USA Today goes out on a limb and puts the Iowa State men’s basketball team in a spot no one believes they will finish: dead last in the Big 12.
From a photo taken by Chris Williams of Cyclone Fanatic, an article by USA Today’s Cory Hedgepeth ranked the following Big 12 teams in projected order of finish:
- Oklahoma State
- West Virginia
- Texas Tech
- Kansas State
- Iowa State
Perhaps this is a predicted order of finish for Big 12 badminton, but this is completely wild if it’s for men’s basketball.
First off, the top two are pretty obvious. With Marcus Smart’s return to Oklahoma State, they should be ranked in the top two along with perennial powerhouse Kansas. Baylor’s a solid choice at third with Cory Jefferson returning along with perhaps the best guards on one team in the conference: Gary Franklin and Brady Heslip.
Then things get interesting. Teams ranked fourth through seventh all finished with a conference record at 7-8 or worse. Texas continues to lose talent that either transfers or leaves early to play overseas, Tubby Smith is overtaking a terrible basketball program at Texas Tech on day one, and TCU was an absolute abomination on the court.
Either the guy ranking the list didn’t put any effort in it after Baylor (this makes the most sense) or thought that all the players leaving Iowa State was all the talent they had and wasn’t paying attention to the transfers coming in.
Like Williams writes in his article, preseason polls don’t matter and there’s no reason to be that upset, but this is just an awful attempt at doing a simple job.
UPDATE (6:20 PM): Apparently author Cory Hedgepeth is a Kansas alum. Now it makes sense why the Wildcats are ninth and the Cyclones are last. What’s next, is he going to have a five-part USA Today exclusive on all the things the Kansas State athletic program has done wrong?