Did anyone watching Oklahoma rout Texas Tech last weekend have the same thought I did — that Oklahoma scored too many points for its own good?
Barring an upset this weekend, the Big 12 season will end in a rock-paper-scissors triple tie for first in the South. Texas beat Oklahoma, which beat Texas Tech, which beat Texas. If the tie holds, the team chosen to play Missouri for the Big 12 championship will be determined by the BCS standings, where Texas currently ranks second in the nation and Oklahoma third. Texas Tech dropped from second to seventh after Oklahoma mauled it 65-21.
How to decide among three powerful teams that each lost just once all season, and only to one another? Oklahoma, after beating Texas Tech by a couple of touchdowns, might have impressed voters as the most powerful of the three at the end of the season. But Oklahoma beat Texas Tech by 44 points! This column by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach demonstrates the effect of that whomping on common sense. Schlabach simply dismisses Texas Tech from consideration: they were lucky to beat Texas and Oklahoma clobbered them, so to hell with them. So now it’s down to Texas and Oklahoma, and and Schlabach picks Texas — because Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35 early in the season.
The trouble is, Texas Tech isn’t so easily dismissed. If Oklahoma loses this weekend to a good Oklahoma State team, it’s out of the picture. Then the tie-breaker becomes the Texas-Texas Tech game, and Texas Tech won it 39-33.