Because college football is what it is, because we have bowl games and unclear resolutions of conference championships, there is much to discuss with every passing week. Things seem so unclear, so hazy. Outside of the ACC, no conference has more uncertainty than the Big 12.
Oklahoma's submarining of S.S. Texas Tech last weekend adds to the mess. If the Red Raiders had won they were all but assured a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game. Now, there's a three-way tie between them, Texas and Oklahoma for a spot in the title game and a showing against early season darling Missouri, champions of the Big 12 North.
We'll take a stab at sorting out the mess and relaying the state of the conference after the jump.
So about that South division ... Right now Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech all share 10-1 records and 6-1 records in conference play. Oklahoma owns the head-to-head win over Texas Tech and Texas owns the head-to-head win over Oklahoma. None of that matters if all three finish next weekend with identical records.
Texas will be playing rival Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Day. Call me crazy but I think the 'Horns will win that one. Meanwhile, Oklahoma plays on the road against strong rival Oklahoma State in the Bedlam series. This game is much more in doubt, although hilariously the stands could be half-empty thanks to Oklahoma State's goofy ticket policy meant to boost season seat sales and minimize the number of Oklahoma fans showing up in person in Stillwater. Texas Tech finishes its season Saturday against Baylor.
Chances are we're headed to a complicated three-way tie, but if say, only Oklahoma loses, Texas Tech gets redemption as it owns the head-to-head matchup against Texas and will appear in the Big 12 Championship Game.
If all three win, we get this mess:
If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 7 will be followed until a determination is made. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative.
- The records of the three teams will be compared against each other
- The records of the three teams will be compared within their division
- The records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (4, 5 and 6)
- The records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents;
- The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series Poll following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative
- The team with the best overall winning percentage [excluding exempted games] shall be the representative
- The representative will be chosen by draw.
Don't you just love No. 7?
The real important one is No. 5, which means expect a lot of lobbying and case-making leading up to and following this week's games, followed by all kinds of bellyaching and recriminations from fans and representatives of whoever is left out. Good times.
Right now, Texas is second in the BCS rankings, Oklahoma third and Texas Tech a distant seventh. Texas Tech is highly unlikely to gain anywhere near enough ground if all three win this week, leaving this a very close battle between Texas and Oklahoma to make one last pitch to voters. I have no clue how the computers will react, although Oklahoma draws a much stronger opponent so that has to work at least minimally in their favor.
However, the voters make up 2/3 of the BCS math and will see Oklahoma likely having a much more narrow victory against a more competitive opponent in their backyard that could work against them if they come across on television as sloppy or just strong enough to survive the challenge. Them's the breaks though.
After all of this mess, there's still a Big 12 Championship Game to be played and then another round of arguments about who merits being in the top two of the BCS Standings to play in the BCS Championship Game. That is, assuming Missouri doesn't upset whoever the play creating a whole new level of chaos.
All that said, FanHouse Gut FeelingTM says Texas will narrowly edge Oklahoma and emerge handily victorious from the Big 12 Championship game and thus appear in the BCS National Championship against SEC Champion Florida. But don't hold us to that.