Thursday, November 20, 2008

Between the Hashes - The Road to Miami


THREE PROGRAMS CONTROL their destiny – Alabama, Texas Tech and Florida. A trip to Norman awaits the Red Raiders this Saturday and a December 6 playdate is on the docket for the Crimson Tide and the Gators. It’s far from a day at the beach for these three BCS teams, but they are in the driver’s seat. At this point in the season what else can you ask for?

Win and you’re in – the four prettiest words in all of sports. In the past, the BCS has brought election controversy befitting the Sunshine State. There was undefeated Auburn left out in 2004 and both Oklahoma and Nebraska advancing despite not winning their conference. Kind of like winning a presidential election without winning your party’s primary – something we as a nation thankfully have not seen yet.

If the Red Raiders win out and play the winner of the SEC Championship game, the BCS will be flak and fuss free – no “hanging chad” if you will. Of course, the current could shift at any time and, as the natives of Miami can tell you, chaos can strike at moment’s notice and disrupt the college football atmosphere.

Ironically, the National Weather Center makes its home on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. Nevertheless, don’t expect the Storm Prediction Center to inform us if Sam Bradford is prepared to play the role of jet stream this Saturday. This much we do know – Bob Stoops is 60-2 at home since taking over the Sooners.


IF BOOMER SOONER is able to defeat the tidal wave coming out of Lubbock, conventional wisdom says they’ll take the lead in the Big 12 South race. Technically they would create a three-way tie atop the standings between themselves, the Red Raiders and the Longhorns heading into the final week of the season. How does the Big 12 plan to settle that tempest? The team with the highest BCS ranking is declared the South representative. Seriously.

Currently, Texas leads Oklahoma in the BCS standings, but what will happen if the Sooners knock off the No. 2 team in the country and a very good Oklahoma St. team (No. 12 in the BCS)? The expectation is that those two wins would be enough to sway voters and impress the computers’ radar, vaulting the Sooners into the top two.


IF THIS LOGIC holds true, expect a long lasting cold front out in Austin when it comes to the BCS. The Longhorns need Oklahoma to win in Lubbock to even have a chance. They also need the Sooners to win in Stillwater, because if they are left tied with Texas Tech alone, the Red Raiders advance via their head-to-head win (assuming Tech handles Baylor).

Could it be that the 10-1 ‘Horns are already frozen out? The only chance UT has is if the voters step back and decide that the Longhorns have had a better season than either Oklahoma or Texas Tech. After all, their lone loss (assuming they defeat Texas A & M) came in the final seconds in Lubbock.

Even then, who can say if that would be enough?

The only other team with a fighting chance is the USC Trojans. They need the most help of all, but it’s rather simple. If Missouri wins the Big 12 Championship game, it would in all likelihood knock the Big 12 out of the BCS Championship game – no Texas Tech, no Oklahoma, no Texas. It would also behoove the Men of Troy to win the Pac-10 Title, which is also out of their hands. Not only do they need to win out, but Oregon St. must drop one of their final two games (at Arizona, home for Oregon).

See you in Miami…

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media, University of Texas Athletics