The dust and the complaining barely have settled on the Big 12 South’s notorious three-way tie of last autumn, and some already are talking three-way tie in 2009.
Same script, slight change of cast. Goes something like this: Texas beats Oklahoma in Dallas. OSU beats Texas in Stillwater. OU wins Bedlam in Norman.
The lofty preseason ranking of O-State — the Cowboys are slotted anywhere from sixth to 12th in most earlybird lists — has visions of another three-way tie cropping up.
Feasible, I suppose, but improbable. And insufferable.
Could we all survive another stretch of grieving and groaning from two camps, not to mention the pontification from national pundits talking nonsense?
I’m saying we won’t have to.
College football has staged 900 conference races in its history, counting divisions. Exactly 10 have finished in unbreakable three-way ties like the Big 12 South in 2008.
So now we expect it to be duplicated in back-to-back years? I don’t think so.
Just getting the A beats B, B beats C, C beats A waltz is tough enough.
OSU certainly is capable of pulling an upset, but the Cowboys haven’t beaten Texas since 1997 despite plenty of head starts, and the Cowboys have lost by 32, 28 and 43 their last three trips to Owen Field.
Even if OSU wins one of those games, two more elements must come into play:
→Whichever team loses to OSU must win the OU-Texas game.
→All three teams must win their other six Big 12 games. And there’s the rub.
All kinds of leagues and divisions over the decades have had three quality teams at the top. But an upset here, a stumble there, and the three-way tie goes bye-bye.
Outside the waltz, OU and Texas actually have tougher games than does OSU.