Monday, February 26, 2007

Big XII Predictions, 2/26

Kansas @ Oklahoma – When things clicked for Sherron Collins, Kansas went into an entirely different gear. Rush, Wright, Chalmers, Robinson, etc., can all go into an offensive funk from time to time, and those funks seemed to overlap quite a bit, causing KU to slip up at random times. However, since Collins has found his way (the switch seemed to flip with about 5 minutes to go in the first Missouri game), and since Self has started to trust him (which seemed to happen after he caught hell for not playing Collins at the end of the ATM game), I’ve started to wonder if KU is actually capable of one of those funks again. I mean, I’m sure they are, but...I’m just not sure if they’re capable of doing it against anybody but a really, really good team.

That said, tonight’s game will be a good test of my theory. OU’s been solid at Lloyd Noble this season (Saturday’s game against Texas notwithstanding), and this is a game that KU quite possibly would have lost last year. However, I just can’t figure out a reason not to pick them to win. When the offense starts to get stagnant, Collins just lowers his head, bulls toward the rim, and gets a layup. Seriously, he’s like Stefhon Hannah with 20 pounds of muscle. KU’s funks never seem to last more than 2-3 possessions now, and I just don’t see OU presenting enough of an obstacle for them at this point, not after they took KSU’s best punch in an extremely hostile environment last week and won relatively comfortably. KU by 10.

Kansas State @ Oklahoma State – The OSU homer is coming out in me. They’re in a massive slide right now, but I just cannot see them losing three straight at Gallagher-Iba. The crowd just won’t let them. That’s pretty much the extent of my analysis. OSU by 3.

Colorado @ Missouri – It’s Senior Night at Mizzou, so hopefully Marcus Watkins gets the start. No matter who starts, I’ll be pretty disappointed if this game ends up within single digits. Colorado played decent for 20 minutes or so against K-State on Saturday, and they might have at least some semblance of life to them, but Mizzou has just played too well lately (even in Saturday’s loss). They’d have to regress pretty significantly for this game to be close, and hopefully that doesn’t happen. MU by 16.

Iowa State @ Nebraska – Nebraska has the best pure (i.e. old-fashioned) post man in the league, and Iowa State has just about packed it in. NU by 13.

Baylor @ Texas Tech – On Saturday, I said that I still thought Baylor could jump up and bite somebody. Well, there aren’t many opportunities left. However, I’m thinking beating OSU at home on Saturday is a lot easier than beating Tech on the road.

Eh, screw it. Baylor by 2.

Texas A&M @ Texas – It really hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but the race for Big XII Champion has gotten quite interesting. It’s not often that three teams have a chance to win with a week left in the season. To hold onto their tenuous lead, ATM has to win in Austin. If they win that, they get an easier game at home against Mizzou to clinch the title. However, if Texas wins, they have an opportunity to claim the title by winning in Lawrence this weekend. If ATM slips and KU beats Texas, they’re champs. I don’t have a rooting interest in this, really, but I guess ATM winning would be the least painful result of the three. Therefore they won’t win. Texas by 4.

And if things take place according to these predictions, here’s how the standings will look heading into the last weekend of the season.

1. Kansas 13-2
2. Texas 12-3
3. Texas A&M 12-3
4. Kansas State 9-6
5. Missouri 7-8
6. Texas Tech 7-8
7. Nebraska 6-8
8. Oklahoma State 6-8
9. Oklahoma 6-9
10. Iowa State 5-10
11. Baylor 4-11
12. Colorado 2-13

I went 6-for-6 on Saturday, but these games are a bit tougher. Plus, needless to say, I’m picking quite the longshot in Baylor.