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Updated Big 12 projections: There's a 98% chance it's either Baylor or TCU

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F/+ projections say there's a 69% chance that both Baylor and TCU win out, meaning the Big 12 race is in their court until a couple of upsets happen.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Win projections

In terms of ratings, the Big 12 has been the most stable of the major conferences over the last month or so. We've had some upsets and surprises -- Baylor killing Oklahoma, Texas whipping WVU, etc. -- and lord knows we almost had an incredible surprise last week when Kansas nearly took down TCU. But the projected wins haven't changed all that much from week to week, and they most certainly didn't in Week 12.

Odds of conference records

F/+ Ranking Proj. Conf. Wins Last Week (Change)
TCU (6-1, 9-1) 6 7.88 7.91 (-0.02)
Baylor (5-1, 8-1) 9 7.77 7.77 (+0.00)
Kansas State (5-1, 7-2) 26 6.57 6.58 (-0.01)
Oklahoma (4-3, 7-3) 12 5.97 5.94 (+0.03)
West Virginia (4-3, 6-4) 28 5.49 5.51 (-0.02)
Texas (5-3, 6-5) 53 5.10 4.66 (+0.44)
Oklahoma State (3-4, 5-5) 76 3.03 3.44 (-0.41)
Texas Tech (1-6, 3-7) 78 1.43 1.44 (-0.01)
Kansas (1-6, 3-7) 93 1.04 1.04 (+0.00)
Iowa State (0-6, 2-7) 86 0.72 0.71 (+0.01)

Technically, six of the conference's 10 teams could still tie for the conference title since nobody has more than six wins and six teams have three or fewer losses. And since there are still three full weeks of the regular season left and 10 games that involve at least one of these six teams, there are 1,024 scenarios remaining. Hard to break everything down at this point.

It's also hard to figure out all the potential tie-breakers when you're trying to knock out posts like this for all five power conferences. So I'm going to simplify a bit. Using the win probabilities below, we can determine the following:

  • There is an 88% chance that TCU wins out, and there's a 78% chance that Baylor wins out. That means there's also a 69% chance that both win out, which would give Baylor the conference tie-breaker win (which might or might not mean something in the Playoff race).
  • Because of the tie-breaker and the 12% chance that TCU might lose, simulations suggest Baylor has a 78.2% chance of winning the Big 12.
  • TCU has a 19.8% chance of winning outright, and Kansas State has a 0.9% chance.
  • Then it gets messy. There's a 1.2% chance of what I just called SLOG on the spreadsheet: three-, four-, five-, or (in three of 1,024 scenarios) six-way ties in which it wasn't immediately obvious to me who would win the tie-breaker. And if it's not immediately obvious, and there's only a 1.2% chance, I'll delay another week before having to deal with it.

So yeah, we're basically looking at Baylor and TCU here. The biggest drama, of course, is whether Baylor can catch the Frogs in the Playoff committee rankings. TCU held a significant edge until the last two weeks, when Baylor whipped OU and TCU looked awful for about 2.5 quarters against Kansas. If Baylor not only wins out but pummels Oklahoma State and (especially) Kansas State along the way, then they could pass the Frogs even if TCU indeed beats Texas and Iowa State and finishes 11-1.

All Projections

Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
13 20-Nov-14 Kansas State West Virginia 40.6%
13 22-Nov-14 Kansas Oklahoma 1.4%
13 22-Nov-14 Oklahoma State Baylor 1.5%
13 22-Nov-14 Texas Tech Iowa State 40.2%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
14 27-Nov-14 TCU Texas 89.9%
14 29-Nov-14 Baylor Texas Tech 97.3%
14 29-Nov-14 Kansas Kansas State 2.1%
14 29-Nov-14 West Virginia Iowa State 90.0%
Week Date Road Home Road Team's %Chance
15 06-Dec-14 Iowa State TCU 1.4%
15 06-Dec-14 Kansas State Baylor 18.9%
15 06-Dec-14 Oklahoma State Oklahoma 2.1%

1. Baylor 78%

2. TCU 20%

3. Kansas State 1%

4. SLOG 1%