REAL Standings: The as REAL as it Gets Edition

                                    REAL STANDINGS:  THE AS REAL AS IT GETS EDITION

             Saturday was a big nothing in the REAL Standings. Unlike the Fake Big 12 Standings, where Texas Tech, Iowa State, Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas gained ground against everyone else with generic Home Court victories, the REAL Standings reflect REALity: i.e., that none of those games accomplished anything for anyone. Nor did they hurt anyone’s championship aspirations. They were simply Projected Wins vs. K-State, KU, Okie State, Baylor, and West Virginia respectively; and, as everyone knows, when the outcome has been Projected goes as Projected, it has already been incorporated into the REAL Standings. (Note; In the previous REAL Standings Report, the Baylor at TCU game was incorrectly listed as being in the “at-risk” category; TCU should have been the projected Winner as the Home Team vs. one of its Tier’s Peers.)

            In other words, it was just a Meaningless January Saturday removed from the Big 12 schedule.

                                                CURRENT TIERS

                                                            Tier 1

TEXAS TECH:

Tech 63, K-State 57 (Lubbock)

Tech jumped out to a 14-0 lead and pretty much traded baskets with K-State the rest of the way.

IOWA STATE

ISU 77, KU 60 (Ames)

The problem with projected W’s is that you don’t gain any ground by winning but losing is catastrophic. The Cyclones avoided a catastrophe

KU

The Jayhawks are, if nothing else, honest. Dedrick Lawson, probably the best player in the Big 12, did not look like it Saturday described his own performance as “terrible,” (notwithstanding 13 points and 12 rebounds). He was right.

Bill Self noted, “We REALly struggled with passing, dribbling, and shooting.” Can’t argue with that.

Nor with Self’s assessment that: “We played very, very immature today. . . . We  don’t have the leadership--yet—that needs to develop so that we can be in situations like this and actually perform better.

No argument from here.

And, finally, again from Self: “The sky isn’t falling.”

At least it is not in the REAL Standings. This was just one projected loss in a season that has three of them. And 5.5 net projected losses. This one will not hurt the Jayhawks in the REAL Standings until some other Tier 1 team takes out Iowa State in Ames. Or one of the other Tier 1 teams on the Road.

For the time being, the Jayhawks just need to take care of business at Home and mature on the Road. The question is whether this particular group of players, with their perimeter shooting deficiencies, wants it and cares about it as much as their predecessors.

OKLAHOMA

OU 74, Okie St 64 (Norman)

Ho-hum. A Tier 1 team taking out a Tier 3 opponent at Home. That’s not what I call Bedlam. More like counting lambs in bed.

                                                TIER 2

TEXAS

UT 61, West Virginia 54 (Austin)

UT’s start epitomizes the REAL Standings’ raison d’etre. If you consider Texas a Tier 1 team, they are tied with Tech atop the Big 12 standings at 2-0. Both teams have beaten two Tier 2 teams, one at Home and one on the Road.

If UT’s shooting woes are behind them (21 of 42 vs. WVU), they are a candidate for a battlefield promotion. IF. Until they show they can do it consistently (2 games do not a trend make), they will remain in Tier 2 for the purposes of the REAL Standings, training Tech by 3.5 games.

BAYLOR

Baylor 81, TCU 85 (Fort Worth)

Both teams’ first game of the conference season went as projected.

TCU

See Baylor

K-STATE

With Kam Stokes back in the lineup, K-State did not embarrass themselves this time out. They even cut a one-time 16 point deficit to 1 (42-43) before being rebuffed.  More importantly, they did not hurt themselves in the REAL Standings by losing as projected to Tech in Lubbock They remain alive pending the return of Dean Wade.

WEST VIRGINIA

The Mountaineers are in the same position as K-State (going from a pre-November favorite to dethrone KU, to having a subpar non-conference record, to opening with a damaging loss at Home followed by a Projected Loss on the Road). The only REAL difference being that WVU’s loss at Home was to Tech, a Tier 1 team, as opposed to UT (a Tier 2 resident—at least for the moment).

                                                TIER 3

OKIE STATE

Represented themselves well on the Road vs an Upper Crust team. But, as is almost always the case with Tier 3 teams on the Road, vs. Tier 1 opponents, no cigar.

                                                PROJECTIONS

1. 13—5

Texas Tech (2-0): Projected L’s: (at KU, at OU, at ISU)
At risk games: (at WVU, at UT, at BU, at KSU, at TCU)

2.  12.5-5.5

ISU (2-0): Projected L’s (at BU, at TT, at KU)
At risk games (at BU, at KSU, at TCU, at UT, at WVU)

KU (1-1): Projected L’s (at TT, at OU)
At risk games (at BU, at WVU, at UT, at KSU, at TCU)

OU (1-1): Projected L’s: ( at TT, at ISU)
At risk games: (at KSU, at UT, at WVU, at BU, at TCU)

5.  8.5-9.5

Texas (2-0): Projected L’s (at KU, at TCU, at ISU, at WVU, at OU, at BU, at TT)
At risk games (at OSU, TT, KU, OU, ISU)

6.  7.5-10,5

Baylor (0-1): Projected L’s (at WVU, at OU, at UT, at TT, at ISU, at KSU, at KU)
At risk games (ISU, KU, at OSU, TT) (0-1)

TCU (1-0): Projected L’s: (at BU, at OU, at KU, at WV, at Tech)
At risk games: (at UT, at K-State, at OSU, at ISU)

8. 7-11

WVU (0-2): Projected L’s (at KSU, at TCU, at ISU, at TT, at KU, at BU, at OU)
At risk games (KU, OU, ISU, at OSU)

9.  6.5-11.5

K-State (0-2): Projected L’s (at ISU, at OU, at BU, at UT, at WVU, at KU, at TCU)
At risk games (TT, at OSU, KU, ISU, OU)

10. 2.5-15.5

Okie St (0-2): Projected L’s (at WVU, at ISU, OU, at TCU, at KU, TT, at UT, at KSU, at TT, KU, at BU)
At risk games (UT, BU, KSU, TCU, WVU)


                                                AS SEEN ON TV (All times CST

Tuesday  

1,         6:00p.m. (ESPNN) **** (Up for Grabs) (the at-risk designation is being changed to “Up for Grabs” in order to provide a more REAListic urgent theme for both teams

            Iowa State’s first REAL challenge of the season, as opposed to their first two Projected victories)

2.          6:00p.m.: Texas at Okie St (ESPNU) ***1/2 (UG) 

            Unless UT loses, we will not learn anything substantive about them until Saturday when they play Tech in Austin.

3.         8:00p.m.: Oklahoma at Texas Tech (ESPNN) *****(projected W: Tech))

            OU gets its second chance in the first three games of the season to take a giant step for Sooner-kind with a W in a Projected Loss game on the Road. Their only remaining opportunity will be on February in Ames (unless UT, TCU, or some other Tier 2 team is promoted to Tier 1 in the meantime).

Wednesday

4.         6:00p.m.  K-State at West Virginia (ESPNU) *** (Projected W: WVU)

            K-State’s chance to make up for its Home loss to Texas and inject itself back into solid Tier 2 Territory. And the Mountaineers’ chance to basically fall off the edge of the Big 12 Earth.

5.         8:00p.m. TCU at KU :***** (ESPN2) (Projected W. KU)

            It is REALly early in the season to talk about Must Wins, but a loss here, and the Jayhawks’ Big 12 streak is in more Jeopardy than Alex Trebek or even Art Fleming could imagine. Being turnover prone is not the way to compensate for Home Losses when you go on the Road.

            As for TCU, a Win here would be the biggest result of the young season and might well earn the Frogs a promotion to Tier 1.

--Mark

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