I don't know what is more ludicrous: The notion that anyone could possibly think that Texas is the No. 1 team in the nation anymore -- or that Mack Brown is STILL pushing that line, even after last night.
"Texas is NOT No. 1" leads today's SN column. The kicker of the column:
"But Brown's team did make a super case ... for No. 4. But, hey: Of the teams without a claim on the national title, they are first in that line."
Meanwhile, if you're looking for more evidence that perhaps the Big 12 style led to an inflated sense of value of the conference, how about Texas' struggles with Ohio State's defense?
I think it is fair to say that any lingering doubts that the Big 12 defenses are terrible are gone. (But I'm not quite sure I wanted Florida's Brandon Spikes to affirm that position publicly.)
And while I'm quite sure that Oklahoma has never faced a defense this season (including TCU) as tough as Florida's, the great equalizer is Oklahoma's pace on offense.
(The NYT's inimitable Pete Thamel -- the best college football reporter in the country -- has a must-read that traces the OU no-huddle back to its fascinating roots.)
I am not concerned about Florida's ability to score on Oklahoma. And while I am sure that Florida's D is an unprecedented challenge for OU, I am sure that OU will be able to score.
Anyway, back to Texas: They can sit behind the Florida-Oklahoma winner, Utah and USC -- in that order, btw -- in my final rankings. They simply looked too unspectacular, particularly when compared to the stylish way Utah and USC clobbered their opponents -- both tougher than OSU.
More in the column:
*Pitt is No. 1: As it should be.
*James Harrison as NFL DPOY: Agreed.
*The Spurs are hitting their stride.
*Rays pay for Burrell: They earned the splurge.
You can find it all here. Very special anniversary post coming at noon ET, prepared this past weekend.
PS: Memo to all the Ohio State fans who hate that I hate tOSU. I just sent this out in an email to one of your peers, and I thought I'd share:
"It was a very good year, and you should be proud of OSU's effort -- particularly defensively -- against UT. I will question why (a) Tressel didn't unleash TP as a runner more, VY-style, and (b) what he was thinking not sitting on the ball until there was less than 1 min to go, then kicking a FG to win. I am usually sympathetic to Texas and you know how I feel about OSU, but I actually found myself rooting for OSU -- Mack Brown has made me sick."
Yes, I even surprised myself feeling that emotion about OSU. Alas, you probably delivered a best-case scenario for OSU-hating Florida fans: Ohio State lost (again), but played Texas tough enough to remove the Longhorns from the debate for No. 1.