From fifth to first. That was KU’s story on Saturday, as the Jayhawks leap-frogged Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas to catch West Virginia for the inside track in their quest for their twelfth consecutive Big 12 championship.
That’s what happens when you become the only team in the conference with both a good win (i.e., in a Projected Loss game) and no bad losses (in a Projected Win game).
OU was like that before Saturday, before Devonte Graham outplayed the probable Player of the Year in Norman, turning OU’s Projected W into a Sooner nightmare. KU’s victory moved it from one game behind OU in the REAL Standings to one game in front.
Not that the Jayhawks did it all on their own. They also picked up two full games on Baylor, one of them thanks to Texas Tech putting on a basketball clinic in Waco (or did it just resemble a clinic by comparison?); and a full game on Texas thanks to Iowa St downing UT in Ames, as projected. And, to the extent it is yet relevant, a full game on Iowa St with the Cyclones’ win being of the projected variety.
In fact, the only team in the conference that did not lose REAL ground to the Jayhawks Saturday was Texas Tech, who, like KU picked up a victory in a game it was projected to lose in Waco.
In the only other game Saturday, K-State lost its thirteenth consecutive conference Road game at Oklahoma St. Like their game in Waco, K-State had to take the game into overtime to avoid winning.
HOW WE GOT HERE
Good W’s (Road wins at Power 6 venues):
• Texas (at WVU, at Baylor)
• Oklahoma (at Baylor)
• West Virginia (at Iowa St)
• Baylor (at Iowa St)
• KU (at Oklahoma)
• ISU (None)
Bad L’s (Losses at Home or at TCU):
• KU (None)
• WVU (vs. UT)
• OU (vs. KU)
• UT (at TCU)
• Baylor (vs. OU, vs. UT, vs. Tech)
• ISU (vs. Baylor, vs. WVU)
Projected L’s (at BU, at UT)
At risk games (at K-State)
Projected L’s (at UT, at Baylor)
At risk games (at OSU)
Projected L’s: None
At risk games (at K-State, at Okie St)
Projected L’s (at WVU, at UT)
At risk games (at Tech)
Projected L’s (at UT, at OU)
At risk games: None
Projected L’s (at BU, at WVU, at KU)
At risk games: None
Texas Tech (5-7):
Projected L’s (at OSU, at KU, at WVU)
At risk games (vs, OU)
Projected L’s (at ISU, at Tech)
At risk games (at TCU, vs. KU, vs. UT)
Okie State (3-9):
Projected L’s (at KU, at OU, at ISU)
At risk games (vs. WVU, vs. UT)
Projected L’s (at ISU, at Tech, vs. BU, at K-State, vs. OU)
At risk games: (vs. K-State)
AS SEEN ON TV
8:00p.m.: Okie St at KU (ESPN)***1/2 (Projected W: KU)
KU can never fully make up for what happened in Stillwater. They better, however, put it behind them.
6:00p.m.: West Virginia at Texas (ESPN 2) **** (Projected W; UT)
If you are a KU fan, hold your nose and pull for Texas. Otherwise, WVU's over/under becomes 13.5.
7:00 p.m.: K-State at TCU (ESPN 3)**(At risk)
K-State’s opportunity to win a conference game on the Road. Probably its last chance until January 2017.
8:00p.m.: Iowa St at Baylor (ESPN 2)**** (Projected W: BU)
If 13-5 is good enough for a co-championship, the loser of this game can hang it up. In REALity, both teams are probably playing for post-season seeding, anyway. But, where there is life, there is hope.
7:00p.m.: Oklahoma at Texas Tech (ESPNU)*** (at risk)
Suddenly, a game vs. Tech is REAL scary, Home or away. But especially away.