Posted 12/01/2008 at 06:13 PM
Texas Tech Mike Leach suggested that the Big 12 use graduation rates for tie-breakers. Though this would never gain steam in dollars driven NCAA, Leach does have a point. Tech leads the Big 12 with a 79 percent rate while Texas and Oklahoma sat at 50 percent or worse according to the last NCAA report. Numbers like that should only enhance Leach’s top candidacy for big name jobs throughout the country or a solid raise at Texas Tech.
Though it was expected that Oklahoma would overtake Texas in the BCS standings based on a win over Oklahoma State it was odd to see many voters and media figures stating that Oklahoma’s win was so impressive that they deserved to go. Oklahoma State is a good team and beating them in Stillwater is impressive, but allowing 41 points when you are trying to claim deserving of a spot in the national title game is not. Oklahoma won by 20 but the margin was just 3 late in the 4th quarter as neither defense could get stops. Oklahoma’s win over Texas Tech was impressive, but Texas Tech had the most impressive win over Oklahoma State, winning 56-20 while OU and Texas both played close games with the Cowboys. Texas Tech of course needed a comeback win to beat Baylor last week so the Red Raiders were going to have a tough time making a valid case for inclusion in the argument.
Oklahoma has posted incredible offensive numbers but in Big 12 games the Sooners are allowing 30.75 points per game. Numbers like that should have OU fans worried that another big national game loss may be coming, either this week or in January. The SEC has a provision in its tie-breaking procedure that would account for the head-to-head match-up if teams are closely tied in the BCS rankings. If the Big 12 South went by the SEC tie-breaking rules, Texas would be the Big 12 champion, not Oklahoma. There will certainly be talk of exploring revisions to the system next year, but it really was a rare situation.
If the playoffs started today in the NFL several prominent teams would be on the outside, including the Patriots, Cowboys, and Packers, teams that combined to go 42-6 last season. Those three teams still have a decent shot to make the postseason but the same can not be said for the Chargers, Seahawks, and Jaguars, three teams that were projected as strong playoff contenders this season. At the beginning of the year it is had to imagine such vast changes in the league from one year to the next, but every year this continues to happen.
Road teams continue to deliver incredible results this season as last Sunday only two home teams won outright in the 12 games played. Only Minnesota and Tampa Bay were able to win at home and the Vikings, Browns, and Rams were the only home teams to cover on Sunday, although both Dallas and Philadelphia covered on Thursday at home. The explanations are plenty, the argument could be made that there are simply not as many dominant teams so any team can win any game. The many new stadiums also provide a diminished home field edge as they are designed to make money, not win games. The two West divisions are weak this year so traveling west has been easier than usual. Weather is a real factor in coming weeks so the numbers could level out. It will also be interesting to see how home field advantage plays out in the playoffs as the last three Super Bowl champions all got there without a protected top 2 seed.