Sunday, November 30, 2008

Coaches Poll: Oklahoma Ahead of Texas

The Coaches pick Oklahoma ahead of Texas. There you have it: "Momentum" trumps the clarity of a head-to-head decision, at least as it relates to who the Big 12 South champ should be, which is the only thing the pollsters should have been thinking about when ranking them.

But knowing that 1/3 of the formula is going to Oklahoma is enough to "call it" -- Oklahoma will be proclaimed the winner of the Big 12 South via the BCS ranking and play Missouri for a chance to win and earn a spot in the national title game.

(Hinton, as usual, is must-read and his verdict is, though more well-thought-out than mine, the same.)

The AP puts Texas ahead of Oklahoma, 3rd vs. 4th, with both behind Alabama and Florida. That 1-2 situation sets up the SEC title-game winner being No. 1 in the AP going into the national-title game.

Why is that important? Because of the AP's role in splitting the national title: If the Florida-Alabama winner wins the NCG, it will be hard for the AP to suddenly decide Texas is the champ, vaulting a sitting AP No. 1 who wins. However: If the Florida-Alabama winner loses the NCG to a team ranked behind Texas in the AP poll (say, Oklahoma), the AP is in a position to move No. 2 Texas into the No. 1 spot -- and crown them the AP national champs.

But it's pretty clear right now: Your national-title game will be between the winner of Alabama-Florida and Oklahoma, if the Sooners beat Missouri, or Texas, if the Sooners don't beat Missouri. (Bama fans shouldn't hold their breath that they hold the No. 2 BCS spot even if they lose to Florida, although it is mathematically possible for them to stay ahead of Texas.)

Meanwhile: Still no word on whether Coaches' poll sponsor USA Today is going to pressure the AFCA to reveal this week's ballots, even though it has as much impact on who is in the BCS title game as next week's "season-ending" ballots. Don't hold your breath.

-- D.S.

1 comment:

Eric O said...

Enough with the head-to-head stuff. You're not applying it correctly. You've made the point many times that H-T-H cannot work across a season's work. But the argument is especially dumb here because it WAS used. If Texas had taken care of business against TT, then they would be headed to the championship game. You can discount TT, as an OPINION, if you want -- but the fact they got crushed is NOT one of the Big 12's selection criteria.

Is it dumb that the BCS ranking becomes a deciding factor? For the conference, yes. But think of that criticism for the title game; you would in effect be saying it is dumb for BCS ranking to be the determining factor in who gets to play for the title. Oh, wait ... that's EXACTLY what the BCS does.