From the Bird’s Nest: The Case for Oklahoma State
There’s another weekend of college football to be played, although, if you listen to any national sports show, you wouldn’t know it.
It’s a done deal, they say. Alabama and LSU will play for the BCS Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9th.
Never mind the fact LSU still has a game to play. Even if they lose, they’re in, say the pundits.
And, never mind Alabama didn’t win the SEC… or the SEC West for that matter.
Nope. Don’t even play the games this week. As Dennis Green once said, “You want to crown ‘em..crown ‘em.”
There’s only one flaw among opinions of the Edwardses, Brandos and the like.
Inexplicably, OSU is currently fifth in the USA Today and Harris Polls. Voters have been accused of manipulating the rankings in the past. But no one is questioning them this year. Curious, to say the least.
The reality is, if Oklahoma State defeats OU this Saturday in the Bedlam game in Stillwater, the Cowboys deserve to be in New Orleans.
Here are four reasons why:
- STRENGTH OF CONFERENCE—All season long, it’s been the Big XII, not the SEC, that has been the top rated conference. The Big XII has had eight of their ten teams ranked in the Top 25 at some point in time. And remember the SEC’s ranking is based in part on the strength of Georgia and South Carolina….two teams that Alabama did not play. I don’t see how the voters can justify leaving out the champion of the strongest conference in favor of a team that didn’t win its division.
- BODY OF WORK—Let’s check the resumes of the two teams. Alabama has beaten two teams currently ranked in the BCS Top 25. Oklahoma State has beaten five, and with a win this week, the number reaches six. Oklahoma State, with a win this week, will have beaten eight bowl-eligible teams. Alabama will have beaten six. One of Alabama’s wins is against an FCS opponent. Oklahoma State played a total FBS schedule. Alabama lost a game at home (albeit to a great team.) OSU’s loss came on the road in double overtime in a game where they turned it over five times. And OSU is ranked fifth in the human polls? Give me a break.
- OPINION VS FACT—It is the opinion of many that Alabama is the second best team in the nation. And, that might be true. But, at the end of the day, it’s an opinion. It is the opinion of many that Alabama would give LSU a better game than Oklahoma State. And, that might be true. But, at the end of the day, it’s an opinion. But now let’s look at facts. FACT: LSU has not beaten Oklahoma State. FACT: LSU has beaten Alabama.
- PRECEDENT—Back in 2003, Oklahoma was thought to have perhaps the best college football team ever. Then they lost to Kansas State in the Big XII title game. They still got to play for the BCS championship and the outcry was so great it caused a re-tooling of the BCS formula. How can you possibly play for the championship if you don’t win your conference? That’s what virtually everyone said. In 2006, Michigan and Ohio State, both undefeated and ranked 1-2, played for the Big Ten title. OSU won, narrowly. No rematches, everyone screamed and voted Florida ahead of Michigan. We don’t know if OSU can beat Florida, the pundits said, but they’ve already beaten Michigan……hmmmmm. In 2007, a wacky one to say the least, a two-loss Georgia team was right in the hunt to play for the title. But the voters suddenly dropped Georgia a few slots in the polls on the next to last weekend. Why? They weren’t playing for the SEC title. And, how can you play for the BCS championship when you couldn’t even win your division? A two-loss LSU team, who lost their final regular season game, got to play for the title. They were, after all, a conference champion.
As a Harris poll voter, I’ll say it publicly now. If Oklahoma State defeats Oklahoma this week, I’ll vote them second in my poll. I have four good reasons why.
I have stated weeks ago I really don’t want to see a rematch. But, I’m putting personal feelings aside here and looking at facts.
I wonder if the other voters in the Harris and USA Today polls are doing the same.