BIG 12 OUTLOOK: 01.23.09


Big Twelve Conference Standings

(updated 1.22.2009 at 1:52 AM CST)

Conf Overall
W L W L
Oklahoma Sooners 4 0 18 1
Kansas Jayhawks 3 0 14 4
Missouri Tigers 3 1 16 3
Baylor Bears 3 1 15 3
Texas Longhorns 2 1 13 4
Nebraska Cornhuskers 2 2 12 5
Oklahoma St. Cowboys 1 2 12 5
Iowa St. Cyclones 1 2 12 6
Texas Tech Red Raiders 1 2 11 7
Texas A&M Aggies 1 3 15 4
Colorado Buffaloes 0 3 8 9
Kansas St. Wildcats 0 4 11 7


I must confess that when I began this particular project, I really didn't expect the Wildcats to consistently bring up the rear in the standings. Oh, how I long for the days of last season and actually being competitive in the conference. I suppose the only positive news I can offer is that we will eventually win a game, some day, and it will feel as though the heavens have opened up and rained manna down upon us. Things can only improve, right?

(Funny story: My mom bought me a bottle of wine from Wyldewood Cellars for Christmas. It's a muscat called "Sweet Victory" and it has a damn Powercat on the label, so I resolved to open it after we beat our first BCS team this season. So, I keep hauling this fraking wine bottle over to my grandparents' house to watch the games, and then I bring it back home, and so on and so forth. I'm about ready to break the bloody thing over somebody's head...)

Meanwhile, luckier fans of schools such as Baylor and Missouri got to watch their teams join that elite club, "Teams Actually Good Enough to Win a Big 12 Road Game." I suppose the positive here is that we are losing to good teams (three of the top four teams in the conference, in fact, and Nebraska at least is .500), but even that caveat will go by the wayside if we lose Saturday's Bargain Basement Showdown in Boulder.

Seed* Record* RPI Pomeroy Sagarin Best Win** Worst Loss** Coach
Oklahoma 1 13-3 3 14 6 Purdue Arkansas Jeff Capel
Kansas 2 13-3 38 18 33 Washington Massachusetts Bill Self
Missouri 3 13-3 33 6 14 California Nebraska Mike Anderson
Texas 4 12-4 27 28 25 UCLA Arkansas Rick Barnes
Baylor 5 11-5 28 29 23 Arizona State Texas A&M Scott Drew
Oklahoma State 6 9-7 32 32 41 Tulsa Baylor Travis Ford
Nebraska 7 8-8 68 63 72 Missouri UMBC Doc Sadler
Texas A&M 8 6-10 48 81 66 Baylor Tulsa Mark Turgeon
Kansas State 9 5-11 105 42 71 Cleveland State Oregon Frank Martin
Iowa State 10 5-11 108 104 96 Houston Hawai'i Greg McDermott
Texas Tech 11 1-15 100 129 111 New Mexico Lamar Pat Knight
Colorado 12 0-16 226 188 203 Colorado State SMU Jeff Bzdelik

Note: As any of these numbers change, I will color-code them to indicate direction of change.
Team names that are colored indicate a change in seed.
(green = upward, red = downward)

*Predicted
**According to Pomeroy rating

 

Discussion

Lots of movement this week. The table above looks like a Christmas tree.

We now have a bottleneck atop the projected standings. The tie was broken thus: Oklahoma beat Kansas head-to-head, and Kansas had a better North record than Missouri. All three teams held steady or saw modest gains in their computer numbers.

Texas remains at No. 4 and their projected record climbed by one win, but the computer numbers dropped across the board, despite sitting out the week.

Baylor shot up the charts, mainly because that projected loss to Kansas State turned into a real-life win. I believe that completes the list of five teams that the Big 12 will send to the NCAA Tournament. All are projected for double-digit wins in conference play and have extremely strong RPI numbers.

Oklahoma State has the potential to slip in with a decent RPI, but those close losses to Baylor and Missouri really hurt. The Cowboys have no real quality wins and no real road wins of which to speak. 9-7 probably won't do it for them; they would need to win at least one game in the Big 12 Tournament, and probably two.

Nebraska also shot up the charts, despite losing to Oklahoma. Computers aren't influenced by how tough you play a team in a loss, so I suspect it had more to do with Missouri's continued success feeding into their quality win. That No. 7 seed and an 8-8 record is what K-State should be aiming for, by the way. I think that is our theoretical ceiling this season, after what I have seen through four games.

When Texas A&M jumps you after an ugly loss, you know things are bad. The Wildcats absolutely plummeted today, as Pomeroy is beginning to catch on that we aren't that good and Sagarin is beginning to catch on that we are actually worse than even his computer originally thought. A sub-100 RPI in late January is the kiss of death, and even an NIT bid appears hard to envision at this point in time. If we lose to Colorado, these numbers are going to look like something my niece leaves in her diapers.

Even Iowa State gets in on the action of picking at the purple carcass this week, as they are now projected to beat us in Ames and pick up a game in the standings. For the curious, that tie at 5-11 was broken by an arbitrary draw: We were higher in the preseason predictions. In real life, it would be a random selection. In other words, we could be staring at a No. 10 seed and Wooldridge levels of futility if things continue on this course.

Nothing much to say about Colorado and Texas Tech, other than that they're really freaking bad and if K-State can't get three wins from those dorks, we are gonna have hell to pay.

 

Self-Evaluation

Big 12 Outlook correctly predicted wins for Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. Although a flip of the coin resulted in two incorrect picks, I would like to point out that at least they were toss-up games.

In our case, Mr. Pessimist Sagarin was right, as usual, so I'm going to blame that pick on Pomeroy. I don't know what that dude is smoking right now as far as K-State's projections go. Considering how much the guy likes to bash on the RPI, it's funny that our RPI is far more reflective of how we are playing right now than his wacky numbers.

He picked Missouri correctly, though. I think it is the first time Sagarin has whiffed this season, although Oklahoma State had several opportunities at the end of the game to win outright but failed. So, the Tigers are rewarded by the optimism of Pomeroy, while we are beaten down by the cold reality of Sagarin. Sounds about right.

As you can see below, I like Kansas and Kansas State to win on the road against the Northtards, while Missouri and Nebraska should beat mediocre South teams at home. Oklahoma and Texas will roll. Oklahoma State at Nebraska is the only toss-up game on Saturday. Although Nebraska won the toss, I would stick with Sagarin anyway because I think Pomeroy's numbers are just a little off right now, for some reason.

 

Key

Obviously, R serves only as a tiebreaker, so it is only listed when there is a split between P and S.

Results are plugged into this wonderful tool to generate the predicted records and seed order.

 

Predicted Outcomes

01.10
61 Tech
73 Baylor
67 I-State
75 Texas
61 Oklahoma
53 K-State
51 Missouri
56 Nebraska
61 A&M
72 O-State
01.12-01.14
63 Texas
78 Oklahoma
71 K-State
87 Kansas
53 Nebraska
65 I-State
62 Colorado
107 Missouri
73 Baylor
84 A&M
01.17
92 O-State
98 Baylor (OT)
73 Kansas
56 Colorado
46 I-State
77 Missouri
51 K-State
73 Nebraska
69 Oklahoma
63 A&M
71 Texas
49 Tech
01.19-01.21
53 A&M
73 Kansas
55 Colorado
63 Tech
83 Baylor
65 K-State
97 Missouri
95 O-State
61 Nebraska
72 Oklahoma
01.24
K-State (PS)
@ Colorado
Kansas (PS)
@ I-State
Tech
@ Missouri (PS)
O-State (P)
@ Nebraska (RS)
Baylor
@ Oklahoma (PS)
A&M
@ Texas (PS)
01.26-01.28
Oklahoma (PS)
@ O-State
Texas
@ Baylor (PS)
I-State (PS)
@ Colorado
Missouri (PS)
@ K-State
Kansas (PS)
@ Nebraska
Tech
@ A&M (PS)
01.31
Oklahoma (PS)
@ I-State
K-State
@ Texas (PS)
Colorado
@ Kansas (PS)
Baylor
@ Missouri (PS)
Nebraska (PS)
@ Tech
O-State (PR)
@ A&M (S)
02.02-02.04
Kansas
@ Baylor (PS)
I-State
@ K-State (PS)
Nebraska (PS)
@ Colorado
Missouri (P)
@ Texas (RS)
Tech
@ O-State (PS)
A&M
@ Oklahoma (PS)
02.07
Colorado
@ Oklahoma (PS)
Missouri (PS)
@ I-State
K-State (P)
@ A&M (RS)
O-State
@ Kansas (PS)
Texas (PS)
@ Nebraska
Baylor (PS)
@ Tech
02.09-02.11
Kansas
@ Missouri (PS)
O-State
@ Texas (PS)
Oklahoma
@ Baylor (PS)
Colorado
@ I-State (PS)
Tech
@ K-State (PS)
02.14
A&M
@ Baylor (PS)
Texas (PS)
@ Colorado
I-State
@ O-State (PS)
Kansas (PS)
@ K-State
Nebraska
@ Missouri (PS)
Tech
@ Oklahoma (PS)
02.16-02.18
Texas (PS)
@ A&M
I-State
@ Kansas (PS)
Colorado
@ Nebraska (PS)
O-State (PS)
@ Tech
02.21
Missouri (PS)
@ Colorado
K-State (P)
@ I-State (RS)
Nebraska
@ Kansas (PS)
Baylor
@ O-State (PS)
A&M (PS)
@ Tech
Oklahoma
@ Texas (PS)
02.23-02.25
Kansas
@ Oklahoma (PS)
Baylor (PS)
@ I-State
A&M
@ Nebraska (PS)
O-State (PS)
@ Colorado
K-State
@ Missouri (PS)
Tech
@ Texas (PS)
02.28-03.01
Colorado
@ Baylor (PS)
I-State
@ A&M (PS)
Nebraska
@ K-State (PS)
Texas
@ O-State (PS)
Oklahoma (PS)
@ Tech
Missouri
@ Kansas (PS)
03.02-03.04
Baylor
@ Texas (PS)
K-State
@ O-State (PS)
A&M (PS)
@ Colorado
Kansas (PS)
@ Tech
Oklahoma
@ Missouri (PS)
I-State
@ Nebraska (PS)
03.07
Tech
@ I-State (PS)
Colorado
@ K-State (PS)
Texas
@ Kansas (PS)
Missouri (PS)
@ A&M
Nebraska
@ Baylor (PS)
O-State
@ Oklahoma (PS)
X
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