A week after the end of the greatest season in OSU football history, some Cowboy fans cling to hope that it will grow even greater.
A piece of the national championship.
An Alabama victory over LSU in the Big Bowl on Monday night certainly would create college football chaos, at least as far as The Associated Press poll is concerned.
The coaches poll is preordained. The Big Bowl winner is the champ. Even if you hate the BCS, give it this much credit. The BCS hands over the trophy right after the game.
Meanwhile, the AP still stages a vote, like it was 1977. The playing field is a campaign. Then we all go home and watch the election results trickle in.
But to save you the angst should Bama prevail in New Orleans, there's no chance of Oklahoma State squeezing into No. 1.
The AP has spoken. Alabama is No. 2, OSU No. 3, 18 poll points behind the Crimson Tide. That means at least nine voters would have to leapfrog OSU over Alabama.
Think it through. At least nine marginally-intelligent voters would watch Alabama beat LSU, a possible team for the ages, in New Orleans, and come away thinking that yep, I had it wrong on Alabama-OSU?
It's not that the Cowboys don't have the resume. OSU won three games this season involving top-10 teams. The Cowboys were seventh-ranked when they won at No. 8 Texas A&M in September and were third when they beat No. 10 OU in December and No. 4 Stanford in January.
That's not as impressive as what LSU has done, but it blows Alabama's portfolio out of the bay.
Any voter who is all fired up about Oklahoma State has missed the boat. OSU needed some consideration at the ballot box, all right, but not now. Back in December when the electorate produced the LSU-Alabama rematch for the national title.
And if Alabama beats LSU, there could be a split national championship, all right. A split between Alabama and LSU.
AP surveyed its own voters a few days ago, and many said they would consider keeping LSU No. 1 on their ballot even with a defeat. Some said OSU would remain in their thoughts, but like I pointed out, that's not going to happen.
The whole thing is gobbledygook, anyway, of course. AP is out of the BCS formula because it wanted no part of the BCS controversy. But it's still voting teams to a national championship and writing stories about said voters. Sounds like The Associated Press wants smack dab in the middle of college football's peculiar institution.
Here's what's funny. Voters over the years have changed their minds and done some ballot-rigging. But it hasn't been the AP.
In 1997, before the current two-team playoff was formed, Michigan went into the Rose Bowl ranked No. 1 in both polls. AP kept the Wolverines there after the Rose Bowl, but the coaches jumped Nebraska ahead of Michigan, after the Huskers' Orange Bowl rout of No. 3 Tennessee.
In 1978, Alabama, No. 2 in both polls, knocked off No. 1 Penn State in the Sugar Bowl. Seemed like the natural order to make Bama No. 1 in the final polls. And the AP did. But the coaches jumped No. 3 Southern Cal to No. 1, apparently because USC had won 24-14 at Alabama in September. You'd think the coaches would have considered that game in their pre-bowl vote.
This AP title talk is all preposterous anyway. You probably don't like the BCS, but at least it's a playoff. A two-team playoff.
Like it or not, the national championship will be decided in the Superdome.
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.