until Texas vs Kansas

Wednesday, September 21

 

Point/Counterpoint: Time to worry about weak Big 12?

Point
Most schools have concluded, or will conclude, their non conference schedules by this weekend. So who has fared the best so far?

The BCS teams will be chosen once again this year by the combination of three components: the USA Today Coaches Poll, the Harris Interactive Poll, and the combination of six computer rankings. We don’t have the Harris poll or all the computer rankings yet. So, let’s examine the USA Today poll by conference.

ACC—6 teams (Va Tech, Fl St, Miami, Ga Tech, Virginia, and Boston College)
Big 10—6 teams (Ohio St, Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, Michigan St, and Wisconsin)
SEC—5 teams (LSU, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama)
Pac 10—4 teams (USC, Cal, Arizona St, and UCLA)
Big 12—2 teams (Texas and Texas Tech)
Notre Dame and Louisville are the others.

This may all be a little misleading to only look at one poll for one week. After all Iowa St and A&M will likely be ranked with another win and Michigan St, Wisconsin, and Alabama just entered the poll. But the point about the Big 12 being down still holds. OU’s weakness may actually hurt us this year; much as our strength the last two years helped the Sooners reach the BCS title game. Two years ago OU got in the title game with one loss ahead of an undefeated USC team and last year OU was ranked ahead of Auburn even though both teams were undefeated. OU’s computer rankings and consequently their BCS ranking were significantly strengthened by their wins over Texas and by the overall strength of the Big 12. I hate looking far ahead. The season is only three weeks old, but if more than two teams win out, Texas could need some luck and maybe some more successful convincing by Mack. ATL will keep you updated.
--Andrew—

Counterpoint
I’m going to make one last attempt to make this point. If Texas wins out, it would be an upset if they weren’t in the Rose Bowl. Andrew, you even spelled it out above. Remember two years ago? Remember how USC didn’t get in that title game and everyone went bananas about “stupid computers and dumb formulas that don’t watch the teams on the field”?

Well, the BCS, forever insecure (for good reason), immediately changed the system, throwing more weight to those trusty human voters. The computer rankings still matter, but far less so than they once did. As of now, the important thing is to get the humans on your side.

Well, as of now, the humans are on our side. We’ve been ranked #2 since the preseason, and our big win at Ohio State just solidified our hold on the spot. We’re a “consensus” #2 team, and we’ll stay there as long as we keep winning. Just like OU did last year. The Big 12 may not be as strong as it normally is, but it’s not going to be so bad that the humans decide we’re no longer worthy of a #2 ranking. If we get bumped down by the humans, it’ll be because we’re not playing well, not because of conference strength of schedule. The Pac-10 absolutely sucked last year, save Cal and USC, and the Trojans weren’t penalized a lick.

If Texas wants to go to the Rose Bowl, they simply need to win out. They need to avoid embarrassing, way-too-close wins, like last year’s Kansas debacle, but they just need to win out. It won’t be easy, but if they pull it off, I guarantee you they’ll be headed to Pasadena.

--Peter--

Comments:
Waaaay too much season left.

Save it for mid-November.
 
Boo. You're no fun, Drew! Sports wouldn't be what they are without premature rampant speculation about ifs and coulds.
 
What else are we going to do between now and next Saturday?
No a Texas subject, but does any one give CU a chance against Miami?
 
Trust me, I'm all about wild speculation, but talking about weak conferences and what not in week three is like predicting bubble teams for march madness in early December.

It generally has a way of playing itself out. So instead of all the fussin and a feudin over what conferences suck, we just let them play it out for themselves.

We still don't know who really is good, and who sucks yet. OU started in the top ten, now they're not even sniffing "Also receiving votes". Pitt was in the top 25 at the beginning and they're still looking for win #1.
 
OU did not make it ahead of an undefeated USC team in the 04 Sugar Bowl. USC lost to Cal that year and LSU lost to Florida. All three teams had one loss.
 
Again, the speculation is exactly that... We do it because this is a sports blog and that's what you do. The end goal is to express points and counterpoints on various subjects with the hope of exchanging interesting information or original ideas. Unfortunately for UT fans, this week has nothing concrete on which to chat on. We will get to Missouri next week and the Rice game was pretty much a scrimmage. So until there is some sort of hard subject which hasn't been covered, I say let the speculation roll.
-Holt
 
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