STILLWATER — ESPN's Brad Edwards has made a career out of deciphering the complicated Bowl Championship Series formula, which on Sunday will determine which two teams will play for the national championship Jan. 9 in New Orleans.
Does he believe Oklahoma State still has any shot of passing Alabama and earning that No. 2 spot in the final standings? He talked about the Cowboys during a national teleconference on Wednesday.
On the likelihood of OSU passing Virginia Tech and Stanford in the human polls:
“Certainly, if Virginia Tech doesn't lose on Saturday, it's going to make it very difficult for Oklahoma State to get up to No. 3 in enough ballots to have a shot at Alabama. Look at the polls right now — you can see that there are a good number of voters that must have Stanford ahead of Oklahoma State on their ballots, and there could be quite a few of them that just believe Stanford is flat-out better and there's nothing Oklahoma State can do this week that's going to change that opinion.”
On comparing Alabama, OSU, Virginia Tech and Stanford:
“Obviously, Oklahoma State is suffering from the quality of the loss. Their loss is nowhere near the same caliber as Alabama's loss. I guess you could make comparisons among the losses with Virginia Tech and Stanford, who also had bad losses. Both of them lost by right around 20 points at home.”
On the argument that OSU has more quality wins than all the other one-loss teams:
“I think there's a mentality that if you're talking about making a case to play in the national title game, your case that you are the second-best team in college football, who cares how many teams outside of the top 20 you beat? What does it matter that you beat Texas or (Texas) A&M or Missouri? And by the same token, for Alabama, what difference does it make that you beat Florida or that you beat Auburn or Mississippi State? Who did you beat that was good enough to beat you? If you break it down that way, Oklahoma State still has a win over Kansas State, they have a win over Baylor and they would have a win over Oklahoma. Whereas, I think Alabama only has one opponent that falls in that category, and that's Arkansas. Now, if you were to ask voters, I think a lot of them would tell you that they think Arkansas is better than any of the teams that Oklahoma State beat. So, that argument can kind of go in circles. But certainly, if you're looking at just the wins, Oklahoma State ranks the best of those one-loss teams.”
On the thought process of voters:
“Coaches and players, in my opinion, are much more likely to apply the ‘eye test' as far as just looking at the teams, watching the games and deciding for themselves who is better and who would win if they played each other. I think they're more likely to decide their order based on that than lining up a bunch of numbers as far as a resume. I think media are more likely to buy into (resumes) than coaches and players are, who are just going to look at teams and say, ‘This team's better than that team.' We have no idea what percentage of the voters look at it that way and what percentage look at it the other way. How many could be swayed by what happens this weekend really is dependent on how many fall into each category. That's a mystery. But there's no question that it would have to be pretty much a perfect storm for Oklahoma State to have any shot of getting to No. 2 in the BCS.”