Big 12 Basketball Preseason Picks
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The preseason coaches picks to win the Big 12 were released today. This doesn’t mean much in the big scheme of things but I’m poring over hoops stuff right now like crazy so I think it’s kind of fun. OSU was picked to finish 3rd in the Big 12 behind KU and Baylor. This on the heels of Bill Self saying OSU has the best team on paper. I think the most telling thing is how closely grouped Baylor, OSU, Texas, K-State, and WVU are. Any of those teams could finish 2-6 (assuming Kansas wins it) and I think OU even has a chance to make a little noise this year. The points section should be pretty self-explanatory (9 pts for a first place vote, 8 for second, etc.) Kansas got every first place vote except its own (you can’t vote for your own team). Self voted for Baylor to win the conference.

Preseason Picks Evaluated
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Everybody likes to get all fired up about preseason polls and the vast (and I mean vast) number of watch lists their teams’ players land on1. But as time, and the chart I’m about to show you, has shown, we know so little this time of year it’s not even worth getting excited about2. After they picked OSU to finish 4th in the conference yesterday (pretty reasonable, I might add) I wanted to see how well the media did historically at picking OSU and other Big 12 teams. And at this point if your team doesn’t have a player on a watch list then it actually probably is something to be concerned about ↩ The obvious exception being the preseason top 25 polls which, inexplicably tend to figure into final BCS standings ↩

Where are all the Picks?
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College Football Matrix put out a study the other day that compared draft picks to recruiting class rankings and the results weren’t so stellar for Oklahoma State. In fact, the Cowboys moseyed on up to the short seat at the “what did you do with the talent you had” end of the table. For example: Since 2002 OSU has brought in (on average) the 25th best class in the country. In that same time, the Cowboys have produced 15 draft picks, good for 53rd most in that time span. So their aggregate score is a -28 (draft picks rank minus recruiting class rank) which implies that the coaching staff can recruit well but lacks the ability to coach. This is counterintuitive to what most OSU fans consider to be reality. The consensus: “we get the leftovers from Texas, OU, A&M, Tech, and even TCU and turn them into incredible players.” The numbers say something very different. The numbers say we get outstanding players, some of the best in the country, and they either 1.) get lost in the system and are never found by NFL scouts or 2.) aren’t coached to materialize.