Following Oklahoma’s loss last weekend, one thing became abundantly clear: The chances of an undefeated Big 12 champion crashing the BCS title are almost slim to none.
Sure, it’s tough to argue against a team without a loss. However, given the current layout of the college football landscape, it just doesn’t seem likely.
In fact, the only possible scenario in which an undefeated Big 12 champion makes it into the BCS title involves losses by all but one of the remaining unbeaten teams in college football.
As it stands, only Baylor (5-0) and Texas Tech (6-0) remain unblemished in the Big 12. Not exactly the heavyweights of the conference over the years.
Not surprisingly, neither program has a Big 12 title to its name.
Furthermore, both the Bears and Red Raiders were excluded from the preseason Top 25 polls while three others from the Big 12 were featured—No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 15 Texas and No. 13 Oklahoma State. Texas Tech didn’t even receive any votes.
And these are two of the teams we’re supposed to view as viable threats to the BCS title?
As B/R’s BCS Guru Samuel Chi believes, the low starting poll position will significantly hurt both teams:
My view is that if Baylor goes 12-0 and wins the Big 12, and that there are no two other unbeaten teams from the ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten and SEC, the Bears would have a good shot at landing a spot in the BCS Championship Game. It's a little less likely for Texas Tech, but also not completely out of the realm of possibility.
But the catch is that because they started so low in the polls, an unbeaten Big 12 champ will not get to play for the BCS title if two other major conference champions (other than Louisville) are also undefeated. They have no way of making up ground in the polls.
His views are reflected in his simulated BCS Standings through Week 7:
|4. Florida State||5-0||0.8565|
|5. Ohio State||6-0||0.8347|
|7. Texas A&M||5-1||0.7013|
|12. South Carolina||5-1||0.5773|
|14. Miami (FL)||5-0||0.5626|
|16. Texas Tech||6-0||0.3567|
That’s a pretty discouraging sight for fans of both Baylor and Texas Tech.
From the Bears' point of view, not only are they behind seven undefeated teams, but the team is also trailing two SEC teams with one loss. However, winning out plus losses by six of those seven teams should be enough to get Baylor in.
On the other hand, it’s almost depressing to look at the Red Raiders’ situation.
Is it fair if an undefeated Baylor or Texas Tech are left out of BCS title game?
For starters, the team trails 10 undefeated teams and four one-loss schools. But the biggest punch to the gut is that Texas Tech is also behind two-loss Georgia.
While winning out should jump the team over the majority of those one-loss squads, getting ahead of LSU and Texas A&M doesn’t look to be so easy. That’s especially the case if one of those two winds up winning the SEC title.
But one of the biggest knocks to the credibility of both the Bears and Red Raiders are the early-season losses by the Sooners and Cowboys.
Had those two remained undefeated, victories over them would have weighed much greater for Baylor and Texas Tech. Instead, losses to teams with a combined six losses have lessened the impact of those wins.
Chi explains the situation further:
The losses by OU and OSU actually don't hurt the SOS of either Baylor or TT as those losses are to conference teams (Texas and WVU) that they have to play anyway, so it makes no difference to the computers. Those hurt more in terms of polls because of perception - the voters likely would've given their victories more weight. And you can argue that matters more because the polls account for 2/3 of the BCS standings.
Pretty much, the Bears and Red Raiders are going to need a lot of help if they hope on crashing this season’s BCS title game.
Sure, it may not be fair to keep out a team that worked so hard to remain unbeaten. However, that’s just one of the many flaws of the current BCS formula.
If only the College Football Playoff began a year earlier.
All quotes were obtained firsthand.