- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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Before the College Football Playoff era begins, we’re holding a 16-team playoff through the month of June to decide which Big 12 team was tops during the BCS era (1998-2013).
As a reminder, you are actually going to decide, by voting in the SportsNation poll to determine which teams advance to the next round.
Last week, we selected and seeded 16 teams in a bracket, which you can see here (the eligibility criteria we used can be seen here). We also held three play-in games last week for the No. 14, 15 and 16 slots.
In the first play-in game, ’07 Missouri defeated ’07 Kansas with 55 percent of the vote to secure the 16th seed and a matchup with the top seed, ’05 Texas.
’01 Nebraska might have lost convincingly to ’01 Colorado in their actual game, but you advanced the Cornhuskers past the Buffs with 61 percent of the vote in the play-in game for the 14th seed.
The final play-in game -- ’13 Baylor vs. ’12 Kansas State -- was a photo finish, with each squad grabbing roughly 50 percent of the vote. But the ’12 Wildcats advanced to the field of 16, edging the Bears by a mere 27 votes.
Voting will be open until 10 p.m. Central time tonight. Now, to the matchup:
No. 1 Seed: ’05 TEXAS LONGHORNS
Final ranking: No. 1
Top player: QB Vince Young
Best wins: at No. 4 Ohio State (25-22); Oklahoma (45-12); No. 10 Texas Tech (52-17); Colorado (70-3, Big 12 championship); USC (41-38, national championship)
Why they should advance: The ’05 Longhorns featured the single-most dominant offensive player in Big 12 history. Young became the first player in Division I history to throw for more than 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000. He was also at his best in Texas’ biggest games, throwing for 270 yards at Ohio State, 241 yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma, and totaling 467 yards and the winning touchdown dash against USC in one of the all-time great individual performances in a national title game. Considering Texas scored at least 40 points in all but one game, Missouri would almost certainly have to outscore the Longhorns. But Texas’ defense was almost as nasty as its offense, and in Huff and Griffin, the Longhorns would have the players to match up against Missouri’s quick passing game.
No. 16 Seed: ’07 MISSOURI TIGERS
Final ranking: No. 4
Top player: QB Chase Daniel
First-Team All-Big 12: Daniel, Maclin, C Adam Spieker, DT Lorenzo Williams
Second-Team All-Big 12: Rucker, DE Stryker Sulak, LB Sean Weatherspoon, CB Cornelius Brown, S William Moore
Best wins: No. 25 Nebraska (41-6); No. 22 Texas Tech (41-10); No. 2 Kansas (36-28); No. 25 Arkansas (38-7, Cotton Bowl)
Losses: at No. 6 Oklahoma (41-31); No. 9 Oklahoma (38-17, Big 12 championship)
Why they should advance: Behind the craftiness of Daniel, the ’07 Tigers featured one of the most devastating passing attacks of the Big 12 BCS era. Daniel threw for 4,306 yards and 33 touchdowns and finished fourth in the Heisman voting. Maclin and Rucker both hauled in more than 80 receptions, and tight end Chase Coffman added 52 catches and seven touchdowns. The Tigers would have a tough time slowing down Young, considering they ranked just 57th nationally in total defense that season. But the foursome of Daniel, Maclin, Rucker and Coffman would give the Tigers a chance against most anyone.
WHO I WOULD VOTE FOR
'07 Missouri might have had one of the five-best passing attacks of the Big 12 BCS era. But it would be hard envisioning them overcoming the physicality of ’05 Texas in the trenches and the playmaking of Young at quarterback. I would vote Texas here.
Coming up Tuesday: (8) 2011 Oklahoma State vs. (9) 2003 Oklahoma
7dJake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon
13dBrandon Chatmon and Max Olson