Texas gripes while the Warriors do it right
Friday - December 05, 2008
Let the arguments begin. Again. Don’t blame Texas Longhorns fans for starting them either, for they surely have a gripe. After all, they’re in a three-way tie for first in the Big 12 South, and the team they beat head-to-head tops them by a tiebreaker. To make matters worse, it happens to be archrival Oklahoma.
The Big 12 has a tiebreaker that in the case of a three-team tie the deadlock goes to the BCS standings, and the Sooners win over Oklahoma State jumped them enough in the computer ranking to leapfrog Texas. Ironically, if Texas Tech had not come from behind against Baylor last Saturday it would have been a two-way tie. And that would have been decided by head-to-head competition, giving Texas the Big 12 South title and the berth in the Big 12 championship game against Missouri. Now Texas has to hope that Missouri knocks off Oklahoma in which case Texas ascends to the national title game.
Here’s the problem. Some people, including all Texas fans, believe that head-to-head should be the only meaningful criteria for determining ranking. Others say the polls should reflect which is the best team now. When Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, the only bailouts were taking place in boats. The game was on Oct. 11, more than half a season ago. If you had to say who’s been better in the last three weeks, you could make a strong case for Oklahoma. Just the 44-point blowout of No. 2 Texas Tech plus the 20-point romp over Oklahoma State on the road would be enough for Sooner folks to say justice has been achieved - no matter which team you believe should have the title shot and which has been screwed, nothing screams playoff any louder. Settle it on the field. Even a plus one would be better than this.
It may end up being Florida-Oklahoma for the title, assuming they win their conference championship games. Excellent teams both, but I’d love to see Texas playing SC with the winners meeting a week later. * The University of Hawaii has a significant achievement by recovering from a 1-3 start and making it to the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. The team exemplified many of the virtues of team sports - overcoming adversity, working hard, staying together, playing for each other. They have a chance to make the season even more special if they can knock off No. 12 Cincinnati on senior night this Saturday. The Bearcats are the Big East Champions and are BCS bound. They are very good, but if Hawaii brings its A game, it is capable of an upset.
And then there is the matter of an opponent for UH on Christmas Eve. If Arizona State upsets Arizona, it’ll be a Pac 10 team. If not, wouldn’t you love to see Notre Dame come to town?
Or how about, as Robert Kekaula suggested in our post-game show on Saturday, an appointment with BYU? That would require significant horse-trading between the WAC and the Mountain West, but it’s possible BYU doesn’t want to go to the Las Vegas Bowl yet again. Not much doubt that either ND or BYU would guarantee a sellout. In any case, there are only two more opportunities to see these seniors play at Aloha Stadium. Hard to believe that David Veikune, Solomon Elimimian, Adam Leonard and Ryan Mouton, to name a few, are ending their Warrior careers. Get to the stadium on Saturday, if you can. I’ve got a feeling the joint will be jumping.
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