Fiesta Bowl 2012: 3 Reasons Why Oklahoma State Won't Get a Title Share
The Fiesta Bowl always seems to provide the best of the BCS season.
In a game that featured top-tier NFL talent on both offenses, Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Stanford Cardinal faced off in a classic battle that left the Cowboys victorious.
Although it took until overtime, Oklahoma State defeated the Cardinal, 41-38.
Now the BCS bashing begins again. Oklahoma State finishes the season with one loss to Iowa State—a game they played a day after losing two key members of their athletic program.
I have argued since the beginning that the Cowboys deserved to play in the national title against LSU for many reasons. With this win, Oklahoma State only further validated the talent of their team.
This is still college football, so there is one final poll to come out at the end of the season. There are questions looming in the back of Cowboys fans minds: Will Oklahoma State receive any number one votes in the final polls? If so, will there be enough for a title share?
Unfortunately for Oklahoma State, there are three key reasons preventing this from happening.
They Did Not Make a Big Enough Statement in the Fiesta Bowl
The Cowboys won the Fiesta Bowl. That should be enough to make their claim for a title share. However, this is college football and that is not how the polls work.
Year after year, Boise State—or any other undefeated or one-loss team—is left at No. 2 or 3 because they win their Bowl in thrilling fashion. While this is great for nation attention and television, it does little to help the title share arguments.
When there are co-national champions, it is because there are two teams that won their bowl games rather convincingly and voters are not sure who would win a head-to-head matchup. Stanford, while a quality opponent, is not an LSU or Alabama.
In fact, the Cardinal lost to Oregon—a team that was defeated by LSU in the opening game of the season. While the games may be an eternity ago, it is the only way to really see and compare Oklahoma State to LSU or Alabama.
If it was not for a missed chip shot at the end of regulation and in overtime, Oklahoma State would not have even won the Fiesta Bowl.
Sorry, Cowboys. In this modern era of comparative rankings, the win was not convincing enough to garner No. 1 votes.
Oklahoma State Has Never Received Any Love from the Polls
Oklahoma State made it to No. 2 in the rankings for a couple of weeks but there were still critics who thought that the team should be ranked below a one-loss Alabama.
After their loss, Oklahoma State took a heavy drop. They had to watch as other teams lost to give them their No. 3 ranking.
Perhaps it is not that the polls do not love Oklahoma State, it is that the polls just LOVE the SEC. The Cowboys may not even make the No. 2 ranking, let alone the title share.
In a world where some pollsters have said they would still vote LSU No. 1 in a loss, it seems as if surpassing two powers in Alabama and LSU may be too much for the Cowboys to ask for.
If Alabama wins a close game, it is difficult to see LSU drop below No. 2. If the Crimson Tide put up a good fight and the game goes to overtime (since the polls love the SEC), the Cowboys may be left out in the cold again.
Overall, the polls just have not shown the capability to love the Cowboys—especially with an all SEC title with two teams that always seem to get favorable rankings.
LSU Will Win the Title
All of the talk of a title share ends with an LSU win in the national championship game.
The Tigers have been the No. 1 team in the land for most of the season. They have deserved it, knocking off conference champions like Oregon and West Virginia, along with SEC elite.
Not even taking into account that the game will be played in the Superdome—meaning a home game for LSU—the Tigers are the clear favorite in the national championship.
The Tigers defense has gotten much better since their meeting with the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. The Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu has become even more explosive on special teams. LSU still has the best secondary in the nation.
Furthermore, Trent Richardson was the lone source of offense for the Tide. The Mad Hatter will surely have a solution for him in the rematch.
If LSU wins, they are the definitive national champions. Sorry, Cowboys. There will be no split title this year.