Checking in on… the Big 12Posted by rtmsf on December 8th, 2009
Patrick Sellars is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 Conference.
- Kansas (7-0) – The Jayhawks have yet to play a tough opponent, and they didn’t play too well against a bad UCLA team. However, to KU’s credit, they’re going to get everybody’s best shot all season long.
- Texas (7-0) – The Horns fans are probably more excited about their football team at the moment, but the town of Austin could see another national championship appearance, this time on the hardcourt.
- Texas A&M (8-1) – Not a very impressive week for the Aggies who struggled at home in their wins against Akron (74-62) and North Texas (75-65).
- Texas Tech (8-0) – This team has earned my respect after their crazy win over Washington at home. If Pat Knight gets to the Tournament he is looking at Big 12 coach of the year honors for what he’s doing in Lubbock.
- Kansas State (7-1) – The Wildcats are about to get into the toughest part of their nonconference schedule. This week they play at home against Xavier (Tuesday 12/8) and on the road against Mountain West favorite UNLV (Saturday 12/12).
- Missouri (5-2) – I think Mizzou answered a lot of questions about their offense with the 106-69 whipping of Oregon in Columbia.
- Oklahoma (5-3) – It looks like the Sooners are back on track with big wins over Arkansas (67-47) and Arizona (79-62).
- Oklahoma State (7-1) – If you recall, I called the upset against Tulsa, if we really call it an upset. The Cowboys then had a close call at home against UT-San Antonio (61-55)
- Baylor (7-1) – The win over Arizona State was a good sign for the Bears, but with the Pac-10 having a down year it’s hard to know what we should make of it.
- Iowa State (6-3) – Really tough week for the Cyclones losing to MVC favorite Northern Iowa (63-60) and then getting dumped by Cal on the road (82-63).
- Colorado (6-3) – Good news for the Buffaloes is that freshman Alec Burks is off to a terrific start (16 PPG, 4.3 RPG)
- Nebraska (5-2) – Lost on the road to a better Creighton team. Not much is looking good in Lincoln right now other than Ndamukong Suh, and I don’t think he’s going to try out for the basketball team any time soon.
Team of the Week: Texas Tech Red Raiders – The title of “craziest game” of this young season belongs to the Washington-TTU showdown in Lubbock last Thursday, and I think its safe to say that Red Raiders fans are surprised with what their team has been able to do so far this season.
Player of the Week: Damion James (F), Texas – James combined for 35 points and 15 rebounds in Texas’ two games last week. Right now, he is the key to the Longhorns’ success.
- Pac-10/Big-12 Hardwood Series – I think it’s appropriate that the name for this inter-conference competition is a “series” and not a “challenge,” because the Big 12 isn’t having much of a challenge putting teams from out west in their place. The Big 12 has already clinched the series with an 8-2 lead going into the final two games to be played later this month.
- Fix this Series – I know it’s hard to match up two conferences in a conference challenge, but so far the Pac-10 and Big 12 are failing big time. In the first two years there were repeats of competition from the previous year, and the series lasts almost an entire month. If they ever want it to be as interesting as the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, they will mix up the matchups to ensure the best teams play each other, and have it all played within a single week.
Predictions for this Week (by team, * indicates “Game to Watch”, # indicates “Upset Watch”):
- Kansas – Radford 12/9 (W), La Salle 12/12 (W): Not a tough week at all for the Jayhawks; expect them to keep their top ranking.
- Texas – Texas State 12/12 (W): I’m guessing this isn’t the game all the UT season ticket holders had circled on their schedule.
- Texas A&M – at New Mexico 12/12 (L)- #, * – The Aggies are in for a tough game against an undefeated New Mexico team which plays in the very underrated Mountain West Conference.
- Texas Tech – at TCU 12/8 (W)- It looks like the Red Raiders are poised to continue their winning streak at start 9-0.
- Kansas State – Xavier 12/8 (W)-*, at UNLV (W)-# – For some reason I like the Wildcats’ chances on the road against the Runnin’ Rebels. I think we’ll see a huge game from Jacob Pullen.
- Missouri – at Oral Roberts 12/9 (W), Farleigh Dickinson 12/12 (W) – Watch out for Oral Roberts, that team knows how to win. I wouldn’t be too worried about FDU.
- Oklahoma – Centenary 12/9 (W), at Utah 12/12 (W)- I think this is the turning point in the Sooners’ season. Jeff Capel is a tremendous coach and he has these players on track for a big year, despite some bad losses early.
- Oklahoma State – Arkansas Pine-Bluff 12/13 (W)- see Texas description, just insert OSU for UT
- Baylor – off week
- Iowa State – Iowa 12/11 (W) * – I think Craig Brackins and Marquis Gilstrap get the Cyclones back on track with a big win over their in-state rival.
- Colorado – at Colorado State 12/10 (W)- If the Buffaloes want me to think they have any chance in the Big 12 this season they need to put down weaker opponents on the road, starting with CSU on Thursday.
- Nebraska – Chicago State 12/10 (W), Oregon State 12/12 (L)- I don’t see the Huskers overcoming Oregon State’s size. Especially if Roeland Schaftenaar is playing like he did last season.