LJWorld.com weblogs The Newell Post
Ranking comes at bad time for KU
Kansas picked a bad time to return to the rankings.If you haven’t heard yet, the Jayhawks are back in the rankings, as high as No. 21 in the AP poll.I know what you’re going to say: There’s never a bad time to be ranked. You always want your program receiving national attention for its success.I would agree with you most of the time. But not today.After the Michigan State loss, KU’s done a great job of simply winning. No additional spotlight was thrown upon the Jayhawks, and they responded by improving themselves while also picking up a pair of tough victories on the road (Nebraska and Iowa State).Starting tonight, KU will have an added burden: that small No. 24 next to its name in the corner of your TV.The problem isn’t with the ranking — instead, it’s with what that number means to the next two teams the Jayhawks are playing. KU will take on a desperate Baylor team tonight. After starting well, the Bears have lost three straight.Baylor and KU’s next opponent — Oklahoma State — have one major thing in common: They both are teams firmly on the bubble.Check out the latest Bracketology on ESPN — Baylor is one of the last four teams in, while Oklahoma State is one of the last four teams out.Both these teams need quality wins. And while beating the defending national champions would be nice, beating a ranked opponent at this point would be much more valuable for an NCAA resume.KU would have been much better off getting ranked next week when it plays at Missouri and Kansas State. MU and KSU fans don’t care whether KU is 21st or 321st — they simply want to beat their rival.The Jayhawks might win tonight (even though, right now, they’re not favored). But if they don’t, expect one thing: Baylor fans will storm the court.It’s not something you do for an unranked team. But that small number in the corner of your screen just made the Jayhawks’ challenge tonight in Waco a whole lot tougher.