Big XII Projected Standings by Tier

Instead of simply posting the current conference standings each Sunday, we’re going to look at the conference standings each week by projecting all remaining Big XII games using the Tier system. This should give us a clearer look at the conference race for two reasons. One, at any point in the season, not all teams have played the same number of games. And, two, imbalanced conference schedules make looking at current records less reliable than examining a team’s remaining schedule.

I have not done a good job of explaining the Tier tool so far as there were some typos in last week’s explanation. Here is another look.

Tier I
Projected Wins: All home games and road games against Tier III teams.
Toss-Ups: Road games against Tier II teams.
Projected Losses:Road games against Tier I teams.

Tier II
Projected Wins: Home games against Tier II and Tier II teams.
Toss-Ups: Home games against Tier I teams & road games against Tier III teams.
Projected Losses: Road games against Tier I and Tier II teams.

Tier III
Projected Wins: Home games against Tier III teams.
Toss-Ups: Home games against Tier II teams are toss-ups.
Projected Losses: All road games & home games against Tier I teams.

The next question is which teams fall into which categories. Most of the 12 conference teams are pretty clear. Based on Pomeroy ratings and early conference results: Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas State are clearly Tier I teams; Oklahoma State and Texas A&M are Tier II teams; and Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Colorado, Iowa State, and Nebraska fall into Tier III. Even with the recent slide, Texas still deserves to be a Tier I team.

The only real question mark is Baylor. They split their games last week—losing at home to Kansas State and, of course, defeating Texas on the road. The Bears are beating on the door of Tier I, but I still have trouble getting past the road loss to Colorado. If Baylor wins in College Station on Saturday, they’ll jump into the top tier next Sunday. But for now, let’s leave them in Tier II.

Given the above placements, here is how the Big XII conference is expected to play out. Projected Losses count in the loss column as one loss; Toss-Up games count as 0.5 losses in the loss column. The table is sorted by Projected Record. Please double check my work. With so many games left, I could have easily made a mistake or two.

Team Actual Record Projected Record Toss-Ups Projected Losses
1. Kansas

6 - 0

13 – 3

@ A&M; @ Ok State @ Texas; @ Missouri
2. Missouri

4 - 2

12.5 – 3.5

@ Baylor @ Kansas St
3. Kansas State

4 - 3

12 – 4

@ Kansas
4. Texas

4 - 2

11.5 – 4.5

@ Ok State; @ A&M; @ Baylor @ Missouri
5. Oklahoma St

4 - 3

9 – 7

vs. Texas; @ Tech; @ Iowa St; vs. Kansas; @ Texas; @ A&M;
6. Baylor

3 - 3

8.5 – 7.5

@ Nebraska; vs. Missouri; @ OU; @ Tech; vs. Texas @ A&M; @ Ok State;
6. Texas A&M

4 - 3

8.5 – 7.5

@ Tech; vs. Kansas; @ Iowa St; vs. Texas; @ OU @ Missouri; @ Baylor;
8. Oklahoma

3 - 4

5 – 11

vs. Baylor; vs. A&M vs. Texas; @ Ok State; @ Colorado; vs. Kansas St; @ KU; @ Texas
8. Colorado

2 - 5

5 – 11

vs. KU; vs. Missouri; @ KSU; @KU; @ Missouri; @ Nebraska
10. Iowa State

2 - 4

4 – 12

vs. Ok State; vs. A&M; @ Baylor; vs. KSU; @ Missouri; @ KU; @CU; vs. Missouri; @ KSU
11. Texas Tech

2 - 5

3.5 – 12.5

vs. Ok State; vs. A&M; vs. Baylor; @ OU; @ Baylor; vs. Texas; vs. Kansas St; @ Nebraska; @CU
11. Nebraska

1 - 5

3.5 – 12.5

vs. Baylor vs. KSU; @KU; @ Texas; @KSU; vs. Missouri; vs. Iowa State; @Ok State

Thoughts on the week ahead after the jump.

Biggest Surprise from Last Week: Baylor’s victory at Texas We’ll get into this more later.

Teams with Favorable Schedules: Kansas and Missouri. As will become a theme the rest of the season, Tier I teams from the Big XII North will have the most favorable schedules. The North has three Tier I teams and three Tier III teams. So, during any week when a Tier I teams draws two games against Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa State, the Tier I team will have two projected W’s. Conversely, the South has one Tier I team, three Tier II teams, and one Tier III team. This week, Kansas draws Colorado in Boulder on Wednesday and hosts Nebraska on Saturday. Missouri should keep pace as the Tigers host A&M on Wednesday and go to Colorado on Saturday.

Toss-Up Games:
Texas at Oklahoma State & Oklahoma State at Texas Tech Texas needs a win to stop the bleeding, but the Cowboys are undefeated in Stillwater this season. On the other side, two wins by Oklahoma State would go a long way toward securing their NCAA berth.

Upset Pick: Baylor over A&M in College Station The Aggies are undefeated this season at home. However, they should be coming off a mid-week loss at Missouri, while Baylor should be riding a wave of confidence and a two game winning streak.

Post-season Outlook: Kansas, Texas, Kansas State, Missouri, and Baylor are NCAA locks at this point. A&M would be in if the season ended today, and Oklahoma State would be right on the bubble as one of the last teams in.

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