St. Louis columnist: OU has no business in the No. 2 slot

By Bryan Burwell, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Modified: December 1, 2008 at 10:26 pm •  Published: December 1, 2008
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The advocates of the Bowl Championship Series' fraudulent way of doing business (and their willing accomplices in the Big 12) are apparently of the mind that there's no such thing as bad publicity.


Outrage and indignation are apparently easily interchangeable with praise and pleasure with these folks. It doesn't matter that the BCS and the Big 12 are being ripped from coast to coast over a failed system that relies on weird science, not the simplest math in all of sports (I beat you, therefore I am better than you) to decide their championships. It doesn't matter to these folks that everyone with a sense of fair play knows that Oklahoma has no business in the No. 2 slot in this week's BCS rankings, and by extension has earned an undeserved trip to this weekend's Big 12 championship game.

The BCS advocates are so lost in their well-rehearsed rhetoric of this indefensible "national championship" system that even when faced with the overwhelming evidence that it is greatly flawed, they continue to recite the same tired talking points: A true college postseason playoff will make people stop caring about the regular season.

Wrong.

It will destroy the bowl system.

No, it will enhance the bowl system.

Look how much everyone is talking about college football now. That's because of the BCS.

OK, they're right about that. People are talking, but they're saying nothing but bad things.

But before we get too far down the BCS road, let's deal with the Big 12 and how it wrongly arrived at putting Oklahoma in its championship game. Don't get me wrong, I happen to think that the once-beaten Sooners are scary good. They're probably the hottest team in America right now after scoring 60 or more points in their last four games and winning by an average margin of 34 points. But there's only one problem with OU being in Arrowhead Stadium this weekend instead of once-beaten Texas representing the Big 12 South in the conference championship game.

Texas beat Oklahoma.

But this is what happens when you place your faith in the BCS to deliver the credible goods. How in the world can the so-called best conference in football be comfortable with the outcome of this three-way tiebreaker that decided (wrongly, I might add) its South Division champion by the whims of the BCS rankings?

By virtue of the BCS rankings, Oklahoma edged out Texas and Texas Tech for the South title. This is a particularly curious circumstance that has left Texas sitting at home this week while two teams it beat by 10 (OU) and 25 points (the Longhorns smoked North Division champ Missouri 56-31) get to fight for the title Saturday night in Kansas City.

The Big 12's tiebreaking procedures need to be changed. A better solution would have been to use the tiebreakers that both the SEC and ACC use, which is to immediately eliminate the weakest link in the three-way tie by the lowest BCS ranking (goodbye Texas Tech). Or you could just use plain old common sense (any team that gets lit up by 44 points at any point in the season -- that would be you again, Red Raiders -- should have no earthly business in any national championship or conference championship conversation).



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