The Big 12 – Still a lot of football left

America was treated to a terrific football game last Saturday when Texas took on Texas Tech. The script was classic: two undefeated teams, one is a powerhouse year after year, the other is a newcomer. The game was in Texas Tech, and the team and the crowd were into it, while Texas looked flat. Tech took an early lead while they were flying high, Texas came back in the third quarter, Tech made a final drive to win it, fans rush the field one second to early, you get the point.

Whatever you do, don’t go back and read my college football post from two weeks ago. I think I may have questioned Texas Tech’s legitimacy – but I was really just trying to inspire them, I swear. Now Texas Tech is the proud owner of a number 2 BCS ranking, trailed by Texas at number 4 and Oklahoma at number 6.

Looking forward, I see all three of these teams winning out the rest of their schedule, with exception of the game two weeks from now in which Texas Tech goes to visit Oklahoma. With no disrespect toward Tech, I see Oklahoma winning that game, which leaves us with a three team tie at the top of the Big 12 South division. In this scenario, these three teams will have identical records in all possible Big 12 tiebreakers – so the decision as to who will represent at the Big 12 title game will actually come down to which of the teams has the best BCS ranking.

This was actually pretty smart of the Big 12, when you think about it, since this ensures that the Big 12 champion will have the best chance at going on to the national championship game. But still, it is kind of ironic, since the BCS is unpopular enough as a decision-maker for the national championship game, that the Big 12 would go ahead and let it decide its own tiebreaker.

You’ve got to figure, at the end of the season, even after Tech loses to Oklahoma, these three teams will have BCS ranks somewhere between 3 and 6. The tiebreak winner of the three will go on to play the winner of Kansas and Mizzou – both good teams who will put up a fight, but not good enough to win the conference. Unless both Alabama and Penn State stay undefeated (an easy task for Penn St but herculean for Bama), we should still see a Big 12 team in the championship game. Then again, the one loss Florida team could also crash this party. It will come down to a few percentage points in the BCS ranking system, and you can guarantee that somebody will be complaining at the end of it.


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