Who will win the Big 12 … South?
I asked Bob Stoops who will win the Big 12 North. He laughed and said, “Who’s going to win the Big 12 South?”
That, my friends, is an example of optimism. Stoops isn’t giving up, not yet, on catching the Longhorns and the Cowboys, who play Saturday night for South Division supremacy after the Sooners seemingly have been kicked to the curb.
You can’t blame Stoops for standing in swinging. Twice in the last three years he’s lost to Texas and still won the Big 12 title. But 2009 will be a harder road for such a script.
OU needs Texas to lose twice. It’s happened before and I suppose could happen again, but not likely, in this watered-down conference that might be as bad as it’s ever been. Heck, even if OSU beats Texas on Saturday, the Cowboys might need someone else to beat Texas.
OU has a puncher’s chance at a three-way tie. If OSU beats Texas and OU beats OSU, and the teams win out the rest of the way, then presto, under three-way tie. But this time, Texas almost certainly would advance as the South representative, because of the BCS standings. The Longhorns would be ranked higher than both OU and OSU under such a scenario.
So the Sooners need Texas to lose somewhere else. Either at Baylor on Nov. 14, or home vs. Kansas on Nov. 21, or at Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night. You can’t rule out an upset by the Aggies –they’ve done it before — but it’s not very likely.
At least the Cowboys have their fate in their own hands. Beat Texas and win out, and OSU is the South champion. Of course, winning out is doubly difficult for State, since the Cowboys have to play in Norman on Nov. 28. The Sooners have lost just two games at Owen Field since the John Blake days.
Let’s give OSU, Texas and OU victories in all the other games in question. What kind of chance does each have?
Let’s say OSU has a 35 percent chance against Texas. I think that’s about right. Let’s say OSU has about the same chance against OU. Let’s say Texas has a 90 percent chance against A&M.
So, Texas’ chance of winning the South is 81.5 percent. OSU’s chances: 12 percent. OU’s chances: 6.5 percent. Tall, tall odds for anyone besides the Longhorns winning the South.
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