Sure, Texas won the Big-12 Championship Saturday night at Jerryworld in Arlington. That wasn't at all unexpected. What was shocking was how they very nearly lost it and the various methods of ineptitude it took to get them there.
In what can be best described as a good football game spoiled, Texas and Nebraska crawled through their Big-12 title match-up with the grace of an elephant in ballet slippers and a tutu. The contest was marred from start to finish with miscues, costly penalties, far too many three-and-outs, and three turnovers per team.
Let's face it Longhorn faithful: when the only meaningful highlights of your game are Colt McCoy's 2 yard touchdown sneak that replay still hasn't convinced me was a touchdown and a last gasp field goal that was gifted to you by complete bonehead mistakes from the Cornhuskers' special teams and secondary, this isn't exactly your best performance of the year.
Rest assured Mack Brown, Alabama was watching this game and they were very likely licking their lips by halftime. And why not, knowing that you were either going to get a Texas team that seemed terribly ordinary or a faux-undefeated team in the BCS title game. Somehow, I doubt Nick Saban and company were shaking in their crimson tinted snuggies tonight at the thought of playing TCU on January 7th.
In Nebraska's defense, they threw everything conceivable at Texas short of the kitchen sink and still came up a point short. All of which makes me wonder how the Big-12 would have felt crowning a champion from the North Divison (only happened four times in 14 tries) that failed to reach the end zone at all.
Yet for all of the dropped passes, punting, and gross clock mismanagement (see final 15 seconds of the 4th quarter), the game teetered on a joint kickoff/tackling combination of gaffes that might best be remembered as 'Pelini's Folly.'
Certainly the biggest sighs of relief tonight came from BCS headquarters, who have largely avoided the kind of media circus that would have no doubt ensued if somehow Nebraska had managed to hold on for a victory. For all the cries of conspiracy theories , no one seems to be suggesting the completely obvious: disaster has been averted and we will have a true #1 versus #2 match-up.
Anything less than this would have formally doomed the current system and there would be a "House Subcommittee on Collegiate Football Reform" the likes of which Senator Arlen Specter would have been very envious. So, while we all turn back our DVRs and sit back to wonder exactly when that final Colt McCoy pass hit the ground, let's not forget that if all the whining smaller schools and other snubbed candidates without a loss don't like the way things are being doled out - then they can pack up their marching band, mascots, and fans and head to the Football Championship Subdivision. I hear they're using something called a playoff...