RA Gets ESPN's Brad Edward's Take On OSU

On Wednesday afternoon Robert Allen participated in a national teleconference with ESPN's all knowing BCS guru Brad Edwards. The most discussed school during the teleconference was Oklahoma State because, as Edwards started out:

"I think the only team capable of breaking into the top two would be Oklahoma State," said Edwards. "I know that's not going to be a surprise to most people considering they are No. 3 in the BCS this week."

As you would expect the computers are going to like the Cowboys a lot if they beat Oklahoma on Saturday.

"The reason (they could move into the top two) is they are the only team strong enough in the computers to be able to break in. If they beat Oklahoma they are going to move up to number two in the computers. Right now they are number three behind Alabama."

Edwards then broke down what Oklahoma State would need in the human polls (USA Today Coaches and Harris) to climb into the number two position.

"Basically, Oklahoma State would need to have 25 percent of the second place votes and be ranked number three on all of the other ballots," said Edwards. Their problem is right now they are number five in both polls. They need to not only catch up to Alabama but they have to jump over Virginia Tech and Stanford. Both those schools are ahead of them in the most recent polls."

Stanford doesn't play this week, but playing at the same time in the ACC Championship is Virginia Tech, meaning Cowboy fans have another game to keep track of.

"Certainly, if Virginia Tech doesn't lose on Saturday, it's going to make it very difficult for Oklahoma State to get up to No. 3 in enough ballots to have a shot at Alabama," said Edwards. "Look at the polls right now — you can see that there are a good number of voters that must have Stanford ahead of Oklahoma State on their ballots, and there could be quite a few of them that just believe Stanford is flat-out better and there's nothing Oklahoma State can do this week that's going to change that opinion."

On the head to head comparisons between all the one-loss teams in the BCS, Edwards said the loss column is a no contest in favor of Alabama, although an LSU loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game could benefit Oklahoma State and others because now LSU isn't unbeaten and may not be number one. For Alabama that game is still ranking as a quality loss.

Now the number of quality wins comes up and Oklahoma State gets alittle more love, but it is obvious wins don't seem to count as heavily as losses.

"I think there's a mentality that if you're talking about making a case to play in the national title game, your case that you are the second-best team in college football, who cares how many teams outside of the top 20 you beat? What does it matter that you beat Texas or (Texas) A&M or Missouri? And by the same token, for Alabama, what difference does it make that you beat Florida or that you beat Auburn or Mississippi State? Who did you beat that was good enough to beat you? If you break it down that way, Oklahoma State still has a win over Kansas State, they have a win over Baylor and they would have a win over Oklahoma," theorized Edwards. "Whereas, I think Alabama only has one opponent that falls in that category, and that's Arkansas. Now, if you were to ask voters, I think a lot of them would tell you that they think Arkansas is better than any of the teams that Oklahoma State beat. So, that argument can kind of go in circles. But certainly, if you're looking at just the wins, Oklahoma State ranks the best of those one-loss teams."

Edwards doesn't give Oklahoma State a great shot of moving into the number two spot, but he did say he liked the way Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy handled himself with the media at his news conference on Monday.

"I thought it was a very savvy move for Gundy to do that because not only was he not coming across as a whiner, but he was also not counting his chickens before they hatch," said Edwards. "That is one of those things that if you start politicking and you think a team should have to win their conference to play for a national championship and you haven't won your conference that can come back to bite you. I thought it was the best move on his part and he took the high road by saying he would put Alabama in that spot and saying right now. Now as to whether he would put his team there if they beat Oklahoma assuming they do remains to be seen. Maybe he is a realist as far as the perception of a loss to Iowa State as far as the voters are concerned. Whether he was being brutally honest or just planting a seed I think he said all the right things."

Smart like a fox, Cowboys fans hope.

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