BIG 12 OUTLOOK: 02.06.09


Big Twelve Conference Standings

(updated 2.3.2009 at 2:05 AM CST)

Conf Overall
W L W L
Oklahoma Sooners 8 0 22 1
Kansas Jayhawks 7 0 18 4
Missouri Tigers 6 2 19 4
Texas Longhorns 4 3 15 6
Kansas St. Wildcats 4 4 15 7
Nebraska Cornhuskers 4 4 14 7
Oklahoma St. Cowboys 3 4 14 7
Texas A&M Aggies 3 5 17 6
Baylor Bears 3 5 15 7
Iowa St. Cyclones 1 6 12 10
Texas Tech Red Raiders 1 6 11 11
Colorado Buffaloes 1 6 9 12


Well, this is just crazy. Two weeks ago K-State was at the bottom of the standings and things looked bleak. Now we have clawed our way back to 4-4 and Texas' second consecutive home loss means that we now have a legitimate chance at passing them and claiming the No. 4 seed in Oklahoma City.

In other Big 12 news, the North is actually 8-7 against the South now, and four of the top six teams in the conference are in the North, meaning we currently play in the tougher division, which can only help our RPI.

Oklahoma and Kansas continue their winning ways and appear to be on a collision course for a Big Monday showdown in Norman that will likely decide the No. 1 seed. And I owe Missouri an apology - the Tigers are indeed legit, which I am all too ready to concede because it makes the Cats look even better!

Meanwhile, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech had better consider deploying the parachute soon, before they drag the entire South Division down with them. Their malaise of mediocrity already appears to have spread as far as Austin...

Big 12 Outlook wraps it all up for you and tells you where we might go from here, as the second half of conference play gets under way this Saturday - all after the jump.

Seed* Record* RPI Pomeroy Sagarin Best Win** Worst Loss** Coach
Oklahoma 1 14-2 1 12 5 Purdue Arkansas Jeff Capel
Kansas 2 14-2 16 16 20 Washington UMass Bill Self
Missouri 3 13-3 22 10 15 Texas Nebraska Mike Anderson
Texas 4 11-5 36 25 27 UCLA Arkansas Rick Barnes
Oklahoma State 5 9-7 30 48 41 Tulsa Texas A&M Travis Ford
Kansas State 6 9-7 80 35 56 Missouri Oregon Frank Martin
Baylor 7 8-8 51 40 37 Arizona State Texas A&M Scott Drew
Nebraska 8 7-9 76 62 74 Missouri UMBC Doc Sadler
Texas A&M 9 6-10 34 72 60 LSU Tulsa Mark Turgeon
Iowa State 10 3-13 142 126 115 Houston Hawai'i Greg McDermott
Texas Tech 11 1-15 117 115 112 New Mexico Lamar Pat Knight
Colorado 12 1-15 223 158 196 Iowa 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

The race at the top tightened up again, thanks largely to Missouri's rising stock. Kansas snagging a nice road win in the South on Big Monday didn't hurt their cause, either. All three teams saw computer gains across the board, and Oklahoma is now the RPI No. 1 team in the nation (which I hear comes with some nice perks, such as a calling card with 57 minutes on it that you can only use in certain parts of Dayton, Ohio, or a pewter paperweight that bears a vague resemblance to Blake Griffin in drag).

Surprisingly, Texas didn't lose any ground despite a two-game losing streak. They were simply jumped by Missouri, a loss that was offset by picking up a projected win over Oklahoma on a coin flip.

K-State lost a game not because it did anything wrong, but because Pomeroy was sufficiently impressed by Kansas' win at Baylor to flip-flop them to a projected victory in Bramlage. Yeah, right - I will believe it when I see it. That said, I think it's wise to go into a dangerous Reed Arena with a humble heart (just in case), so let's just pretend we would be happy with 9-7 and an NIT bid for the moment.

That's where we're heading unless we pick off a few more wins than this home court-happy computer system is willing to predict. Our RPI is still a putrid 80, and Indiana snapping its record-tying 11-game losing streak against Iowa the other night didn't help matters. Neither does Kentucky's three-game slide.

(By the way, I will go on record right now in saying that we will not lose all three of those road games against Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. One of those teams is going down.)

Last week was just an all-around bad week for Baylor. They blew a perfect opportunity for an attention-grabbing win with a completely sub-par effort, their computer numbers dropped sharply and they just plain look like crap right now. Apparently LaceDarius Dunn is a figment of Wildcat Nation's collective imagination, as I have seen no scientific evidence in the last two weeks that proves he actually exists.

The rest of the bottom remains unchanged, which is an indication that the Pomeroy-Sagarin system is settling into equilibrium. The only real shake-ups from here on out will come from true upsets that no one will see coming. In that sense, Big 12 Outlook will probably suffer as a predictive tool in specific cases, but it should continue to perform well in the aggregate.

At any rate, it provides a decent picture of the league as a whole and the momentum of various teams, so I will keep crunching the numbers for the rest of the season even as the framework locks more and more into place. Starting next week, I may start to take more of an NCAA Outlook approach, but that is dependent on the Cats' performance in their next few games.

Based on this week's results, Pomeroy now projects us to lose to Kansas. There were no other changes in the Pomeroy projections.

Based on this week's results, Sagarin now projects Missouri to beat Oklahoma. There were no changes in the Sagarin projections.

 

Self-Evaluation

Big 12 Outlook went 4-2 again this week. I did allow for the possibility of a Kansas win, although both Pomeroy and Sagarin picked Baylor because I feel they slightly over-weigh home court advantage. They also don't take into account the utter train wreck Baylor basketball has become.

As for Texas, that was a surprise. Again, home court was over-weighed, but there was still a lingering sense that Missouri might be over-hyped before that game. No more. You don't get to 19-4 in this conference unless you are pretty good. That of course begs the question: How good are the Cats if they ran the Tigers off the court?

As you can see below, I like four road teams to win Saturday, which is abnormally high. In fact, I will almost guarantee at least one of them will lose to a home team they shouldn't. K-State is the obvious front-runner, given the pick 'em nature of the match-up and the potential mismatch we will have in dealing with their front court, but Baylor, Missouri and Nebraska could all easily lose as well. It should make for an interesting weekend.

Kansas should coast at home against an Oklahoma State team that is allergic to playing defense, while Colorado at Oklahoma could well be the ugliest game ever played in Big 12 basketball history. God, I hope that one is blacked out so I don't accidentally stumble across it while flipping channels and burn my eyes out as a result...

 

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
77 K-State
75 Colorado (OT)
82 Kansas
67 I-State
86 Tech
97 Missouri
76 O-State
74 Nebraska (OT)
76 Baylor
95 Oklahoma
58 A&M
67 Texas
01.26-01.28
89 Oklahoma
81 O-State
78 Texas
72 Baylor
49 I-State
55 Colorado
72 Missouri
88 K-State
68 Kansas
62 Nebraska
70 Tech
79 A&M
01.31
78 Oklahoma
68 I-State
85 K-State
81 Texas (OT)
61 Colorado
66 Kansas
72 Baylor
89 Missouri
82 Nebraska
69 Tech
64 O-State
76 A&M
02.02-02.04
75 Kansas
65 Baylor
50 I-State
65 K-State
55 Nebraska
53 Colorado
69 Missouri
65 Texas
80 Tech
81 O-State
71 A&M
77 Oklahoma
02.07
Colorado
@ Oklahoma (PS)
Missouri (PS)
@ I-State
K-State (PR)
@ A&M (S)
O-State
@ Kansas (PS)
Texas (PS)
@ Nebraska
Baylor (PS)
@ Tech
02.09-02.11
Kansas
@ Missouri (PS)
O-State
@ Texas (PS)
Oklahoma (PS)
@ Baylor
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 (PS)
@ I-State
Nebraska
@ Kansas (PS)
Baylor
@ O-State (PS)
A&M (PS)
@ Tech
Oklahoma (S)
@ Texas (PR)
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)
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