REAL Standings: End of the Road (?) Edition

posted by Mark on 3/1/2015 - -

Texas came into Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday afternoon as desperate as a team can be. With a coach as desperate as a coach can be. Post-season hopes were on the line. Continued employment was on the line.

And they played like it. The pre-season Big 12 favorite outscored KU at the Jayhawks’ specialty, three point shooting, 18-3.They only shot 37.7% overall, but held KU to 36.2%. They had but 8 turnovers. They blocked a team record14 shots.

And they busted a gut for forty minutes.

And they lost, as projected.

That’s life on the Road.

Or, in KU’s case, life at Home, as the Jayhawks remained the only Big 12 team unbeaten on its Home court.

In other action, Oklahoma won at Home, as projected over TCU; K-State completed its sweep of At-risk games for the week at Home, dropping Iowa St a half game in the REAL Standings and effectively out of the race that was its for the taking three days earlier; and Texas Tech completed the Saturday sweep by Home team with an un-projected W over Okie St.

As a result:

1. Forget all that talk about the Road going on forever and the party never ending. The Road to the Big 12 title still goes through Lawrence, and that Road just might come to an end Tuesday night. And the party, well, it will end someday. I think.

2. Just when it appeared that TCU might earn a late season promotion to Tier Two and put Oklahoma out of its misery, the Sooners went all Barry Gibb. Not only did OU stay alive to fight another day, they remained in total control of their own destiny. A win in Ames Monday night followed by a W at Home on Saturday will assure OU of no worse than a share of the Big 12 championship. And, yes, we’re talking basketball.

3. Everyone else is playing for seeding in the bogus even in Kansas City next week. Or praying that West Virginia, whose best victory of the season was in Stillwater, will rise up and hand KU its only L of the year in Allen Fieldhouse and bring 12-6 into play for the REAL Big 12 championship.

Current Tiers

Tier 1: Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia

Tier 2: Baylor, K-State, Okie St, Texas

Tier 3: TCU

Tier 4: Texas Tech

REAL Standings:

1. 13-5

KU (12-4)
Projected Losses: at OU
At risk games: N/A

2. 12-6

Iowa St: (10-6)
Projected Losses: N/A
At risk games: N/A

Oklahoma (11-5)
Projected Losses: at ISU
At risk games: N/A

4. 11-7

West Virginia (10-6)
Projected Losses: at KU
At risk games: N/A

Baylor (10-6)
Projected Losses: at UT
At risk games: N/A

6. 8-10

Okie St (7-9)
Projected Losses: at WVU
At risk games: N/A

Texas (6-10)
Projected Losses: N/A
At risk games: N/A

K-State (8-9)
Projected Losses: at UT
At-risk games: N/A

9. 4-14

TCU (4-12)
Projected Losses: at OSU, ISU
At risk games: N/A

10. 3-15

Texas Tech (3-14)
Projected Losses: at BU
At risk games: N/A

BIG 12 SCHEDULE

Monday

1. Baylor at Texas (6:00pm) ***1/2 ( Projected W: UT)

Texas has 6 wins: two each against Tech and TCU, one versus K-State when Marcus Foster was suspended, and their one pretty good (but not great) W of the year, West Virginia at Home. Now they must beat Baylor Monday night and K-State in Austin on Saturday to be on the NCAA bubble heading into Kansas City.

2. Oklahoma at Iowa St (8:00p.m.)**** (Projected W: ISU)

An Iowa St Home victory secures KU at least a share of its 11th straight Big 12 title.

Tuesday

3. West Virginia at KU (8:00pm)**** (Projected W: KU)

A Home victory secures the Jayhawks at least a share of its 11th straight Big 12 title. If Iowa St downs OU in Ames the night before, and the Jayhawks’ stand alone far above the golden valley.

Wednesday

4. TCU at Okie St (8:00pm)** (Projected W: OSU)

What would Joe Lunardi have to say about a fifth straight loss and a 7-10 conference record heading into Morgantown? “Bubble”? “First Four out”? Okie St does not want to find out.

–Mark

REAL Standings: The Big Jake Edition

posted by Mark on 2/26/2015 - -

Fain (Richard Boone): Who are you?

McCandles (John Wayne): Jacob McCandles.

Fain: I thought you were dead.

McCandles: Not hardly.

Moments later, Fain is dead. John Wayne is hurt, but, though limping, collects his sons and grandson and heads Home to Maureen O’Hara.

In Big 12 mid-week action, KU dropped a half game in the REAL Standings Monday night, dropping an At-risk game at K-State. With a Projected Loss in the season finale at Oklahoma, there were those who thought KU’s Quest for its 11th straight Big 12 Title was dead.

Not hardly.

Enter Scott Drew. It is common knowledge that Drew is the most disliked coach in the Big 12 by his peers. But Wednesday night, even if only for one night, he was the most popular man in Lawrence, Kansas. Iowa St’s Projected W vs. Baylor turned L cost the Cyclones not merely half a game, but a full game in the REAL Standings, dropping them a half game behind the Jayhawks.

It was there for the taking, but Iowa St refused to take it.

Thanks, Scotty.

In games of zero consequence, West Virginia took care of Texas, as Projected, at Home, and TCU did the same to Texas Tech.

As a result:

1. The Road to the Big 12 Title STILL goes through Lawrence. In fact, the Jayhawks are in their best position of the year to claim at least a share of the crown: The number of games they need to win in order to clinch a co-championship is the number of Home games (2) they have remaining.

You could say the Jayhawks are dormie.

2. Iowa St, which was in control of its own destiny for two days, is, again, dependent on the kindness of others.

3. Oklahoma and West Virginia ARE in control of their own destiny. Win out, and they are assured of at least a co-championship with KU, each other, or Iowa St. Of course, winning out for either team will be no small feat. For OU, it will involve beating Iowa St in Ames and KU in Norman. For West Virginia, winning in Waco and Lawrence.

4. Baylor now possesses the best Road Win of the Big 12 season. Should the Bears be reinstated to Tier One? Well, they also have the third best Road Win of the season, at West Virginia—following which, they promptly lost at Home to Okie St. Otherwise, they would be in the conversation for the league title.

Baylor might be the best of the Tier Two teams, but their “body of work” is, still, that of a Tier Two team. And here they will remain.

Current Tiers

Tier 1: Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia

Tier 2: Baylor, K-State, Okie St, Texas

Tier 3: TCU

Tier 4: Texas Tech

REAL Standings:

1. 13-5

KU (11-4)
Projected Losses: at OU
At risk games: N/A

2. 12.5-5.5

Iowa St: (10-5)
Projected Losses: N/A
At risk games: at KSU

3. 12-6

Oklahoma (10-5)
Projected Losses: at ISU
At risk games: N/A

4. 11.5-6.5

West Virginia (10-5)
Projected Losses: at KU
At risk games: at BU

5. 10.5-7.5

Baylor (9-6)
Projected Losses: at UT
At risk games: WVU

6. 9-9

Okie St (7-8)
Projected Losses: at WVU
At risk games: N/A

7. 8-10

Texas (6-9)
Projected Losses: at KU
At risk games: N/A

8. 7.5-10.5

K-State (7-9)
Projected Losses: at UT
At-risk games: ISU

9. 4-14

TCU (4-11)
Projected Losses: at OU, at OSU, ISU
At risk games: N/A

10. 2-16

Texas Tech (2-14)
Projected Losses: OSU, at BU
At risk games: N/A

BIG 12 SCHEDULE

Saturday

1. TCU at Oklahoma (1:00pm) **( Projected W: OU)

OU has shown that it can lose to a Tier Two team in Norman (K-State). If it happens again, the Sooners are history.

2. West Virginia at Baylor (3:00p.m.)** *1/2 (Projected W: BU)

The Mountaineers try to accomplish in Waco what they could not in Morgantown. If they fail, they are history.

3. Iowa St at K-State (3:00pm)**** (At-risk game)

Another court-stormer in Manhattan? If so, the Cyclones are history.

4. Okie St at Texas Tech (3:00pm)*1/2 (Projected W: OSU)

No history in the making here.

5. Texas at Kansas (4:00p.m.)**** (Projected W: KU)

The Jayhawks are the only Big 12 team without a Loss on their Home court. As long as that continues, History awaits.

–Mark

REAL Standings: The February Final Four Edition

posted by Mark on 2/21/2015 - -

Four games remain in the 2015 Big 12 season, and Iowa State has pulled into a flat-footed tie for the REAL lead in the Big 12 standings courtesy of its second consecutive At-risk victory, this time in Austin. Both ISU and KU are now projected to win 13 games, with a 14th just sitting there for the taking in Manhattan.

For the first time in recorded history, the newspaper standings are relevant. They reveal that KU, at 11-3, has one advantage over ISU at 10-4: the Jayhawks are in complete control of their destiny. ISU is not. The Cyclones can only hope that the REAL Standings projections ae true to form and Oklahoma defeats KU, as projected, in Norman on March 7.

KU, on the other hand, can close out Iowa St by winning its Final Four games. Doing so would give the Jayhawks an uncatchable 15-3 record.

In spite of Iowa St’s heroics Saturday in Austin, KU maintained a share of the REAL lead by winning as projected vs. TCU in Lawrence.

Perhaps the most interesting result of the weekend was West Virginia’s Road win in Stillwater. Suddenly, everyone is beating Okie St everywhere. Does Travis Ford get a bonus if he keeps the Okie St alum from winning his 11th straight title at Kansas? That would be kind of spiteful, don’t you think? But who can tell what Boone Pickens would do for spite?

In other games, K-State went into full-fledged withering-away mode in Waco, losing by about four touchdowns. Probably saving their energy for Monday night.

And Oklahoma needed overtime to take its projected Road W at Texas Tech.

As a result:

1. The Road to the Big 12 Title still goes through Lawrence. That is unlikely to change before March 7; but if K-State beats the Jayhawks Monday night in Manhattan, all bets are off.

2. West Virginia, which was on the verge of being demoted to Tier 2 with 4 seconds remaining in last Monday’s game vs. KU, remains a factor in the Big 12 race, at least in theory, and a spoiler in fact. Get your tickets for their March 3 game in Lawrence while they’re hot.

3. Iowa St–well, we have already talked about Iowa St. For a team that lost in Lubbock, they are sitting pretty at the moment. They just need a little help from their friends.

Current Tiers

Tier 1: Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia

Tier 2: Baylor, K-State, Okie St, Texas

Tier 3: TCU

Tier 4: Texas Tech

REAL Standings:

1. 13.5-4.5

KU (11-3)
Projected Losses: at OU
At risk games: at KSU

Iowa St: (10-4)
Projected Losses: N/A
At risk games: at KSU

2. 12-6

Oklahoma (10-5)
Projected Losses: at ISU
At risk games: N/A

4. 11.5-6.5

West Virginia (9-5)
Projected Losses: at KU
At risk games: at BU

5. 9.5-8.5

Baylor (8-6)
Projected Losses: at ISU, at UT
At risk games: WVU

6. 9-9

Okie St (7-8)
Projected Losses: at WVU
At risk games: N/A

7. 8-10

Texas (6-8)
Projected Losses: at WVU, at KU
At risk games: N/A

8. 7-11

K-State (6-9)
Projected Losses: at UT
At-risk games: KU, ISU

9. 4-14

TCU (3-11)
Projected Losses: at OU, at OSU, ISU
At risk games: N/A

10. 2-16

Texas Tech (2-13)
Projected Losses: at TCU, OSU, at BU
At risk games: N/A

BIG 12 SCHEDULE

Monday

1. KU at K-State (8:00pm)***1/2 ( At-risk game)

Just like the good ol’ days when KU vs. K-State decided the conference championship. Think Kruger v. Kivisto. Hartman vs. Owens.

Of course, in the good ol’ days, the winner of this game won the championship. That will probably be the case this year if the Jayhawks come away victorious. If K-State wins, they can make a video.

Tuesday

2. Texas at West Virginia (6:00p.m.)** (Projected W: WVU)

Sometimes, the announcers who get paid handsome sums to talk about basketball just leave you shaking your head. In Saturday’s game in Austin, how any times did they mention that UT had recently won three straight games. Yes, vs. TCU in Austin, K-State with Marcus Foster suspended, and Texas Tech somewhere or other. So what?

In this game, Texas are playing a nominal contender on the Road. What do you think will happen? Who cares as long as they don’t suddenly right their sinking ship and come into Lawrence Saturday with a legitimate Road Win under their belts?

Wednesday

3. Texas Tech at TCU (7:00pm)* (Projected W: TCU)

Get some exercise. Go bowling.

4. Baylor at Iowa St (8:00pm)*** (Projected W: ISU)

Scott Drew vs. Fred Hoiberg on the Road. This is what Dickie V referred to, in his more lucid days, as an M and M’er (i.e., a Mis-Match). Of course, having more PTPer’s than Drew doesn’t hurt.

–Mark

REAL Standings: The Never Let Them See You Sweat Edition

posted by Mark on 2/20/2015 - -

There are plenty of people around the Big 12 who have been wanting to see KU sweat at least a little bit in the final weeks of the conference season.

And sweat the Jayhawks will, after Iowa St’s victory in an At-risk game in Stillwater pulled the Cyclones to within a half game of the Jayhawks in the suddenly tight ultra-tight REAL Standings.

You might say, “That’s what KU gets for losing at West Virginia,” but you would be wrong. That was a projected loss. Winning would have pretty much wrapped up the race, but, for REAL Standings purposes, it was merely a matter of treading water. What hurt the Jayhawks was Iowa State’s last minute victory in a venue where KU suffered a last minute loss.

I would say, “The game is afoot,” but KU has some problems with that foot-game thing, notwithstanding their victory over—guess who—Iowa State in the fall.

In other action, Oklahoma won as projected, at Home vs. Texas; Baylor won on the Road, as projected at Texas Tech; and TCU took an At-risk victory at Home over K-State in a game that left Bruce Weber babbling like coach who had lost his team and doesn’t know where to find it. (My suggestion: Look for them in the Little Apple Monday night.

As a result:

1. The Road to the Big 12 Title still goes through Lawrence. If the Jayhawks win their last three Home games (TCU, Texas, West Virginia), they go dormie with one Road victory (at K-State or Oklahoma) or one ISU loss.

Put another way, if the Jayhawks win out, they finish 15-3, and the ceiling for everyone else (including ISU) can win more than 14 games.

2. Iowa St is in position to catch KU in the REAL Standings with a W at Texas Saturday.

3. West Virginia escapes the Turk for another day. Their performance vs. KU, despite prevailing, was not impressive, relying on an offensive rebound ratio of about 17 to 1 and a blown traveling call on the game winning layup. But, a Win over the league leader is a Win over the league leader, even at Home. Can’t be demoted for that.

4. Oklahoma hangs around. Their upcoming game in Ames could be a barn burner.

Current Tiers

Tier 1: Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia

Tier 2: Baylor, K-State, Okie St, Texas

Tier 3: TCU

Tier 4: Texas Tech

REAL Standings:

1. 13.5-4.5

KU (10-3)
Projected Losses: at OU
At risk games: at KSU

2. 13-5

Iowa St: (9-4)
Projected Losses: N/A
At risk games: at UT, at KSU

3. 12-6

Oklahoma (9-5)
Projected Losses: at ISU
At risk games: N/A

4. 11-7

West Virginia (8-5)
Projected Losses: at KU
At risk games: at OSU, at BU

5. 9.5-8.5

Okie St (7-7)
Projected Losses: at WVU
At risk games: WVU

Baylor (7-6)
Projected Losses: at ISU, at UT
At risk games: WVU

7. 8.5-9.5

Texas (6-7)
Projected Losses: at WVU, at KU
At risk games: ISU

8. 7-11

K-State (6-8)
Projected Losses: at BU, at UT
At-risk games: KU, ISU

9. 4-14

TCU (3-10)
Projected Losses: at KU, at OU, at OSU, ISU
At risk games: N/A

10. 2-16

Texas Tech (2-12)
Projected Losses: OU, at TCU, OSU, at BU
At risk games: N/A

BIG 12 SCHEDULE

Saturday

1. Oklahoma at Texas Tech (11:00am)*( Projected W: OU)

The obligatory statement about Tech beating Iowa St in Lubbock. Followed by the obligatory statement that there is nothing more to say about this one.

2. K-State at Baylor (noon)**1/2 (Projected W: BU)

The obligatory statement about K-State sweeping OU. But that was a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

3. West Virginia at Okie St (8:00pm)**** (At-risk game)

A tale of two calls: a matchup between a team that won this week because they were not getting called for traveling at Home (which is par for the course) vs. a team that lost because they were called for traveling at Home. And that’s what the season could come down to for their two opponents.

4. Iowa St at Texas (1:00pm)**** (At-risk game)

There was a time when Texas was the pre-season favorite, and every game in Austin was a projected Win. Now, it is an At-risk game. Texas has shown some life recently, however. If Iowa St picks up this W, they are in it to Win it.

5. TCU at KU (3:00pm) ** (Projected W: KU)

TCU is beginning to resemble a Tier Two team. Which would still make this game a projected loss in Lawrence.

–Mark