NORMAN, Okla. -- The final travesty in Sunday's BCS mess is that Texas and Oklahoma don't play again until October. Forget single-engine props towing banners. If we have to wait that long, both schools will have time to develop their own strategic air commands
Red River Dogfight anyone?
In case you missed it, a bitter rivalry just became medieval. Forget blood feud. Start prepping for transfusions, now. What occurred Sunday will go down as one of the historical flashpoints in the series' long and glorious history. If you consider long and glorious six computers that lined up behind the Sooners and nudged them into the Big 12 Championship Game over the Longhorns.
That was the difference in one of the biggest BCS controversies in the 11-year history of the system. Slightly more than two months ago Texas turned its season around, upsetting then-No. 1 Oklahoma 45-35 amidst the Texas State Fair in the annual battle in Dallas.
Little did the giddy Longhorns know then that the result would be used against them in the national championship chase. While Texas recently campaigned that the game should be the sole consideration in breaking the three-way tie in the Big 12 South Division forged Saturday night, Oklahoma argued just the opposite -- and won.
Not with the humans, mind you. The pollsters in the Harris and coaches polls bought Mack Brown's politicking completely. Both polls flipped dramatically in favor of Texas on Sunday. It was the faceless -- some will say brainless -- computers that didn't care, or even know, that Texas won the head-to-head battle.
|Coach Bob Stoops is two victories away from his second national championship. (Getty Images)|
"They don't have agendas, they don't have loyalties, they don't have opinions," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said of the hard drives. "They don't have all the bias that everyone else does."
Texas considers itself jobbed out of all the glory that is suddenly on Stoops' doorstep. The OU coach who woke up Sunday with a knot in his stomach having to remind himself his team had beaten No. 11 Oklahoma State, now is a victory away from playing for his second national championship. Again. Stoops would be playing in his fourth BCS title game.
Judging by the words and rancor flying between the schools lately who wouldn't take a game in street clothes right now in some parking lot somewhere between here and Austin? It's about to come to that anyway if you dare glance at the message boards.
Oklahoma didn't just sneak into second place in the BCS standings, it did it by the width of a piece of Field Turf -- .0128 of a point. If that number holds, it will be the second smallest margin for a No. 2 team getting into the BCS title game.
That has to be all the more galling for Texas which had its aggressive (and televised) campaign to finish ahead of Oklahoma thrown back in its face.
|Dodd's Power Poll|
|6. Penn State|
|8. Texas Tech|
|9. Boise State|
|10. Ohio State|
|12. Ball State|
|16. Oklahoma State|
|19. Georgia Tech|
|21. Michigan State|
|23. Boston College|
|24. Ole Miss|
|(Out: Buffalo, Florida State, Oregon State)|
Stoops took the pulpit Sunday afternoon at his press conference and lobbed thinly disguised jabs at the 'Horns for approximately 20 minutes.
"As a program," he said, "you've got to have your standards."
For him, the battle probably started on Thanksgiving night with Texas fans waving their nationally televised "45-35" placards on ABC's air. By then a website, 45-35.com, had sprung up. The final insult would have been that plane flying over Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday trailing a banner that read: "45-35, settled on a neutral field."
Stoops didn't see the plane but heard about it and actually considered hiring one of his own trailing the score of Texas' loss to Texas Tech (39-33).
"But I didn't think it would be real classy of me to do," he said.
Boom, bam, zing, another punch to the Texas gut.
For Oklahoma, it would have ended there but then it got word that Brown was interviewed Saturday on ABC during its 61-41 victory over Oklahoma State. Think of the clash of egos if Springsteen and the E Street Band were drowned out on the same stage by Mick and the Stones.
"In the end, hey, that's what they needed to do," Stoops said. "I was asked to be on the Texas game on Thursday. I said no, I didn't want to do it.
"I don't think anyone has been comfortable with this," he said of the unseemly campaigning. "All parties the last couple of weeks, it's been aggravating."
Aggravating for Stoops. Maddening for Texas, which is third in the BCS but might as well be 40th. Such is one of the vagaries of the cursed system. All of these spoils could have been the Horns': Despite the small margin, Oklahoma should proceed directly to the BCS title game against the Florida/Alabama winner. Merely playing and winning that extra game will be enough to stiff arm the 'Horns in the BCS standings. Texas most likely will play in the Fiesta Bowl.
Because of that extra game, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford should get one last Heisman close-up on national TV while Texas' Colt McCoy waits for his bowl game.
"There's still a tournament," one Oklahoma official snickered, "Texas got a bye."
History is written by the victors. One of those grinned widely into the Fox cameras Sunday afternoon as the network announced the BCS verdict.
"Oklahoma," Barry Switzer said, "took the high road."
Can't wait until October.