BCS Rankings: Where Did Oklahoma, Texas and the Top Big 12 Teams Land?
It was pretty much a foregone conclusion where the Oklahoma Sooners would wind up in the first BCS standings of the 2011 season.
However, the rest of the Big 12 BCS picture wasn't as clear.
Where would the two other unbeaten teams fall into place?
What other schools would make the 25-team cut?
Now that the initial BCS rankings have been released, let's examine the Big 12 teams in the mix and where they landed.
Also, let's look at the big games still ahead for these teams, plus any potential stumbling blocks they face along the road to BCS.
No. 24 Texas
This selection might surprise some people as the Longhorns are unranked in both the Harris and Coaches' Poll which account for two-thirds of the BCS score.
However, Baylor lost to Texas A&M and the computers, which represent the remaining one-third, seem to love the Longhorns, which was evidenced by their .360 computer score.
While out of the main BCS debate, the Longhorns, with a .135 overall score, could still improve their ranking as their final four opponents are fairly formidable.
From Nov. 12th on, they play at Missouri, host Kansas State and finish their schedule with road games against Texas A&M and Baylor.
Also, while it might pain some Texas fans, they need Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to keep winning, as it will keep their strength of schedule at a respectable level.
No. 17 Texas A&M
With two narrow, meltdown losses against Oklahoma State and Arkansas, many A&M fans have been left to wonder what might have been.
Instead, the Aggies are on the outside of the main BCS picture, looking in with a score of .308.
It doesn't help Aggie Nation to know that the Cowboys and the Razorbacks find themselves at fourth and ninth in the initial BCS standings.
However, the Aggies must soldier on, with important games remaining against Missouri and Texas at College Station, along with trips to Oklahoma and Kansas State.
No. 11 Kansas State
The Bill Snyder renaissance continues in Manhattan, as he has managed to transform the Wildcats into a BCS darkhorse.
Truly, unbeaten Kansas State could make some noise in the BCS.
Nevermind their score of .569; the Wildcats have some serious work ahead to make a BCS bowl.
With quality wins on the road against Miami and against a then-ranked Baylor team, they've gained serious confidence.
They'll need it too, as they face all of the other four Big 12 BCS teams in a row after their rivalry game against the putrid Kansas Jayhawks this Saturday.
No. 4 Oklahoma State
Many fans and analysts thought that the explosive Cowboys would obliterate the Longhorns and win by more than twelve points, but it doesn't matter.
Because the computers, a third of the BCS equation, have a love affair with Oklahoma State, giving them a No. 1 average ranking.
If the Cowboys, with their initial BCS score of .857, can improve upon their 68th ranked scoring defense, they'll hold their destiny in their hands.
If not, the computers could become enamored with teams like Wisconsin and Stanford as their schedules become more difficult.
Either way, Oklahoma State has a couple of crucial home games against Kansas State and their Bedlam Series rival, Oklahoma, standing between themselves and a BCS bowl berth.
No. 3 Oklahoma
With unbeaten LSU and Alabama hailing from the mighty SEC (the conference that has produced the last five national champions) and Oklahoma's slow start on Saturday against Kansas, it's not surprising that the Sooners find themselves third in the first BCS rankings of the year.
While No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama have initial BCS scores of .9522 and .9519 respectively, Oklahoma's score of .930 seems relatively distant.
However, the Sooners can boast a No.1 ranking in the USA Today coaches' poll, which accounts for a third of their BCS ranking.
Also, the Tigers and the Tide will face each other before season's end.
Meanwhile, due to the contraction of the Big 12, the Sooners don't face the unpleasant prospect of a late season loss in a conference championship game, unlike the two teams above them.
Finally, another good omen for the Sooners (and Oklahoma State, for that matter) is the fact that, seven times in the 13-year history of the BCS, the two teams that wound up in the championship game were ranked in the top four of the initial standings.
Nevertheless, the Sooners have several challenges remaining; Kansas State, Texas A&M and their in-state rival, Oklahoma State, all still loom on OU's schedule.