The first Bedlam basketball of the season arrives Monday night with a huge game in Norman that for all we know serves as a Big 12 elimination game. With Kansas rolling along at 6-0, the Bedlam loser falls three games behind the Jayhawks in the loss column.
Check it out from an OSU perspective. If the Cowboys lose, they’ve lost yet another chance for a road win. OSU has lost by three points at Kansas State and two points at Kansas. To win the Big 12, you’ve got to post some wins at fellow contenders. OSU is starting to run out of opportunities. But if the Cowboys win in Norman, suddenly they’re within a game and a half of KU, with only two tough road games left. They’ve at least got a fighting chance.
OK, now the Sooner outlook. If OU loses, then the Sooners will have two home losses, to KU and OSU. Hard to win a league race when you lose in January to both of the league’s supposed two best teams. But if OU wins, they catch Kansas in the win column and keep the momentum of two straight road wins.
It’s still not going to be easy for any team to catch Kansas. The Jayhawks look primed to win their ninth straight Big 12 title.
Here are the Big 12 rankings, based on home/road breakdown — one point for a road win, one point deducted for a home loss.
1. Kansas +3 (6-0, 15-4): KU hosts Iowa State on Wednesday night, then plays at Texas on Saturday.
2. Oklahoma +2 (5-2, 16-4): Sooners host OSU on Monday night, then play at Iowa State on Saturday.
3. Texas +1 (5-2, 16-4): Longhorns are idle until hosting Kansas on Saturday.
4. Oklahoma State +1 (4-2, 16-3): After Bedlam, Cowboys host Baylor on Saturday.
5. Kansas State +1 (4-3, 14-6): Wildcats host Texas Tech on Tuesday, then go to West Virginia on Saturday.
6. Iowa State even (3-3, 15-3): Cyclones play at Kansas on Wednesday, then host OU on Saturday.
7. West Virginia even (3-4, 11-9): Mountaineers play at reeling Baylor on Tuesday, then host Kansas State on Saturday.
8. Texas Tech -2 (1-3, 10-10): Red Raiders play at Kansas State on Tuesday, then host TCU on Saturday.
9. Baylor -2 (1-5, 13-6): Bears host West Virginia on Tuesday, then play in Stillwater on Saturday.
10. TCU -4 (0-7, 9-10): Frogs are off until play at Tech on Saturday.