Under dark of night, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe stood in trenchcoat, under dim lamppost, and whispered to the Dallas Morning News that the Big 12 has changed its three-way tiebreaker.
No longer is BCS ranking the ultimate decider. Now, if the top two Big 12 teams in the BCS are ranked next to each other, the winner of their head-to-head matchup advances.
Which is a silly way to do it, even if that's the way the SEC does it. When did Birmingham become the bastion of common sense?
Love or hate the BCS, you've got to admit this. It's manna for a three-way tiebreaker. Call it the Solomon system. No good way to cut the baby in thirds, so here comes on a silver platter an outside entity to decide for you.
Beebe broke the news this week, even though the league approved the change in June.
I know the conference office had a little on its plate in June. But that doesn't explain July.
Oh well. It's good to know what the parameters are, because we conceivably could be headed for another three-way waltz.
If on Saturday OSU beats Nebraska and OU beats Missouri, a three-way tie in the South is not kooky talk. The Cowboys could lose at Texas, then win Bedlam in Stillwater, and presto, three-way tie so long as OU, OSU and UT win their other games, in which all will be favored.
Even with a three-way tie, Texas probably wouldn't be in this controversy, since the Longhorns played without shoulder pads against UCLA and would be 10-2 in such a scenario, while the Bedlam rivals would be 11-1.
Bedlam coaches and officials had no comment, but everyone knows the score. UT's hands are all over the change, which is absurd on the surface. And underneath.
What happens if all three teams in a tiebreaker are right next to each other in the BCS? Then the No. 2 team might get to go because it beat the team directly above, even though the No. 2 team would have lost to the team directly below it.
Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to appease Texas.
This rule change has nothing to do with future tiebreakers. It has everything to do with getting the Longhorns to pipe down about the injustice of it all.
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds — otherwise an old favorite of mine — proposed the change, not in the name of justice, but seeking redemption for 2008, when the 'Horns beat OU only to come up on the wrong end of the three-way tie with the Sooners and Texas Tech.
Hey, I wrote it then, I'll repeat it now. The 'Horns were the deserving team in 2008, because while they played at Tech and Tech played at OU, OU-Texas was on a neutral field.
But the problem was not with the rule. The problem was with the voters. Reliance on the BCS is the perfect solution.
And Texas had only itself to blame. The computers weren't crazy about the Longhorns, who that season played Florida Atlantic, Texas-El Paso, Rice and Arkansas non-conference. OU played TCU, Cincinnati, Washington and Chattanooga.
The Longhorns have admitted their mistake in scheduling weak, with all these powerhouse series they've added for the coming decade. Brigham Young. Ole Miss. UCLA. Notre Dame. Southern Cal. California.
That's more like it.
Now Texas gets its way on the tiebreaker rule. But what does anybody care? The new rule could bite the 'Horns the same way it bit them last time.
Hey, Nebraska. In this state, we don't cry and complain about the Longhorns. We just say tell us what the rules are and what time is kickoff.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.