Kansas #4 in Pre-Preseason BlogPoll

FanHouse's Nathan Fowler pens the Jayhawk entry in the Premature Hoops BlogPoll.

Why they should be ranked higher: There's not much room to be ranked higher, but KU is a serious threat to win the national championship thanks to their backcourt, which is probably the best in the entire country.

Why they should be ranked lower: Not only is Rush the Jayhawks' best player, he is also the one at the position with the least depth. If he returns from the injury as only a shell of himself, then KU will have to play a smaller lineup with three guards or use a much less skilled player (Roderick Stewart, possibly) in his place. Even totally without Rush though, this is a top 10 team.

UCLA, Memphis, and North Carolina appear to be teams 1-3 in the poll.

Pomeroy Big 12 Tournament Percentages

  2nd Round Semis    Finals    Champs  
Kansas 100.0% 86.1% 77.8% 50.5%
Texas A&M 100.0% 89.6% 68.1% 35.3%
Texas 100.0% 75.7% 24.8% 8.0%
Oklahoma 87.4% 13.5% 8.6% 2.4%
Kansas St. 100.0% 58.8% 8.5% 1.7%
Texas Tech 89.7% 40.3% 5.0% 0.9%
Missouri 74.6% 21.3% 3.8% 0.7%
Oklahoma St. 69.5% 8.6% 2.8% 0.5%
Iowa St 12.6% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0%
Colorado 10.3% 0.9% 0.0% 0.0%
Nebraska 30.5% 1.8% 0.3% 0.0%
Baylor 25.4% 3.0% 0.2% 0.0%


These were done, as always, with data from www.kenpom.com.  Each column is the team's chance of advancing to that round.  They take into account the fact that these games are being played at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City- all Ok. St.'s games are considered "semi-home".

A couple specifics of interest- Kansas beats Texas A&M 57.5% of the time, and beats Texas 77.9% of the time.  They beat Colorado 98.9% of the time by an average of 29.2 points (although that may or may not be of interest).

Computer Predictions for Tonight (Jan 15 vs. Missouri)

[Was going to wait and post this as a comment to Hoopinion's usual preview, but I don't know if I'll be at the computer at the right time.] I've looked at the ratings on the Massey comparison page (plus the Dunkel), and compiled predictions for those that either list them or give explicit instructions on how to calculate them. So, here is what the computers (and Vegas) think about tonight's game. (Game scores are rounded, so may not match score margins. And I used Sagarin's "pure points.")

Mean: +15.4 ... Median: +15.8 ... right in line with Vegas.

A little preseason rankings roundup..

From the LJW today.

Meanwhile, college basketball writer Gary Parrish of cbssportsline.com, who caught up with KU coach Bill Self and players Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun at last week's Big 12 Media Day, taps the Jayhawks second nationally behind Florida.

Street and Smith also has Florida ranked No. 1 and KU 2, followed by North Carolina. Athlon has KU, Alabama, Florida and North Carolina reaching the Final Four, with the Tar Heels winning it all for the second time in three years.

Of course, as mentioned three times on Phog Blog last week, the Mercurial Seth Davis conjures us at number 1, both now and 5 months from now. This is the same Seth Davis who in late February still considered K State a bubble team, so you might be building your house on the rhetorical sand if you put too much faith in his prognostications.

Still, a broken clock is right twice a day, so I won't be disparaging him or anyone else anything if I find myself dancing like a madman in Atlanta 5-6 months from now.

Kansas at Nebraska: Predictions

It's clear that we won't know who is starting at quarterback for the Jayhawks much before the offense takes the field for the first time Saturday night. The time for excuses and procrastination has ceased. It's time to prognosticate.

Nebraska 24 Kansas 13

Here's what some others are predicting...

Corn Nation: Nebraska 40 Kansas 13

College Football News: Nebraska 38 Kansas 17

Bruce Feldman, ESPN Insider: Nebraska 35 Kansas 20

The Jayhawks are a horrible team on the road. Nebraska's offense, the most prolific in the Big 12, matches up very well against one of the league's worst defenses. Key stat: The Huskers are tops in the conference in turnover margin. Kansas is last. That's a bad sign for a team with a very inexperienced QB playing on the road. Thing that has me sold: The opportunistic Huskers.

The staff of The Kansas City Star: Blair Kerkhoff, Nebraska 31-10 Jason King, Nebraska 31-17 Derek Samson, Nebraska 40-15 Mike DeArmond, Nebraska 35-7 Howard Richman, Nebraska 26-9

Tim Griffin, San Antonio Express-News: Nebraska 49 Kansas 14

Reminder on how to win that bracket...

Once again, I repeat: You could go on gut instinct, and lose, or spend hours and hours poring over endless statistics.

Or if you're smart, you could spend a few bucks to have access to the same proprietary tools that Vegas uses to pick games. I know I'll be using the BracketBrains tool this year, and I recommend you do the same. Click on the banner below to check it out, but I'm pretty sure you'll be as impressed as I am, and if you end up signing up, a little bit of dough will go to keeping the Phog Blog's server's running.