Texas Head to Head Win Beaten in BCS Rematch with Sooners

Monday, December 1st 2008, 4:21 pm
By: News 9

Breaking down the controversy surrounding the BCS decision to send OU and not Texas to the play Missouri this weekend in KC in the Big 12 title game with the potential to advance to another national title game.

Let it be stated loud and clear that I have known Mack Brown since he arrived at OU in 1983. I like him, respect him, and think he's a great football coach and appreciate the way he treats people. Despite being a completely different man and coach in many ways, the same attributes I respect in Mack, I respect in Bob, whom I knew a little before he arrived on the OU campus ten years to the day ago.

The other facts worth noting are that given my druthers in the argument, I'd prefer to be the team that won a head to head meeting over being a team that did everything but win a back and forth head to head meeting in Dallas.

With that out of the way.............

UT's incessant promotional campaign-a great deal behind the scenes-unfortunately did not stick to its talking points. And when it strayed from the head to head fact it was both less factual and less impactful. I don't necessarily believe the latter point necessarily hurt UT as much as some believe, but the point is that sticking to the primary point, as Mack did publicly, was the high road approach that would have been more effective in this Battle of the Big Boy Royale.

Regardless the side you took in this UT/OU squabble, you should admit in your heart of hearts that Stoops gained respect from many in the know for refusing to get involved in the non-stop political campaign to argue his legitimate position that the South ended in fact in a three-way tie--not a two-tie that would unfairly exclude an 11-1 team whose only loss was in Norman.

Perhaps the most ridiculous logic that was alleged by numerous journalists to be coming out of the Texas camp was that TT became flawed because OU hammered them. That they were thus out of the conversation. Anyone who has a vote and falls for that lame nonsense is either ignorant, biased, easily persuaded, just looking for a reason to vote Texas ahead of OU or all of the above. Stoops position is correct. If Tech is not worthy, what does that say for Texas? OU won by 40. Texas lost.

Again, I am not saying that it was wrong to vote Texas ahead of OU if you believe the head to head game was the most important element. That's all that needs to be said. But leave it at that. Nonsense like the Tech stuff simply diminishes the argument. People should learn how to put a period at the end of a sentence and then stop talking.

Then there's the undeniable fact that OU was No. 1 by the computers. They factor in things including how a team does down the stretch a lot more than 45-35 signs and flyovers. ESPN may love it. Computers could not care less.

Here's the point. Folks, go schedule tougher teams! If Washington had been the team they were expected to be when AD Joe Castiglione scheduled them, an OU win in Seattle would have made the Sooners strength of schedule-a component that for some bizarre reason was overlooked by much of the media and everyone on the Obama-like campaign trail-off the charts high. Even without, their scheduling became a primary issue.

Schools should note, as well as those moaning today with righteous indignation about the outcome, that OU was the only team in America to beat 4 teams ranked in the BCS Top 25 (actually it was the Top 14 when you include the Cowboys. Missouri is No. 20 and would only increase that point and essentially give Texas no chance of jumping OU under any scenario with a win in KC). To those blind of the facts, OU's win over a No. 13 Cincinnati team that won the Big East and a No. 11 TCU team that was only beaten one time other than in Norman (by a whisker at No. 7 Utah), was justly valued by the computers.

Anyone given the right to vote should never reward a team when it loses. And, a rule should be instigated right now that all voters should reveal their votes NO LATER than the week that decides major decisions like this one. What good does it do to wait till next week? Voters have been known to use prejudice and vote a team much lower than is fair at this time of the season only to change their votes to make them look fairer the next week when their vote is essentially irrelevant. That assumes of course that an OU win puts them into the national title game and a close or sloppy win does not vault Texas ahead of them and into the title tilt.

It is my fervent belief that despite the fact that Texas made a move in both human polls, the majority of coaches respected the fact that Stoops did not stoop to the level to sell non-stop the fact that if TT was nothing special, then what does that say about Texas? It is clear to me that they simply played more credence to the fact that Texas won the head to head meeting-or switched in part because of an effective and proactive Texas effort to stand up for its beliefs.

Be honest. If you were a UT fan right now you'd be screaming to the high heavens that your team was rail-roaded by the system. You certainly wouldn't get the national media's near unanimous support that UT received, because Stoops would not have been a part of an overwhelming campaign born out of indignation. But OU fans, you would have rightfully cried foul. You just wouldn't have had a coach, PR department or administration that would have been aggressive in trying to sell its point to anyone with ears.

Somehow in all this mess the fact that OU embarrassed TT, that Texas should not be rewarded for playing them to within one point and that somehow UT's "overwhelming win" over its in-state rival that had beaten them two years in a row-A/M-should be enough to keep them ahead of OU. Another fact is that A/M was awful by the time UT played them. They weren't much better if any when OU got them, but the Sooners could have easily beaten them by 70, IN College Station. The OU win in Stillwater was watered down by many in the national media-some even suggesting OU had to win convincingly since UT had routed A/M.

Any objective observer realizes OSU is a darn good team, especially where it was 6-0 at home; that they have played OU tough during the Stoops year in Stillwater; and that this was without question the best road wins in the Big 12. So what happens at the end of the day? The Harris Poll AND the coaches poll (excluding the Stoops brothers) were swayed to Mack Brown's head to head argument. But not enough to offset the computers...they were swayed more by what a team does late in the season...and who they played. The Sooners were rewarded for soundly defeating non-conference and No. 10 TCU and No. 12 Cincinnati.

The non-emotional computers rewarded the Sooners for winning by a combined 64 points over two top 11 teams in the final two weeks-especially the 44 point Tech win, a team that was just one game removed from beating the Longhorns.

It may be of little consolation to Texas right now, but everything comes full circle. At some point, OU will be on the "head to head" side of the argument. UT just has to hope have the same result that the Sooners are enjoying. It should be remembered that for whatever reasons, the BCS formula has been kinder to the Sooners than any team in America. The Sooner Nation calls the system brilliant.

The Longhorns say "hogwash."

Think OU/Texas will be heated next year?

For the first time this season, OU would be an underdog if Florida and the Sooners would to meet in a national title game.

For what it's worth, OU would be around a 3-4 point favorite over Texas if they played right now in Dallas. They were a touchdown favorite in the 45-35 game in October. I think that was the final score.

If you don't think it's outrageous to use the Harris Poll and give it one-third of the equation to determine who should play in games such as the Big 12 Championship game and ultimately the national title game, then you just don't understand college football.

Just look it up on-line and review the list of 175 people who vote on the Harris Poll. Many don't stay on top of college football...many are too biased to vote...many are greatly influenced by other voters and "football people" who I was told on good authority "call in favors." Source: Some coaches use influential contacts to "talk with others and tell them what they should be doing...and if you don't think that's true you're naïve, good buddy." Given one off-the-record and specific example, it is quite clear precisely what he meant. It is also quite sickening. How can the BCS have any chance of being legitimate with this type of stuff?