7/8 Roundtable - Who's The Bigger BCS Bust?

Posted Jul 8, 2009

7/8 Roundtable - Who's the bigger BCS bust, Oklahoma or Ohio State? It's the Wednesday topic in the CFN Daily Roundtable Discussion.

CFN Daily Roundtables

July 8

Who's the bigger BCS bust, Oklahoma or Ohio State?

Over the next several weeks, as part of the CFN 2009 Preview, we'll examine some of the key questions going into the year with a daily discussion of the big topics.

Past Roundtables
July 7 The 5th BCS Game Should Be ... ?
July 6 Should the SEC get the benefit of the doubt?
July 3
Why there should be a playoff

July 2 Why there shouldn't be a playoff?
July 1 The most unbreakable record is ... ?
June 30 Does it matter that the BCS is going to ESPN?
June 29 What's the best non-BCS program?
June 26
What rule would you like to see changed?

June 25
What is wrong with the Big Ten?

June 24 The 3 big non-conference games

June 23 The Coach On The Biggest Hot Seat Is ... ?
June 22 The No. 5 team will be ... ?

June 19
The most underrated team will be ... ?

June 18 The most overrated team will be ... ?
June 17 The sleeper national title teams
June 16 Do 40 times really matter?
June 15 Does college football need a Rooney Rule?
June 12 Should Alabama vacate wins?
June 11 Should college football players be paid?
June 10 Is the recruiting hype too much?
June 9 If you were starting an NFL team ...
June 8 Where would you take over as head coach?
June 5 Who does the least with the most?
June 4 Who does the most with the least?
June 3 The star players of September
June 2 The star teams of September
June 1 The coach you'd want for one game
May 28 Should the Big Ten expand, and if so, then what team should be added?
May 27 Should the Pac 10 expand? If so, then what two teams should be added?
May 26 Chizik, Kiffin or Mullen?
May 25 Heisman race sleepers 
May 22 2009's most interesting teams

May 21 Is Tebow the best QB ever?
May 20 When should preseason polls come out?
May 19 Does 2008 Utah have a beef?
May 18 No BCS, No Weis?

Pete Fiutak, CFN

Yes, I'm part of the problem. You can check me out at twitter.com/CFN_Fiu and find out future roundtable topics and other random musings.

Q: Who's the bigger BCS bust, Oklahoma or Ohio State?

Every radio interview I've done so far this offseason ends up taking on the same tone when I say both Ohio State (because of the schedule, more than anything else) and Oklahoma will be in the hunt for the national title all season long. As soon as I say that, there's a groan followed up by something like, "the last thing America wants to see is another BCS Championship game with one of those two."

Instead of dogging either program, they should be praised for their incredible consistency. Where was LSU last year? It was off to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Where was Florida two years ago? Losing to (gasp!) a Big Ten team (Michigan) on New Year's Day. Where has Ohio State been the last four seasons and six of the last seven seasons? In the BCS. Where has Oklahoma been the last three years and seven of the last nine years? The BCS.

I'm certainly not going to fire on either one for losing national titles. USC, for all the great things it has done under Pete Carroll, has only played in two true national championship games (for right or wrong) and has only won one of them. Oklahoma, under Bob Stoops, has played in four, and Ohio State, under Jim Tressell, has played in three. Yes, the Sooners were dogs with fleas in the 2005 Orange Bowl against USC, and Ohio State soiled itself against Florida in the 2007 BCS Championship, but they can't be blamed for the other national title losses.

LSU was the better team than Ohio State in the 2008 BCS Championship, and was the better team than Oklahoma in the 2004 Sugar Bowl. Last year's Sooner loss to Florida could've gone either way with the right bounce or a better goal line offense in what was a better performance than the 14 points might indicate. With that said, to answer the question, the bigger BCS bust, at the moment, is obviously Oklahoma.

There was a time when OU was the biggest bad boy on the block. The program had a swagger and a meanness to it that brought about the nickname of Big Game Bob Stoops. Remember, OU won the 2001 Orange Bowl, the 2002 Cotton Bowl, and the 2003 Rose Bowl, and then went 12-0 in 2003. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops left for Arizona, Darren Sproles and Kansas State went gonzo on the Sooners in the 2003 Big 12 Championship game, and all of a sudden, the team can't do anything right in the bowls outside of a win over Oregon in the 2005 Holiday Bowl.

OU shouldn't have lost to Boise State and it was shocking flat/got its doors blown off by a jacked up West Virginia in back-to-back Fiesta Bowls, and for that, the program deserves some criticism, especially considering the 55-19 loss to USC a few years earlier was still fresh. But Stoops and the team redeemed themselves, at least they should be redeemed, for a dogfight in last year's national championship. Even so, the Sooners are now on a five-game BCS losing streak.

Remember, Ohio State owned the BCS for a while. After beating Miami in the classic 2003 Fiesta Bowl, it went on to beat Kansas State in the 2004 Fiesta and Notre Dame in the 2006 Fiesta. While the Buckeyes have lost three straight BCS games, they can hardly be ripped on for last year's loss to Texas after Colt McCoy took his team on an epic drive to pull off the win.

Neither team deserves the "bust" tag, but they'd better show up this bowl season and end the slides or else they'll be harder and harder to defend.

Richard Cirminiello, CFN

Q: Who's the bigger BCS bust, Oklahoma or Ohio State?

Obviously, neither program has been especially stellar in January, but the Sooners have done far less with more expectations than the Buckeyes since 2003, losing each of their five appearances in marquee BCS bowl match ups. They’ve been out played by Florida and LSU from the SEC, mauled by USC, and gotten embarrassed in successive years by Boise State and West Virginia. Those two Fiesta Bowl flops really stand out because of the clear gap in talent with the Broncos and Mountaineers. In all of those losses, Oklahoma was a shell of its regular season self, which is the definition of a postseason bust.

Now, Ohio State hasn’t exactly been a juggernaut either over the same period of time, but it can at least boast Fiesta Bowl wins over Kansas State and Notre Dame, and was competitive as a heavy underdog to Texas last January. While the back-to-back championship game losses to Florida and LSU are certainly big-game indictments, they don’t rise to the level of Oklahoma on the BCS bust-o-meter.

Matthew Zemek, CFN

Q: Who's the bigger BCS bust, Oklahoma or Ohio State?

Losing in the national title game is no sin. Both the Sooner and Buckeye programs should be commended for what they’ve done in the past decade, and should not be turned into the Buffalo Bills of college football (i.e., be made into a punching bag and/or a source of fatigue among casual fans). The subculture surrounding the BCS title game, with its hyper-politicization and its computer microchip façade of (cough) “scientific objectivity” (cough, cough, cough), have exerted enormous pressure on controversial BCS title game entrants to win or else. It’s not the fault of Bob Stoops or Jim Tressel that their teams have benefited from less-than-fully satisfying BCS resolutions in the past. Criticizing the actual players and coaches on a dubious BCS title game participant is a lot like blaming Roger Federer for having the nerve and temerity to win the French Open after Rafael Nadal lost; how DARE that guy take advantage of ludicrously good fortune, and how DARE Oklahoma be invited to the 2004 Sugar Bowl, 2005 Orange Bowl, or 2009 BCS title game????!!!!!!!

Let’s learn the intended lesson, then: When School A gets unfairly chosen for the BCS title game, don’t rip on the coach or players of the team. BOYCOTT THE STINKIN’ GAME! Don’t buy a ticket! Raise hell with your university president! Don’t watch the game on TV! Criticize the BCS honchos who insult your intelligence. Etc., etc., etc. Don’t view Bob Stoops as the perpetrator of a crime, or view Jim Tressel as a bad man who “stole” someone else’s BCS title game bid and did nothing with it. Unfair, unfair, unfair. Leave Stoops and Tressel alone on this count.

Now, to give an answer after defending the honor and good name of each program…..

The clear answer—and it is clear—is that Oklahoma is the bigger bust. Two reasons tell the tale: 1) Ohio State was not the more controversial participant in the 2008 game against LSU, and in the 2007 title tilt, the Bucks were 100 percent free of taint by virtue of a perfect regular season. Oklahoma, on the other hand, got itself immersed in bona-fide messes on the three occasions referenced above, the January clunkers in ’04 (LSU), ’05 (USC), and ’09 (Florida). 2) Oklahoma up and quit against USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl. After what I like to simply call the “Mark Bradley Moment,” a shellshocked Sooner squad folded up the tent and went away gently in Miami. Some might say that Ohio State did the same thing against Florida two years later, but I disagree. In OU-USC, one fumbled punt clearly changed the temperature on both sidelines. In OSU-Florida, the Gators just played stronger and faster than a Buckeye team poorly served by a Jim Delany-approved 51-day layoff, thanks to that outdated scheduling system the Big Ten stubbornly employs.

Hunter Ansley, Publisher, DraftZoo.com

Q: Who's the bigger BCS bust, Oklahoma or Ohio State?

A: Are you considered a bust because you’ve been consistently good enough to receive a BCS invite?  It’s not like these teams have been losing random bowls like Notre Dame did for so long.

Both teams have reached the BCS in seven out of the 11 years the system has been around.  Both have won the national title as many times as any team outside of Florida and LSU.  Both have beaten teams that were favored in that game.  And both won their earlier BCS contests.  So far they’re pretty similar.

Ohio State, however, owns victories over Texas A&M, Miami (back when that meant something), Kansas State (who beat Oklahoma for the Big 12 title that year), and Notre Dame.  Oklahoma, on the other hand, has only managed to beat a Florida State team that was missing their best receiver (the forgotten Snoop Minnis) and a Washington State team that apparently had no business playing in the BCS.

In fact, Ohio State won their first four BCS Bowls before dropping their last three.  Oklahoma did win their first two, and I’m not trying to take away from their national title – it was deserved – but they’ve lost all five since then, including one to a non BCS school. 

It’s just hard for me to say Ohio State is a bigger bust.  Last season the OU offense set a scoring record, and cornerback Dominique Franks proudly predicted another 60+ night.  That didn’t exactly happen.  In fact quadrupling OU’s score in that game wouldn’t have put them at 60.  Oklahoma has made one more championship game appearance than the Buckeyes, but just getting there isn’t the goal.  Both have one title, both have seven bids, and both have lost with Heisman QBs.  But only one team has a 4-3 record.  The other is sitting ugly at 2-5.  Sorry Sooners, you’re the bigger bust.