It's only two days away, so here is your early present.
Given what has occurred since revealing my Big 12 Predictions/Preview, I thought it necessary to make an additional post to keep everyone updated. And given how the landscape of college basketball changes even more dramatically than that of football, I would expect to have a further revised synopsis up right before conference play begins. From there we may just revert to power rankings.
First off, if you haven't noticed, the conference on the whole is getting some great resume wins. Even Gary Parrish has taken the time to point it out, and he does it oh so eloquently.
As he also mentions, Baylor went on the road this week and snapped a 25 game road losing streak to South Carolina. In the process of doing so, they also came back from a 20 point deficit. I'm not sure if that should make me more or less confident in my prediction of 6th for them. For the time being, we'll leave them there.
After a crushing home loss to Stephen F. Austin last week, has gone ahead and completely redeemed themselves with wins over Arkansas and Gonzaga. They still have a roadie at West Virginia and if they can manage to win that one, the SFA debacle will be all but forgotten with their only other losses being close ones to Memphis and USC.
Methzouri's last test comes tomorrow against Illinois. A win here is almost a must as the Illini are coming off a home loss to Miami(OH) and I'm pretty sure Methzou hasn't won this "rivalry" game this millennium. Assuming they don't shit the bed tomorrow, I am going to go ahead and confirm my suspicions that I originally underrated them (8th).
Kansas State continues to unimpress, so I really want to believe I overrated them (4th), but I can't find a team to move ahead of them. We'll reserve judgment until I see them play at Xavier.
I've already mentioned Nebraska's program-changing(?) win over Oregon but it warrants again pointing out that they have wins over two Pac10 teams and have not lost at home. Even factoring in that they're Nebraska there is no reason they should be tested again until conference play starts and Kansas comes to Lincoln. Finishing OOC at 11-2 with no bad losses should be considered a big victory for them and put them in good shape if they can at least continue to defend the Devaney Center. Perhaps 9th was too low?
Texas Tech, Iowa State and Colorado continue to look like they will effectively round out the bottom of the league. And to my slight surprise, Oklahoma State is looking like they may only be a notch above that tremendous trio. I tried predicting them 5th on account of default and Gallagher-Iba, but I was clearly ignoring the Sean Sutton factor.I'm not sure if they'll end up 9th as I just alluded to, but they're sure as hell not finishing 5th. I can forgive an ORU loss if it was an anomaly, but they were clearly the second best team on the court (how badly does OSU want to trade their Sutton for Scott?!) - and factor in a loss to North Texas and this team clearly is not what they had hoped to be. They aren't quite airing of grievances worthy, but they have looked awful.
Kansas, Texas, and Texas A&M continue to roll, further establishing themselves as the class of the conference. Texas still has tests @Michigan State and home to Wiscy. I'm not sure if they'll beat Sparty tomorrow, but I'd be shocked if they lost to Bucky. And man, if they win both, they will be sitting pretty. I still don't see how lack of depth and an inside presence doesn't hurt them at some point (see Duke last night). A&M is playing a typical A&M non-con so it's hard to evaluate them, but other than falling apart in the desert, they have looked every bit the part of a sweet 16 team. Kansas has not done anything nearly as spectacular as Texas (2 top 10 wins and going for a 3rd), but they have big wins in the Pac10 (home and road), and they already have 1 roadie in the ACC and will be going for another in a couple weeks. They have all the pieces, but certainly have some issues to rectify before they can do anything special.
All in all the conference looks solid so far. The only teams that have really impressed have been the top 3. But, as predicted, it seems to be an extremely middle-heavy league and as long as everyone doesn't beat up on each other, should be able to garner the league a few extra bids. If anything else happens, I'll keep you updated. And per Ryan Wood's advice, I'll try to confirm anything before it's on here.
1. Kansas (1)
2. Texas (2)
3. Texas A&M (3)
4. Kansas State (4)
5. Oklahoma (7)
6. Baylor (6)
7. Methzouri (8)
8. Nebraska (9)
9. Oklahoma State (5)
10. Texas Tech (10)
11. Colorado (11)
12. Iowa State (12)