Win One For The Computer! Texas Falls To BCS No. 5

Remember, friends, there is no BCS without the BS.

Apparently, the seven objective computers that provide a composite score determining a portion of each team’s current BCS rankings were more impressed with Ohio State’s last-possession rally to nip a 4-6 Purdue team, 10-6, than it was Texas’ 41-0, take-a-knee-inside-the-red-zone, let’s-not-run-up-the-score-against-Dead-Man-Coaching-Kevin-Steele shellacking of Baylor.

Texas dropped from No. 4 to No. 5 in the latest rankings released Monday evening while the Buckeyes moved to the top spot. Miami is the runner-up despite a solid 26-3 win at Tennessee, followed by Washington State (who leapfrogged Texas not only in the AP Poll but also the BCS). Oklahoma dropped to No. 4 after losing 30-26 at Texas A&M.

"I’d like to believe the BCS matches the top two teams against each other," head coach Mack Brown said Monday. "If not, they need to do away with it."

Yeah, and I’d like to believe I bought a winning lottery ticket and that my two daughters will out-grow "boy bands" this year.

I know, I know -- I didn’t whine about the BCS when Texas vaulted to No. 4 last week. But isn’t it clear from the last two seasons that the top two teams were not pitted against each other? Shouldn’t Oregon instead of Nebraska have played Miami in 2001? Shouldn’t Miami instead of Florida State have played OU in 2000? The BCS is a step in the right direction, but shouldn’t its Top 15 be used to seed teams for a month-long playoff (Brown said we should take the Top 8)?

It would be the most amazing sports month imaginable. March Madness would pale compared to December Madness. But the BCS has as much to do with preserving the bowl system as it does providing for a true national champion. And although I would surmise most NCAA Division I-A coaches would favor such a format, most university presidents are dead-set against it (according to Brown).

Texas’ "strength of schedule" rating fell from 9th to 23rd after playing Baylor. While Miami blames its BCS slippage on all the "haters", the Hurricanes "strength of schedule" now stands at 40th. The ‘Canes have arguably the hardest remaining slate with homes games against nationally ranked Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. However, a strong case can be made for the Big 12 South Division representative (Oklahoma or Texas, who will likely face Kansas State in the conference championship, December 7).

At No. 12, Kansas State is the only other conference team in the BCS standings. Texas needs the Wildcats to lay waste to Nebraska this Saturday and then run the table. Longhorn wins over Nebraska and Iowa State mean relatively little to the BCS computer geeks as does its 17-14 win in Manhattan. A Top 10 BCS ranking for K-State translates into ‘quality win’ bonus points for Texas. And as distasteful as it sounds, Longhorn fans need A&M to win impressively against Missouri so that the Farmers will at least bring a 7-4 record and Top 25 national ranking into Austin, Nov. 28.

And if OU can lose (again!) at scrappy Oklahoma State! And if USC can wallop Notre Dame (just in case Texas needs one of those at-large BCS slots), and if Michigan can go into the Horseshoe at Ohio State and…and…aw, hell, just give us a playoff!

The BCS formula (which takes into account rankings in both the Associated Press and Coaches Poll, strength of schedule, quality wins, plus composite rankings from seven computer calculations in which the lowest score is discarded) is used to determine the top two teams that will compete for the national title at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona, January 4th.

The final BCS rankings are released Dec. 8. Champions of the six major conferences (Big 12, Big 10, SEC, ACC, Big East, PAC 10) automatically qualify for a BCS Bowl. This year, the Rose Bowl is slated to host the Big 10 and Pac-10 champions. There are two at-large teams for BCS Bowl games.

Here is a list of the remaining games for teams ranked ahead of Texas in this week’s BCS poll:

1. Ohio State: at Illinois, Michigan

2. Miami: Pitt, at Syracuse, Virginia Tech

3. Washington State: Washington, at UCLA

4. Oklahoma : at Baylor, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State

5. TEXAS: at Texas Tech, Texas A&M


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