BCS Bonanza on the Horizon?

NORMAN, Okla. — OU head coach Bob Stoops didn't watch it.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills didn't watch it.

And cornerback Demontre Hurst said he didn't watch it, either.

But as soon as the BCS Countdown show aired last weekend and the thought came up that OU potentially could still be granted a trip to the National Championship should it win out, studio host Rece Davis and analyst Craig James continued to emphasize OU lost to Texas Tech.

Texas Tech. Yeah, that 5-5 team that's 2-5 in Big 12 play, with one of its two wins against the Sooners.

In fact, most of the nation seems to be echoing that sentiment when considering the other two one-loss teams in serious title contention, Alabama and Oregon.

That loss, in their minds, outweighs the fact that they'll have a potential of eight wins over Top 30 teams at the end of the year, including road triumphs over three then-Top 10 teams (No. 5 Florida State, No. 8 Kansas State, No. 2 OSU still a possibility).

Instead, they focus on the fact that Alabama simply fell in overtime 9-6 to LSU in the Game of the Century and Oregon also dropped their only contest of the year 40-27 to the top-ranked team in the country.

And James even pointed out the fact that slot receiver Ryan Broyles and running back Dominique Whaley are out for the year, suggesting without them OU should not be considered as seriously.

But that controversy and comments like those are what motivate the Sooners.

Just ask them.

"Yeah, I didn't watch the countdown; I never do, but a lot of people tell me about it and, you know, it's just fuel to the fire for us, I feel like," Stills said. "I've always been the one to kind of go after that stuff. When people challenge me like that, that's just going to make me want to go after it even more. And, you know, that's cool. They can say whatever they want to say about us not having Ryan, but we still have a great quarterback, and we still have a lot of great receivers, so [whatever]."

Hurst's response was the following:

"I don't know. I don't really pay attention to all that. You know, just that was in the past and we took the loss and took it like a man and right now we're just really focused on the next game and then pretty much we'll let them talk about that. But right now, we're focused on Baylor and trying to get ready for them, prepare, get ready for that showdown on Saturday."

It's not the first time OU has been amongst BCS debate, either.

Of course, back in 2008 it was a three-way battle between OU, Texas and Texas Tech decided by the BCS on which headed to the Big 12 Championship.

The Sooners won out on that deal and defeated Missouri in Kansas City while flags sent in disgust by the Longhorns faithful, flew over Arrowhead Stadium.

That propelled them to the National Championship, where OU eventually lost 24-14 to Florida.

And although it's a different situation, the concept remains the same.

The Sooners are at the forefront of potential BCS controversy.

Just like last time, too, head coach Bob Stoops wouldn't come close to politicking.

"I don't think we have to," Stoops said. "We'll see. I wasn't much on lobbying the last time we were in that situation. It worked out pretty good."

He did, however, at least address the basis of the argument.

"Well, you know what, everybody has their own opinion and let's face it, everybody has their own opinion, agenda, whatever it may be," Stoops said. "Sometimes, it's look who's hot at the time or someone else, ‘Oh but they lost to this team.' You know, at the end of the day everybody has a different take on it and fair to say a reason why they have the take.

"You can look at everything [your own way]. You can turn anyone that has a loss, you could turn it around any way you want it and make it look the way you want to write your story or make your comment."

And he did point out, albeit in a roundabout way, why OU is in the position it is in.

"I think it's fair to say through the years Joe Castiglione, along with I, through the years scheduling difficult non-conference games have paid attention to what matters and having an opportunity to be in that game," Stoops said. "And if playing those games [doesn't reward you], there's no reason to play them if they're not going to benefit you in having an opportunity to be a national champion."

That difficult non-conference game this year obviously was the battle in Tallahassee between two Top 5's in the middle of September, OU and Florida State.

And as Stoops referenced, that hasn't been the only time OU has played big name programs in its out-of-conference slate.

A home-and-home with Alabama and Oregon in recent years comes to mind, as well as one with Miami.

The Sooners have faced UCLA and TCU, among others.

So, it's easy to see why they've been rewarded.

But back to this year.

The argument really is quite simple.

OU appears to, at least on paper, have the most difficult strength of schedule by far and has fared quite well with just the one loss to Texas Tech.

However, that's an unforgivable loss for a team with national championship aspirations.

On the other hand, Alabama has only beaten two current ranked teams all season and has a very respectable loss to the best team in the country.

Oregon also has lost just to the No. 1 team, but by a greater margin, and they've been steamrolling opponents as of late, including then-No. 4 Stanford last weekend.

To sum it all up, it's a great debate that simply gets down to what the Coaches and Harris Poll voters value.

Stoops happens to have a vote this year and explained what ultimately defines his decisions.

"That [the body of work] and what people have done to this point and my feeling is strength of schedule matters the most in how I look at it," Stoops said. "I try to do the best I can to follow the games and where were they, scores and best I'm able to, but I think I've always tried to do a good job of [it]. So, I can't say I'm doing a better job of it now than I tried to do earlier. I tried to always pay attention."

The bottom line is this: If OU doesn't win out, none of this matters, but if they do, it'll be a BCS mess on Dec. 4.

And that's the Sooners' goal, starting Saturday with Baylor.

"Just win," Stoops said. "You know, the bottom line [is] our players are very aware of [being in it]. And having come off the off week, it was fair for us to look at, ‘Okay, this is our three game stretch, what does it mean? What are the opportunities? And now that we've discussed that, all that matters is Baylor. You know, what can we do something about and that's being as thorough and as good as we can possibly be to play Baylor on the road down there and leads us into the next week."

A message echoed by his quarterback, Landry Jones.

"You look at that stuff and you're like, ‘Okay, well we might be able to move up here or there,' and anything like that," Jones said. "But right now, we're focused on Baylor and we're focused on beating them and it really doesn't matter if we don't go out and take care of business on Saturday."

‘Bama and Oregon fans and perhaps BCS purists hope for a Bears victory, while BCS chaos fanatics hop on the Sooner Schooner.

Oh, stay tuned for the ride.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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