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Does OU Deserve A BCS Title Shot?

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 7, 2011


The Sooners might be great, but do they deserve to be in the mix?

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- Cirminiello: Not buying into Oklahoma State yet
- Fiutak: Does Oklahoma deserve to be in the BCS hunt?
- Harrison: Joe Paterno's on-field issues  
- Zemek: Joe Paterno's off-field issues
- Sallee: Missouri's move to the SEC
- Johnson: Weeden deserves the Heisman hype
    
E-mail Pete Fiutak

When it comes to the national title chase, it’s not about what we believe; it’s about what we can prove and it's about who deserves what.

Welcome back to my yearly mantra when it comes to the rankings and how they match up with what’s actually happening on the field. The computer formulas are supposed to take care of the logical side of the equation for us, and they're supposed to counterbalance the humans, but the forumlas went bye-bye ever since they put Boise State, with its schedule, No. 4.

Forget the eyeball test, because our eyes fail us from time to time - remember when there was no way Florida was going to beat Ohio State in the 2007 BCS Championship?

In a perfect world the rankings are a combination of belief and proof, but they don’t actually work out that way with the human voters mostly going be the last few performances of a given team. So while we’re all lost in the BCS discussions and all the possibilities, take a step back and go by what we actually know, and then go accordingly on proof and deserve, not belief.

I believe LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma are the three best college football teams in America, and anyone who thinks differently is either lying, pretentious, or belongs in the 99% crowd of those who can’t name another Boise State Bronco other than Kellen Moore or Doug Martin.

However, that’s what I believe based on talent level, and that shouldn't matter when it comes to who gets to play for the national title. If it was only about who has the best players, there’s no need to play the season and it can all be decided in August, or even based on the recruiting rankigs of a few years ago. It might not seem right, and it might not seem fair, but the games have mean everything - even the fluky aberrations.

LSU deserves to play for the national title if it goes 13-0 without any question.

Alabama doesn’t deserve to play for the national title against LSU because of the home loss on Saturday night. A neutral site Alabama win over LSU in a rematch proves nothing, even if you believe Alabama is actually the better team.

If Oklahoma State goes unbeaten, then it’ll have earned the right to say it deserves to play for the national title. The same goes for Stanford if it goes unscathed, and despite what we all might believe, Boise State and Houston could make the same case, although that gets into the strength of schedule debate and the deserve factor goes away. But to keep this based in reality, Boise State and Houston aren’t really in the national title chase unless utter chaos kicks in – like if Georgia wins the SEC Championship and Stanford loses to Arizona State/UCLA in the Pac-12 title game.

But here’s the problem. If Stanford loses to Oregon, its one loss will be better than Oklahoma’s one loss. If Boise State loses to TCU, its one loss will be better than Oklahoma’s one loss. A case could be made that if Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma, its one loss will be better than Oklahoma’s one loss.

Texas Tech lost to Texas A&M and Kansas State at home, and then after beating Oklahoma in Oklahoma, it lost at home to Iowa State 41-7 and was obliterated by Texas – without Malcolm Brown and Jaxon Shipley – 52-20. Now, the Red Raiders have to come up with a win over Oklahoma State, at Missouri or against Baylor just to go bowling, and none of those are gimmes.

So as good as Oklahoma might be, and while, again, we all might believe it’s one of the best teams in America, a bad home loss is a bad home loss no matter how it happened.

Out of all the teams in the BCS top 16, no one has a worse loss than Oklahoma’s gaffe over an unranked Texas Tech.

No. 3 Alabama lost to No. 1 LSU
No. 7 Oregon lost to No. 1 LSU
No. 8 Arkansas lost to No. 3 Alabama
No. 9 Clemson lost to No. 21 Georgia Tech
No. 10 Virginia Tech lost to No. 9 Clemson
No. 12 Penn State lost to No. 3 Alabama
No. 13 South Carolina lost to No. 20 Auburn and No. 8 Arkansas
No. 14 Kansas State lost to No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 2 Oklahoma State
No. 15 Georgia lost to No. 5 Boise State and No. 13 South Carolina
No. 16 Texas lost to No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 2 Oklahoma State

Of course, a lot of this becomes based on who came up with the big wins, and not just the bad losses, and if Oklahoma wins out it’ll have beaten (based on current rankings) No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Kansas State, No. 16 Texas, and No. 25 Baylor.

But the Texas Tech loss really, really matters, because, technically, if Oregon wins out it could be the No. 2 team in the nation behind LSU. If Penn State wins out, it could be the No. 3 team behind LSU and Alabama. And while I don’t want a rematch, if Alabama wins out, and if LSU goes unbeaten, then yeah, the two best teams might play in a second Game of the Century in an eight week span.
Meanwhile, by winning out, Oklahoma can say it’s better than everyone else in the Big 12 but Texas Tech. If we’re all supposed to go by the season and what happens on the field, then unfair as it might seem, Oklahoma doesn’t deserve to play for the national title.  

- Cirminiello: Not buying into Oklahoma State yet
- Fiutak: Does Oklahoma deserve to be in the BCS hunt?
- Harrison: Joe Paterno's on-field issues  
- Zemek: Joe Paterno's off-field issues
- Sallee: Missouri's move to the SEC
- Johnson: Weeden deserves the Heisman hype