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OU football: Moving up the BCS ladder

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 29, 2008 at 9:52 pm •  Published: November 29, 2008
"Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.” — Jean Cocteau, French writer

STILLWATER — Boone Pickens Stadium, where the Bedlam crusade lands tonight, can be tough enough on the invading Sooners.

This patch of prairie where no OU football team lost between 1932 and 1966 has gradually become quicksand. The Sooners have won only five of their last eight games in Payne County. Average margin of victory in the most recent four victories: six.

But a six-point win might not be enough for Oklahoma today. The Sooners are mired in a BCS mess, a complication not even Jean Cocteau could understand.

OU, Texas and Texas Tech are headed for an unbreakable three-way tie in the Big 12’s South Division, if Tech takes care of Baylor today and the Sooners survive the powerful Cowboys.

For OU, third in the current BCS, to warrant enough votes in the polls to overtake No. 2 Texas, the scoreboard might not be the only arbiter. Style points could be necessary.

"Style is a magic wand and turns everything to gold that it touches.” — American essayist Logan Pearsall Smith

The Sooners certainly won in style last week, a 65-21 rout of then-second-ranked Tech that made all of America take notice.

A repeat of that dominance in Bedlam — albeit unlikely — would end most debates about the three-way tie.

But style points are dangerous. Great bounty when they come, but risky to obtain.

The last two times OU went into games needing style points, it came up way shy on scoreboard points.

In the 1978 Orange Bowl, Arkansas routed the Sooners 31-6. In the 1985 Orange Bowl, Washington smacked OU 28-17.