Monday, December 1, 2008

Texas-Oklahoma Rematch ... in Miami?

Gator fans, settle down. But now that I have your attention, put down that phone and wait a few days before making travel plans to Miami.

You might end up in New Orleans - even if Florida beats Alabama.

Just as the BCS gets past the first huge controversy of the year, with the standings ordaining a Big 12 title game berth for Oklahoma over Texas, the second, and potentially the mother of all BCS controversies is looming: The possibility of an all-Big 12 BCS championship game, leaving the SEC champion in the dust (or on Bourbon Street, come to think of it, there are worse consolation prizes).

If Alabama wins the SEC title game, the Tide will be in the BCS championship game. No doubt there. It's a slam dunk. If Oklahoma blows the Big 12 title game, it'll be Texas vs. the SEC winner in Miami - also a no-brainer.

It gets tricky if Florida and Oklahoma both win. On the surface, it should set up a Gators-Sooners BCS title showdown. But as Lee Corso would say: "Not so fast, my friend!"

There is a remote chance, let's put it at less than 5 percent, that Oklahoma could be jumped by Texas even if it wins the Big 12 title game. If there's more voter movement in the polls in Texas' favor and at the expense of Oklahoma, the Sooners could end up winning the Big 12 title and get shipped to the Fiesta Bowl. Especially if OU registers a lackluster win, as juxtaposed against Texas' 56-31 rout of Missouri back in October.

But that's nothing should Florida get left out of the BCS title game even after beating Alabama.

At this point, the Gators are not guaranteed anything - other than a BCS bowl berth - if they win the SEC title game. If they finish No. 1 in both the coaches and Harris polls AND receive the majority of the first-place votes, then they can breath easy. But if Florida finishes second or even third both polls, it's dead.

A win over the Tide will help the Gators' computer rankings, but it's unlikely to put them ahead of either UT or OU in the computer scores. So if the voters split their votes three ways among Texas, Oklahoma and Florida, then the Gators will be the odd team out.

Further, while Florida still has a shot at the AP title - currently it's No. 2, ahead of both OU and UT, the way the bowls are set up it might make winning a split title a bit trickier. Say the Gators beat 'Bama and ascend to No. 1 in the AP poll (fair assumption) but get left out of the BCS title game, their Sugar Bowl opponent would be, gulp, No. 13 Cincinnati?

How would that happen?

If the BCS title game becomes an All-Big 12 affair, then the Fiesta Bowl may very well pit unbeaten Utah against unbeaten Boise State, leaving the Sugar with either Alabama for a rematch or Cincinnati, the Big East champion. Depending on the outcome of the SEC title game, the Sugar may opt for Florida-Alabama II, but it could go with the Bearcats as well. There is no scenario for the Sugar to grab USC since the Trojans - assuming they defeat UCLA - are obligated to play in the Rose Bowl.

Yeah, like I said, we're just getting warmed up here. Are you ready for Armageddon?

30 comments:

Gator Fan said...

Thanks for a week's worth of heartburn. You and Dr. Saturday, man. Bastards.

Badger in No. Virginia said...

Oh please, I beseech ye Oh great god of irony, let it be that Florida beats Alabama, Oklahoma defeats the Tigers of Missouri and the confluence of lunacy that is the BCS places OU and UT in the championship game. I have waited patiently a decade for the demise of this evil system and my prayers may finally be answered!

Brian Combs said...

As delicious as it would be (especially as a Longhorn fan), I don't think even this would be enough to kill that abomination that is the BCS.

KD said...

So where would this leave Alabama? In the capitol one bowl? They went 12-0 in the regular season!
There is no way they would do a gator/tide rematch in the Sugar...

Trader Rick said...

If the Gators beat the Tide, and are not in the Championship game, It will be last straw time, the BCS will immediately announce vast changes to their system. If they don't, this BCS "Championship" will probably be the last anyone takes seriously, and a playoff system will be devised for next year, with the help of the office of the President Elect.

frankies14 said...

they should simply have a +1 game...no playoff is needed because that is what makes CFB's regular season the best of any sport. If the #3(or 3 and 4) BCS ranked team(s) has/have the same amount of losses as one(or 2) of the teams playing in the NC, then there should be a +1, if #1 and #2 are the only teams with 1 loss or undefeated in the top 3 then keep it the way it is for that respective year. I would not extend it further than a +1 with the top 4 BCS teams. People may argue that the new politics would come vs the 4 and 5 ranked teams but a playoff would cause the same thing with 8 and 9.

Anonymous said...

While it's a longshot, Florida being left out of the title game with a win over Alabama would be entirely legitimate.

Why? Because an 11-1 Texas would clearly have a better resume than a 12-1 Florida. Just look at the details:

BEST WIN
Florida: over Alabama (likely to finish #4 or #5 in the final standings)
Texas: over Oklahoma (a lock to finish #2 in the final standings)
--both wins will have been at neutral sites
Advantage: Texas.

OTHER WINS OVER RANKED TEAMS
Florida: #17 Georgia.
Texas: #14 Oklahoma State, #19 Missouri.
Advantage: Texas.

MOST FORGIVABLE LOSS
Florida: to Mississippi (#22 AP, unranked BCS), at home, by 1 point.
Texas: to Texas Tech (#8 AP, #7 BCS), on the road, with 1 second left on the clock.
Advantage: Texas.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE:
using Sagarin ratings:
Florida: 28th
Texas: 12th
(granted that Florida's will improve with the Alabama game, but it almost certainly will stay behind Texas'.)
Advantage: Texas.

This is what the computers would see very clearly, and why they'd be quite correct in ranking Texas #2 at the end of the regular season, in the event of an Alabama loss in the SEC title game.

If Alabama loses, it remains to be seen just how the poll voters will rank the three top teams (Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas). But all the LOGICAL means of determining that vote would be very clear, as outlined above. It should be an Oklahoma vs. Texas BCS title game.

Speedzzter said...

Too many assumptions for even a five percent chance of an UT-OU NC game.

If Fla. wins the SEC Championship game, the polls will clearly sort out in the Gators' favor, offsetting the computers. The SEC hype machine would guarantee it.

Moreover, unless OU absolutely stinks in KC (a loss, of course is probably fatal (although it wasn't in the 2003-04 season), or a controversial, ugly win), there will be no last-minute groundswell for UT among the voters.

UT's weak-sister non-conference schedule, loss to TT, and four-point win over OSU doomed them.

Anonymous said...

TX-OU NC game would be fantastic for 2 reasons:
1. I'm a UT fan
2. It might spell the end of the BCS and the beginning of the playoffs

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who wins the SEC, if by some miracle MO beats OK for the Big 12 Championship, PAC-10 Champion USC should be playing for the National Championship..... Not Texas. No team should be in a National Championship game that has not won its own conference championship. Its just that simple.

Its really laughable at this point how all these teams are avoiding the possibility of having to play USC.

OK beats OK State 61-41 and all everyone can talk about is "what a potent offence" these two teams have. How about neither one played a lick of DEFENSE??? Let's see these "potent offences" try that stuff with a team that allowed an average of 7 points a game all year (and was just ONE TOUCHDOWN away from a perfect season.)

If any team is getting screwed in all this BCS BS, its USC. (One of those computer rankings has USC at EIGHTH!!!! That's completely ludicrous.)

SECFOREVER said...

You can bet ur sweet ass it will stay in the (SEC)

Raeford said...

The fact that the SEC has dominated the last two BCS title games means that it will be ridiculously hard to keep the winner of the Bama/Florida game out.

The voters will make absolutely sure that there is no UT/Oklahoma rematch on January 8th. It's similar to two years ago when Michigan and Florida both finished with one-loss and the voters put the Gators in.

Add that to the fact that the Gators will have just beaten the unanimous #1 team in the SEC championship as opposed to two years ago when they beat an okay Arkansas team in Atlanta on their way to the title game.

I'd put the odds at a potential UT/Oklahoma rematch at .05 percent instead of 5 percent.

Anonymous said...

There isn't even a minute chance the Gators would get left out in the cold. They have been the most dominant team all year. They have easily the most complete team with speed and strength on defense, offense and special teams. They lost a very good (and currently ranked) Ole Miss team only because of 3 inexplicable non-contact fumbles inside their 20. Somehow they still should have won that game and had a chance to kick a field goal for the win, but chose to go for it on 4th and 1. If you look at Sagarin (since anonymous brought up the rankings) and his rating that take into account margin of victory, UF clearly trumps Texas. This ranking is a better predictor of outcomes than the one used by the BCS. The computer rankings are exceedingly flawed. They are biased, because they were programmed by humans. They also are very lacking in how they evaluate teams such as not being able to take in to account margin of victory and most of the computers can't take into account head to head. Anyway, all you horn's fans can get all excited and in a lather if you want, but you're only going to be very disappointed come Sunday. All the voters who put Texas ahead of Oklahoma and the 2 that put them #1 are going to move them back down this week as they lose their anonymity. Its going to be a decisive Florida/Oklahoma championship game provided they can each get by their conference championship opponent.

Richard said...

Guru,

Armageddon may be an understatement. I'm a Gator fan and would be mortified by an OU-UT rematch for the BCS title. Nonetheless, I see the math, the big edge for UT in the computers, and know that 75% of the voters who have UT ahead of UF would have to have a change of heart for UF to advance. (Better be a whoopin' in the dome Saturday).

Worst of all, there wouldn't be anyone meaningful for Florida and Alabama to play come bowl time. They aren't going to play each other twice in a row. One could get Utah and the other Boise State.

The networks would be PISSED!

The power of money is going to speak somehow. If UF beats bama by a few touchdowns, then there will be some talk behind closed doors. Somehow those UT voters will stand down or the whole point of the BCS (money) will go down the tubes.

I'm wondering what mechanism you would employ to get 70 UT voters to take a step back (other than actually being impressed by a UF win). That's a lot of people...you can't exactly have a conference call to coordinate that. They better find a way or it will be....Armageddon!

Richard said...

You know what would really suck?

For the Gators to miss out on the top 2 because they trail Texas Tech and Utah in the computer rankings *especially Texas Tech).

Florida would be a 20 point favorite against these teams.

I'm going for a quantity discount on the maalox. (This must be how USC fans feel except no drama for them).

Anonymous said...

I see that no one has bothered to argue against the assumption above that an 11-1 Texas team would have, across the board, a better resume than a 12-1 Florida team.

That's because the evidence is irrefutable.

Chances are that Florida will still get the nod. But there isn't any question that Texas would be more deserving of the other title-game spot, by every defensible measure.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and to the guy arguing for USC:

If you're gonna reach a little further down, it's Utah who would be next-in-line as deserving of consideration, not USC.

Why? Because Utah is not only 12-0 instead of 11-1 (including, by the way, a victory over the team that beat USC), but also because Utah played in a tougher conference. Yes, that's right, the Mountain West was unquestionably tougher than the Pac-10 this year.

Given those facts, I don't see how anyone could make an argument for USC without first making a more compelling argument for Utah.

C-Pain said...

There will be no Big 12 rematch in the BCS title game. UF will get a resounding win over the Tide in the SEC title game. I am a USC grad student who grew up a Seminole fan in Central Florida. Therefore I hate the Gators so this is not a Gator fan talking the Gators are the best team in the nation. They choked at home against a better than expected Ole Miss team true. But they have too many weapons for 'Bama to contain and their defense is too big and fast for 'Bama to be able to score many points. I wholeheartedly believe this game's score ends similar to the LSU-UF game. I know its a rivalry game and it was at LSU but 'Bama was exposed in that game and the Gators are infirnitely better than LSU and will score at will on the overrated Tide. If they do not I will eat crow but this is how I see it. A resounding victory over the #1 Tide will propel he Gators to #2 and they will meet the Sooners who get a resounding victory over Mizzou in the Big 12 title game and the Gators will unfortunately come out victorious with their 2nd BCS Title in years.
Feel free to stone me, enjoy.

Richard said...

Anonymouse,

Give it a rest pal. UT better than UF by EVERY defensible measure??

Hmmmm. Sounds a lot like the Michigan argument in 2006.

Where do we start?

1) Gators defense vs. UT defense. No brainer.
2) Human opinion - Gators clearly lead in AP & Harris Polls and bookies make Gators a clear favorite vs. UT. Coaches poll is basically tied.
3) The bubble factor. UF/Bama and UT/OU have no common opponents. All conferences largely play in a bubble during the season. A rematch in Miami would be a glorified Big 12 championship. No chance for Big 12 rep to prove they are better than SEC rep (or USC) on the field.
4) UF special teams vs. UT special teams.
5) Gators have larger margin of victory.
6) Non conference schedule. UF plays FSU every year and threw in Miami as well this year. UT's best non conference opponent was....hmmm....they all stink. You tell me anonymouse.
7) UT got beat by a team (Tech) that got absolutely destroyed by OU. UF's loss was to a team that hasn't been beaten by more than a touchdown.
8) UT belongs to a conference that had an idiotic tiebreaker that put OU over UT. If they were in the SEC, UT would have been the choice (the proper choice). You can't award a conference an extra BCS championship spot BECAUSE they have stupid rules. (Unbelievable that the Big 12 could delegate the decision of conference champion to a bunch of computers !!)
9) Alright, UT must be better at something. They are more subtle whiners for sure. When Urban Meyer whines, everybody knows it.

If you eliminate Percy Harvin from the equation, then UT definitely has better wide receivers.

Florida has better tight end, backfield.

We'll be generous and call QB a tie. Colt McCoy is better suited to the pro game right now and will be drafted higher. But this isn't pro ball and I like my guy who is a great leader and has RUN for 40 touchdowns. Only 2 picks this year as well. Only 2!!

10) You know anonymouse....you may have a point. I think any argument that the Gators (excluding Percy Harvin) have better wide receivers than UT is completely indefensible.

If Missouri wins, we may get a chance to prove our case in court.
That would also save me a day of indigestion.

Anonymous said...

Oh great, better than one could imagine for anyone with aspirations for a real playoff system. Two teams from the most over-rated conference in the country. Teams that got their name running up points on teams that need to look up the word defense on wikipedia. The genesis of what we have begotten this season is from the atrocious pre-season polls, and the inability of the BCS to adjust the algorythm to reality (not where a team was ranked when the game was played). If you don't believe me, just look at the preseason polls:
1. Georgia; 2. USC; 3. Ohio St; 4. Oklahoma; 5. Florida; 6. LSU; 7. Missouri; 8. W. Virginia; 9. Clemson; 10. Texas; 11. Auburn.
#1, #3, #6, #7, #8, #9, and #11 - ALL Severely overrated - 7 of 11 out-to-lunch. Who's to say that the rest wasn't a bunch of garbage. Would you buy a car knowing that 7 of 11 were lemons? Well, I don't buy any of this, either. Strap a set on, and play some out of conference games.

Anonymous said...

The thing UF has going for it (should they beat Bama) is next week's polls are open for the public to see. This week, several coaches obviously tried their best to manipulate the Coaches poll in Texas' favor (for the B12 game)with an inexplicable jump over UF after both teams won, but UF's was on the road vs. a Top25 rival. That never happens.

Now that that is over, I'd expect to see UF #1 in Harris and minimum of #2 in AP with enough voter point difference to outweigh UT's computer advantage (that I agree can't be overcome). Most of those voters wouldn't have the balls to do anything else when their vote is going to be public.

gatorshouldgo!!! said...

texas oklahoma rematch?????diden't we see this already, how bout a different game? bcs what a joke! florida has been winnning and this is what the get, i bet if it was ohio with one loss they would be in it with out a doubt, we need so new people running the bcs, because you people that are doing it now, SUCK!!!!!

Anonymous said...

About time someone from any "sports" website finally proposed this scenario.

I have been thinking about this exact thing all week.

What if Florida and OK wins and the computers put FL below Texas.

Then we have Texas vs OK rematch for the title.

That will be the end all of all BCS problems

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who thinks Texas is more deserving than Fla:

Bottom line is you MUST win your conference to get the human votes! Texas didn't. Fla (if they win), will.

And Texas, who did you play non conference. Fla. played FSU and Miami. Only above average teams, but intense rivalries. Fla. soundly beat the U, and crushed the Noles.

And Yes, Texas, your tiebreaker is f'd up, and you deserved it over OU, but dont blame Fla, bc your conference screwed up.

The final human polls will be like this: coaches: Fla: .99 / OU: .95 / Tex: .94. Harris: Fla: .99 / OU: .96 / Tex: .93.

The final computer poll will be like this: OU: 1.0 / Tex: .96 / Fla: .91

When you add it up it will be 1. OU .970, 2. Fla .963, 3. Tex. .947 Sorry Tex.

...but I will be routing for Mizzu, just in case. (And Hawaii over Cincinatti - believe it or not, that could be the diffeence maker).

Richard said...

THE DANGER ZONE (assuming UF beats Bama).

Scenario 1 - OU loses to Mizzo

Easy outcome - UT vs. SEC champ

Scenario 2 - OU blows out Mizzo

Highly likely outcome....voters get a clear signal that OU is the Big 12 choice de jour and put Texas in the #3 slot to avoid an intra conference final.

Scenario 3 - OU squeaks by Mizzo (less than 7 points).

This is where everything goes TILT!

We somehow find that tipping point where voters don't know whether Texas or OU are ther best choice and the networks haven't given sufficient guidance to the voters regarding point spread in their decision making.

Left to their own devices, the voters spread their votes around fairly evenly with UF in first. Alas, the votes for OU/UT are split so evenly that Florida can't overcome the computer gap and comes in 3rd in the BCS.

That would be the perfect storm....AP #1, Harris Poll #1, Coaches Poll #1, but not admitted in the BCS final because of a rematch game and with no worthy bowl opponent.

It's a good thing that 5 of the 6 the computer formulas are secret so that they can be tweaked. I wouldn't want to be the nerd who enabled such an event. They'd have to go into witness protection.

So Gator fans...since a Mizzo win is almost unthinkable, root for an OU blowout.

Dale said...

If UF was to get left out, in favor of UT, I could live with that. After all, UF owes a debt of gratitude to UT for our 1996 National Championship. Their win against Nebraska, allowed us a rematch against FSU in the Sugar Bowl, just a month after loosing our last regular game of the season to them. Maybe it's karma?

Anonymous said...

Speedzzter said Texas had a weak non-conference schedule. This is true, but you cannot control your opponent - example: SEC Arkansas. Who would have known Rice would win 9 games and their conference title and Arkansas from the BIG BAD SEC would be such a joke!!!! Outside of Alabama and Florida the SEC is at an all time low as far as weakness is concerned.

Anonymous said...

What's everyone all hepped up about? The t best teams in the country are playing this year - in the Rose Bowl.

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Nicholas Sullivan said...

A fantastic read….very literate and informative. Many thanks….what theme is this you are using and also, where is your RSS button ?

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