OSU football: Can the Big 12 title be shared?
Mike Gundy agrees with Bob Stoops. Whoever wins Bedlam is the Big 12 champion. Period.
“I tend to agree with that,” Gundy said Monday. “I think you have one champion … if you end up with one team with one loss, or three teams with two losses.
“You have a round robin format. Everybody has competed against each other.”
After OU’s victory over Iowa State last Saturday, Stoops mocked the Big 12’s summer marketing campaign of “One True Champion,” asking what was untrue about the previous 15 Big 12 titles (he’s won seven of them), and wondering how there could be co-champions of a league that touts one true champ.
If OU beats OSU, the Sooners and Cowboys will tie atop the Big 12 standings, and Kansas State can make it a tri-championship with a victory over Iowa State. OU would secure the Big 12’s Fiesta Bowl berth, by virtue of its victories in Bedlam and over KSU. But the Big 12 apparently will provide trophies for all teams tied.
The whole debate is a little silly. Who is the champion? Depends on what you’re trying to gauge.
If you’re measuring the dominant team in a year, or how many seasons a school was the best, then you designate one champ, even in a tie. If you’re measuring a program’s long-term success (or lack thereof), then by all means you count the ties.
Here are some examples. The 1976 Big Eight tri-championship, shared by Colorado, OU and OSU. Colorado beat both OU and OSU and went to the Orange Bowl. Was that a title for OSU or OU? Yes for OSU, which otherwise never has won one. You’ve got to claim whatever you can when you haven’t won much. But yes for OU, too, when you count how many conference titles Barry Switzer won.
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