Reviewing My Big 12 Predictions

USA TODAY Sports

I take a look back at how I predicted the Big 12 to finish and figure out what went right and what went wrong

Before the conference season started, I wrote a mini Big 12 power rankings post and predicted how I thought the league would finish this year. You can read the link above if interested in my reasoning, but here is how I thought the league would shake out:

1. Kansas

2. Kansas State

3. Baylor

4. Oklahoma State

5. Texas

6. Iowa State

7. Oklahoma

8. West Virginia

9. Texas Tech

10. TCU

Obviously at first glance there were some things I nailed and some things I missed pretty badly on, but for comparison's sake here are the final standings:

1. Kansas

2. Kansas State

3. Oklahoma State

4. Oklahoma

5. Iowa State

6. Baylor

7. Texas

8. West Virginia

9. Texas Tech

10. TCU

Starting with the bottom three, it was pretty obvious those three were going to be the worst three in the conference, with how bad Tech and TCU were last year and how much traveling West Virginia had to do (p.s. ESPN's Dana O'Neill, who I think is an amazing writer and am not picking on at all, picked West Virginia to win the league). And at the top of the league I felt pretty strongly about Kansas and K State. Maybe it was because Missouri from last year was so fresh in my mind but a coach taking over a team with a lot of upper classmen who had a star player seemed like a good formula to me.

The two I seemed to miss on most were Baylor and Texas (and, by extension, Iowa State and Oklahoma, though to be fair I knew they would be good, I just thought Texas and Baylor would be better, hence me missing on them). I am most disappointed in my Texas pick. Even after Myck Kabongo was suspended I thought they had enough talent around him to tread water and then when Kabongo came back they would win enough games to get into the top half of the league. Instead, Javan Felix was horrible filling in for him, Sheldon McClellan took a big step back, and while Kabongo maintained his assist rate and lowered his turnover rate (impressive given that he only played Big 12 competition this year) his shooting didn't take as big of a step forward as I thought it would and Texas went just 5-3 with him.

Baylor, meanwhile, has a much easier explanation: Scott Drew. I think it is a little lazy to blame him for everything most of the time, especially given that he has been to 2 Elite 8s in the last 3 years, but there's no other explanation to me this year. Pierre Jackson was the best point guard in the league, Cory Jefferson had the 22nd best offensive rating in the country, and Baylor had the third best defense in the league. Plus, if you saw their final game of the regular season you saw how well they were capable of playing. I don't get it.

All in all, I think I did fairly well with the predictions this year. Certainly a lot better than last year. I won't predict the full standings for 2014 just yet, but for the record I think Kansas, Iowa State, Texas and Baylor will be right there in some order.

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