The BCS was thrown into confusion yesterday with the dismantling and total annihilation of previously unbeaten and No. 2 ranked Texas Tech by No. 5 Oklahoma 65-21, at Owen Field in Norman.
The question now is, how will BCS pollsters cast their votes?
Texas Tech was No. 2, but with this embarrassing loss may drop completely out of the top eight, possibly being jumped by a 12-0 Utah squad who finished their perfect season yesterday beating BYU.
Despite their destruction at the hands of Oklahoma, Texas Tech at 10-1 finds themselves locked in a three-way tie for first place in the Big 12 South Division race with No. 3 ranked, 10-1 Texas and No. 5 ranked, 10-1 Oklahoma. The tie-breaker to see who advances to the Big 12 Championship Game will more than likely be determined by which team is most highly ranked in the BCS poll at the conclusion of the regular season after this coming holiday weekend.
That being said, the question for this week is, will Oklahoma by virtue of their demolishing of Texas Tech, and Tech having already beaten Texas, jump over Texas in the BCS rankings?
Personally, I don't think they will. Why you ask? There is this little problem of who has beaten whom. Yes, Texas Tech beat Texas 39-33 on a last minute big time play from Harrell to Crabtree, but Texas also beat Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout in October by a score of 45-35.
So there is the problem. How do you analyze all of that for purposes of voting? Do you look at the fact that Texas has beaten three ranked teams, two at home and one on a neutral field and lost to a ranked opponent away from home? Or, do you look at the fact that Oklahoma has beaten three ranked teams and all at home?
Adding to that, let us remember that No. 4 Florida is stuck in the middle between Texas and Oklahoma and they won yesterday, but get zero style points for having pummeled The Citadel 70-19.
It gets more complicated. Alabama, ranked No. 1, still has unranked in-state rival Auburn left to play at home and while they should dispatch them with authority, they are rivals and it is possible that a tormented Auburn team could rise to the occasion in one last season ending gasp.
Assuming Alabama does beat Auburn, they have a date with Florida in the SEC Championship Game, and regardless of any games between now and then, I expect Florida to beat Alabama and this more than likely will project Florida into the BCS National Championship Game with a 12-1 record.
For the coming week, I see Texas vaulting into the No. 2 position despite not having played. Florida, on the strength of dismantling a hapless Division I FCS team, will also move up to No. 3. Oklahoma, though having made a huge statement in their defeat of Texas Tech, will move up to No. 4 and USC will move up to No. 5 and everyone below them moving up one place with Tech perhaps sliding into the No. 10 or No. 11 spot.
This sets the stage. Texas still has to play Texas A&M and this is another huge rivalry game in Texas. It is doubtful that Texas will be beaten by A&M, but the A&M game does little if anything for their strength of schedule.
Florida has in-state rival Florida State to play before getting to the SEC Championship Game and never, ever count a Bobby Bowden team out regardless of how inconsistent they may seem at times. They should get past Florida State and as I said earlier, they are my pick to represent the SEC in the BCS national championship game.
Oklahoma has the greatest and most difficult challenge remaining when they face Oklahoma State in Stillwater next weekend in what is referred to in Oklahoma as, "The Bedlam Game". Oklahoma State, at 9-2, is currently ranked No. 12 in the BCS and a victory over Oklahoma might vault them into a much better bowl game. Oklahoma must win if they have any hope of playing in the national championship.
That's right, you heard me. I believe that if Oklahoma dismantles Oklahoma State just half as effectively as they did Texas Tech, they will jump over Texas into the No. 2 position in the BCS rankings. This would give them more victories over ranked teams than anyone else in the Big 12 South and the much needed "road win" to justify their jump in the rankings to No. 2.
Just for fun, let's examine another potential scenario.
Florida loses to Florida State, Alabama then loses to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. Texas loses to Texas A&M, Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, but then loses to No. 11 ranked Missouri in the Big 12 Championship Game. USC loses one of their last two games. That would more than likely put an undefeated No. 7 Utah and an 11-1, No. 8 ranked Penn State in the national championship game. Any combination or all of this could occur in the next two weeks.
This whole BCS thing is wearing me out. But, this does produce an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement in college football over the course of the next few weeks.
You can thank Oklahoma for kicking it into high gear after kicking the Red Raiders back to Lubbock last night.
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