BCS Rankings 2011: Why Are Voters and Pollsters Hating on the Oklahoma Sooners?
Are the Oklahoma Sooners victims of a BCS-SEC bias this season?
It seems quite possible. SEC teams have won the last five National Championships. The conference can boast seven of the last 13 national champions. There is no surprise SEC teams this season appear to be BCS pets.
On the other hand, seemingly viewed as class clowns or dunces, Oklahoma has been seated in the corner to reflect on their bad behavior.
They started the season No. 1 and remain there in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. They still got chopped down two notches behind LSU and Alabama in both the AP and BCS polls.
After being axed by the AP, not even the can of whipping they opened on Texas during the Red River Rivalry could leapfrog the Sooners over the SEC teams in the AP Poll. The BCS Poll had yet to be released.
When it did come out, lo and behold, LSU was No. 1 in the nation. To be fair, LSU started the season with a big win over the losing participant in last season's BCS National Championship Game. The Tigers won National Championships in 2003 and 2007.
Current Alabama Crimson Tide coach, Nick Saban, was the head coach in 2003 and LSU's present coach, Les Miles, was the man in charge in 2007.
To start this season, the Bayou Bengals defeated an over-ranked Oregon Ducks team on national television. Oregon was ranked No. 3 in the nation then. Now, they are No. 10 in the BCS.
While strength of schedule is supposed to be a big factor, the Ducks have played one of the lightest schedules of any current BCS top 10 team.
On the other hand, the underrated by the BCS Sooners have continued to release beat downs on their opponents and are undefeated halfway through the season.
The Cotton Bowl, where the Red River Rivalry was played, is a neutral site. BCS Bowl games are played at neutral sites. So why didn’t OU get more credit for the blowout against Texas—the team then ranked No. 11? I just don't get it, and I'm not an Oklahoma apologist.
LSU owns wins against two other overrated teams—West Virginia and Florida. Don’t get me wrong, the Bayou Bengals, when sober and not involved in barroom parking lot brawls, are a magnificent team.
Alabama is also great, but OU beat a very tough Florida State team when the Seminoles were an outstanding and healthy bunch. Before the season, a lot of experts predicted OU—a team returning most of its explosive weapons—would lose to the Seminoles.
Clearly, the ACC isn’t the SEC or the Big 12 in the minds of pollsters; the conference doesn’t have any basketball teams in the football rankings. The SEC has three teams ranked in the BCS Top 10. The Big 12 has two in the Top 5 and one just outside the Top 10.
Oklahoma State is ranked No. 4 and Kansas State is No. 11. That means the Big 12 has two teams in the BCS Top 5. The only other conference that claims that distinction going into today’s games is the SEC.
Yet, nothing spectacular stands out about LSU in terms of FBS rankings. They’re No. 7 in points allowed per game. The Tigers pass for 188 yards per game—good enough to be ranked No. 7, while OU is ranked in the FBS Top 5 in that category.
The Sooners also outrank Alabama in passing yards and points per game. Oklahoma isn’t far behind either LSU or Alabama in total defense statistics.
I believe the BCS hates on the Sooners for one glaring reason; OU isn’t an SEC team. While the Big 12 was viewed coming into this season as a dinosaur, the conference has more than held its own.
Sure, the Southeastern Conference has three teams in the BCS Top 10, but Big 12 fans can boast that their league is knocking on the door of distinction that few college football forums can even approach.
Message to the BCS: The hate being displayed to Bob Stoops and his college boys could come back to haunt you. Stop it, BCS. It's not OU's fault there isn't a Big 12 Championship Game this season.
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