is looking good for at least a share of the Big 12 title. A loss and 12-6 comes into play. And, as Iowa St knows already, Tech might be a bunch of sucky sucks on the Road, but they are dangerous in Lubbock if you don’t come to play. Though why the Jayhawks would not come to play after what happened in Stillwater would be a mystery for the basketball ages.
4. K-State at West Virginia (6:00pm). *** (Projected W: WVU)
Don’t look now, but West Virginia can start looking toward the post-season if they lose their second Home game in a row and their third of the season. In fact, that would be demotion material.
5. TCU at Texas (7:00pm) ** (Projected W: UT)
Don’t look now. REALly. Don’t look now. Or Wednesday night either.