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Tuesday Question - If Missouri beat OU ...
Utah QB Brian Johnson
Utah QB Brian Johnson
Posted Dec 2, 2008

Tuesday Question ... If Missouri beats Oklahoma, then who should play for the national title?

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Pete Fiutak     

Q: If Missouri beats OU, the national title should be ...

A: The SEC champion vs. Utah.

It won't be, it'll be Texas vs. Florida/Alabama, but that wouldn't be fair. If OU loses to Missouri, then, in the overall tie in the Big 12, Texas Tech will have actually been more deserving than Texas because of the head-to-head aspect. USC would be next in line, but as I've said several times before, the Oregon State factor (USC lost to the Beavers while Utah beat them) combined with the Mountain West's 6-1 record vs. the Pac 10, and, of course, the unbeaten record, would make the Utes more deserving.

As far as what I'd like to see, I'd rather see SEC vs. USC or even against Penn State, who actually has just as good a case as the Trojans considering the Oregon State factor (Penn State throttled the team that beat USC). But as far as the deserve factor, if you wouldn't put Utah in this year, when would a non-BCS team ever deserve a shot?

Richard Cirminiello      

Q: If Missouri beats OU, the national title should be ...

: Texas. You know, that team from Austin that wears burnt orange, and got screwed out of playing in the Big 12 Championship game. Oops, wrong rant.

First off, do know that I could care less whether a team has won its league title, division title, or conference spelling bee. As long as the Big East, ACC, and Pac-10 have automatic bids to the BCS, winning your league should not be a prerequisite for playing in the national championship game. Being one of the top two teams in the country should. With Oklahoma out of the way, No. 3 Texas could neatly slide up to No. 2, and begin preparing for the winner of Florida-Alabama. Ever since USC lost to Oregon State, I felt that the best of the Big 12 should duke it out with the best of the SEC in Miami on Jan. 8. Moving up the Longhorns into the spot vacated by the Sooners would achieve that, while serving up a double shot of karma. Why no Texas Tech? You can’t lose a game by 44 points in late November and expect to play for a national title.

You didn’t ask, but USC isn’t getting enough love. Ironic, right? I understand that most of the media is fixated on gaudy offensive numbers the way a junior high-schooler fixates on cleavage. However, why does Oklahoma earn style points for scoring at least 60 in four straight games, but the Trojans don’t for allowing just 55 points in the last 34 quarters? Has the perception pendulum really shifted that far over the last few years?

Matthew Zemek

Q: If Missouri beats OU, the national title should be ...

A: Texas and the SEC champion would play for the title under this scenario.
11-1 USC, 11-1 Penn State, and 12-0 Utah would not be able to match the Longhorns' stacked resume in a national debate.
Let's make one thing clear in this comment, however, even if it might seem tangential (at best) or completely irrelevant (at worst).
Rest assured, it's not irrelevant. Follow along... especially if Mizzou does beat OU in Kansas City this Saturday night.
I've received a lot of worried e-mails from Texas and especially Oklahoma fans about Florida, and why some pollsters currently have the Gators ranked higher than both the Longhorns and Sooners. One could debate that point, but the reason why that debate is and has been irrelevant is that the Gators have had no controversy surrouding their status as a would-be conference champion (provided Florida beats Alabama, of course). The reason why Texas-OU was such a heated debate is that a national mechanism (the BCS system, with its own computer-aided standings) was being used to decide a local (division/conference) debate. With the Big 12 champion being likely to play the SEC champion in the BCS title game, there was no controversy about the SEC half of the equation; the only controversy surrounded the Big 12 side of the divide. Since conference champions merit--and almost always receive--priority (except for 2003, when Oklahoma lost to Kansas State but still played for the title), there was and is no reason for Big 12 fans to worry that the loser of the SEC title game would still be ranked higher than Texas or OU--whoever would win the Big 12--come December 7.
So while it might seem that there's still a poll controversy surrounding Florida (or Bama) and the Big 12 champion, that's a false debate. Assuming OU beats Missouri, the final poll votes will be adjusted to reflect the priority given to conference champions in a BCS title game debate.
Now, with all that having been said, there is one (but only one) way we could have uncertain polls--polls not dictated or determined by conference championship game results--decide the BCS title game matchup.
It's a long shot, but college football--as this season has proved, with the rare three-way tie in the Big 12 South--always seems to find new loopholes in a BCS system that's full of them.
Here's the one scenario that could create chaos even now, at this late point in the season.
Before a Missouri upset of OU, imagine that Alabama, down by four and without timeouts, faces a fourth-and-goal at the Florida 6 with 30 seconds left in what has been a jawdropping SEC Championship Game, so good that Texas's riveting win over Oklahoma is being forgotten to an even greater degree (not because of the score or the winning team, but because of the sheer quality of the competition). John Parker Wilson throws a pass into the end zone, and Julio Jones clearly gets interfered with by a Gator defender. Wilson also gets hit late on the play.
The officials miss both calls. Florida escapes, but with everyone feeling uneasy about the way the game was decided.
If OU were to then lose to Missouri, we could have a situation in which there would be a heavily politicized and uncertain debate in the polls, without any connection to conference championships, involving 12-1 Alabama and 11-1 Texas. Bama would feel it deserved another shot at the best conference champion in America, for one thing. Tide fans and SEC people would also say--under such circumstances--that since three-loss Missouri won the "mighty" Big 12, the conference's unofficial runner-up (technically and legalistically, its third-best team) wouldn't be worthy of playing in the national title game.
Texas would still be likely to win that debate, but gosh, it really could get dramatic in a 24-hour span, with no guarantees existing to ensure that the Horns could hold off Alabama.
Again, all of the above is a long shot.
Do remember, though, that stranger things have happened in a sport that is almost about to celebrate its 140th birthday.
But if nothing wildly out of the ordinary happens in Atlanta, a Missouri win over Oklahoma would put Texas in the BCS title game against the SEC champion.

Steve Silverman

Q: If Missouri beats OU, the national title should be ...

A: The winner of the SEC championship game between Alabama and Florida would obviously be team "A" in the championship game. Don't write off Alabama just because they are a double-digit dog, either. Then we have Team B. You can make a case for Texas, you can make a case for Penn State and you can make a case for Boise State. None of those are good cases. You have to go with USC and their hellacious defense. You have to like the way Florida, Oklahoma and USC responded after their losses this season and the Trojans have done it with a defense that is probably the best in the nation. I'm not saying they would walk over the Alabama-Florida winner, but I think it would be the best game. Texas? Do it again next year and then we'll give you a shot.