College football playoff: How it would have affected OU, OSU

The BCS era might have gone down differently for OU and OSU if the playoff were in place.
by Jason Kersey Published: June 26, 2012
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photo - NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OU FLORIDA STATE ORANGE BOWL:  University of Oklahoma President David Boren, OU head coach Bob Stoops,  and Sherill Hudson, president of the Orange Bowl Committee pose with the BCS National championship trophy after the Sooners defeated the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.  Staff Photo by Steve Sisney
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OU FLORIDA STATE ORANGE BOWL: University of Oklahoma President David Boren, OU head coach Bob Stoops, and Sherill Hudson, president of the Orange Bowl Committee pose with the BCS National championship trophy after the Sooners defeated the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl. Staff Photo by Steve Sisney

Under the proposal approved by university presidents Tuesday, a selection committee will choose four teams for a college football playoff.

It's impossible to predict how a committee would've voted, but the BCS standings are a good enough measure to look at the past.

Here's how the new four-team playoff system would've looked for OU and OSU in the BCS era, with seeds determined by the final BCS standings.

2000

NO. 1 OKLAHOMA (12-0) VS. NO. 4 WASHINGTON (10-1)

The debate was whether Florida State or Miami should've played OU for the title, but Washington also had a legitimate claim. The Huskies were Miami's one loss.

NO. 2 FLORIDA STATE (11-1) VS. NO. 3 MIAMI (10-1)

Florida State, the defending national champion that year, lost 27-24 to Miami during the regular season when kicker Matt Munyon's last-second attempt sailed wide right.

How it actually went down: Oklahoma's defense shut down Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke and Florida State for a 13-2 victory in the Orange Bowl, claiming the Sooners' seventh national title. ... Miami beat No. 7 Florida 37-20 in the Sugar Bowl. ... Washington topped Purdue 34-24 in the Rose Bowl.

2003

NO. 1 OKLAHOMA (12-1) VS. NO. 4 MICHIGAN (10-2)

Oklahoma was declared the greatest college football team ever by some, but was blown away 35-7 by Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship game. The Sooners remained the top-ranked team in the final BCS standings, however. Michigan, whose losses came at Oregon and at Iowa, beat No. 4 Ohio State soundly to end the regular season.

NO. 2 LSU (12-1) VS. NO. 3 USC (11-1)

After Oklahoma's Big 12 title game loss, USC was elevated to the No. 1 ranking in both the AP and coaches' polls. But it wasn't enough to overcome the computers, and the Trojans were third in the final BCS standings. LSU lost to Florida in the regular season, but beat No. 5 Georgia 34-13 in the SEC title game.

How it actually went down: No. 2 LSU beat Heisman winner Jason White and OU 21-14 in the national title game, and USC handled Michigan 28-14 in the Rose Bowl to give us our only split national title — so far — of the BCS era.

2004

NO. 1 USC (12-0) VS. NO. 4 TEXAS (10-1)

Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and USC avoided any controversy regarding their spot in the national title game in 2004 by going unbeaten. Texas, led by quarterback Vince Young, lost only to the Sooners, 12-0 at the Cotton Bowl.

NO. 2 OKLAHOMA (12-0) VS. NO. 3 AUBURN (12-0)

OU soundly stomped Colorado in the Big 12 championship game 42-3 to avoid it a repeat of its 2003 slip-up. The Sooners won back-to-back shootouts on the road at OSU and Texas A&M during the regular season. Auburn won 10-9 at No. 5 LSU and twice beat Tennessee, including 38-28 in the SEC title game. This was the first and still only season during the BCS era with three undefeated major-conference teams.

How it actually went down: USC trounced OU 55-19 in the Orange Bowl, leaving little doubt about its worthiness of the national championship. However, Auburn slipped by No. 8 Virginia Tech 16-13 in the Sugar Bowl, leaving the Tigers unbeaten but without a chance to be national champions.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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