Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Texas Should Be in The Big 12 Championship Game

While I can't say I've watched a lot of Big 12 football this season, no matter how hard ABC tried to jam it down our throats on Saturday nights, I would still like to chime in on the hottest topic in college football right now. In a three way tie for the Big 12 South crown and the chance to play in the Big 12 Championship, Oklahoma was given the nod based on a tiebreaker set by the conference. That tiebreaker, however, was the team's BCS ranking.

It was a tiebreaker that conference officials never really thought would come in to play, but it's too late now. But because Texas Tech beat Texas, Oklahoma beat Tech, and Texas beat Oklahoma, this is the situation they found themselves in.

So with all teams having an 11-1 record, and all teams being 7-1 in the conference, who should win the Big 12 South? Let's throw out Texas Tech, because their schedule wasn't as good, they barely beat Baylor, and they aren't a name school. But more on that later.

If it's between just Oklahoma and Texas, then there should only be one thing you look at. Not strength of schedule (even though Texas's was tougher), not at what point in the season the loss was, and not margin of victory.

The only thing that should be considered here is the outcome of their head-to-head match up.

The head-to-head match up that Texas won. By a score of 45-35. At a neutral playing site.

If we, as a college football community of fans, are going to argue for a playoff system, than shouldn't this be reason enough to give Texas a shot at the national title game? These two teams already played, and Texas won! How should they lose to Oklahoma through a tiebreaker division officials never thought they would have to use?

Maybe the reason I think this way stems from a soccer tournament I coached in some four years ago. I was coaching a team of 17-year-old kids down at the Yahara Invitational down in Verona. Each team in our group played four games against each other, with the winner going to the championship. We had a record of three wins and one tie, while the team that advanced had a record of three ties and one loss.

And guess who gave that team their only loss? My boys did.

The other team got in because of youth soccer's wacky scoring system which allows bonus points for shutouts and goal differential up to three. If any of you are familiar with this, please do what you can to get it abolished at the next tournament you participate in.

Even though we beat them head-to-head (and actually had the better record), we were sent packing. It's a moot point that my team was kind of tired of soccer for the weekend and wanted to go home anyway.

The winner of the head-to-head match up should move on in case of a tie. I don't see why everyone is suddenly in love with Oklahoma just because they realized that running up the score in their last four games would turn some heads.

As for Texas Tech, they'll now likely miss out on a BCS bowl bid because a conference can't send more than two teams. Even though they'd be a hell of a lot more competitive, and probably more deserving than a team like Cincinnati or Virginia Tech might be. Even though they beat the team I've argued for in this entire post!

Someone tell me again why a college football playoff system is a bad idea?


rory said...

I don't think you can just "throw out Texas Tech," but more importantly, I don't think that looking only at the head-to-head match-up tells the whole story.

In terms of performance, teams fluctuate throughout the season: some teams improve, and some teams regress. Since that head-to-head game, each team has played six games. Of those six games, Oklahoma and Texas have played two of the same opponents: Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

In both match-ups, Oklahoma performed better. Not only did they beat Texas Tech; they crushed them. And they beat Oklahoma State by 20 on the road, whereas Texas only beat them by 4 at home.

I think the head-to-head match-up is important, but I also think you have to consider how each team has played since and how they have faired against said teams.

Honestly, Oklahoma seems to be the better team right now, and I have no problem with them playing for the Big 12 Title.

Anonymous said...

fugis for life

Winks said...

I don't think you can throw out Tech either, but that's what everyone seems to have done in this whole argument.

You do make good points though. But while I think it's important to look at how they faired against similiar opponents, I am going to stand by the notion you should be compared by how you played each other.

rory said...

So Oregon State is better than USC? And Mississippi is better than Florida? ;)

Winks said...

I was going to counter that statement until I saw the smiling wink emoticon!

rory said...

A wink for Winks.

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