Sunday, October 16, 2011
Road to BCS title is paved for Big 12
By David Ubben
» BCS standings reaction: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC
Forget style points. Forget arguing over rankings. None of it matters.
Oklahoma is No. 3. Oklahoma State is No. 4.
Win, and each team's loftiest goals will become reality. No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama will play on Nov. 4. The reasonable assumption is that the game's loser will be eliminated from the national title race.
That leaves two titans from the (sorry, Pokes) Sooner State.
Five games stand between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma meeting for a de facto Big 12 title game in Stillwater, the same place that hosted a de facto Big 12 South title game a year ago. That dramatic classic ended the same way the seven games before it did: with Oklahoma on top.
For now, the BCS standings look the same. Scoreboard watching and rooting for upsets and flat showings is unnecessary.
Both teams should be favored in every game leading up to what could be a Bedlam for the ages. All that's left now is to get the job done. Go out every Saturday (and one Friday for you, OSU) and win. By how much? Who cares?
The computers won't. Even if a team somehow leapfrogs Oklahoma State in the rankings, what's better than knocking off a top-three team to end the season? That will be plenty to put OSU into the BCS title game.
For Oklahoma, it's the same deal. Dates await with Texas A&M, Baylor and Kansas State, among others.
Oklahoma State will meet Missouri, Baylor and Kansas State before trips to Texas Tech and Iowa State.
Losses for each loom with one bad week.
So does a gigantic reward at the end of the road.
All they have to do is win.
Here are a couple of notes from the first BCS standings of the 2011 season.
- No. 3 Oklahoma is No. 4 in the computer rankings, while No. 4 Oklahoma State is No. 1 in the computers. The Sooners are No. 1 in the coaches' poll.
- In four of the computer polls, Oklahoma State is No. 1.
- Kansas State is No. 11 but ranked in the top 10 of all six computer polls. The coaches' poll, however, has the Wildcats at No. 16.
- Texas is No. 24 and ranked in the top 20 of four of the six computer rankings despite being unranked in both human polls released earlier on Sunday. The Longhorns are even as high as No. 11 in the Massey ranking.
- Texas A&M is ranked No. 17 and comes in at No. 10 in the Massey ranking, its highest mark. The Colley Matrix has A&M at No. 22, its lowest ranking.