by WCT, The Ship of Fools
Conventional BCS wisdom (if placing "BCS" and "wisdom" doesn't create an enormous oxymoron) states that last Saturday's Tech-OU game was a championship elimination game. Loser was out of the picture. As it turns out, the Red Raiders were humiliated, and not a word has been uttered about them in relation to a spot in the Title Game since.
My question is: why not?
Yes, they were the team that no one believed in all year. Yes, they were the team that everyone knew would eventually lose. And yes, they were completely destroyed by the Sooners last week. But why was their margin for error so small?
Let's compare them to Florida for example. The Gators have beaten LSU at home, but we now see that LSU isn't any good. They beat Georgia on a neutral field, but the Dawgs have had trouble with lowly Kentucky and Auburn in the weeks following the Cocktail Party. They crushed South Carolina in Gainesville, but the Gamecocks were probably overrated at #25 when the two teams met. Compare those wins with the Red Raiders best wins: They beat Kansas when the Jayhawks were ranked, but we now see that Kansas is crap. This win is pretty comparable to UF's win over South Carolina. However, Tech also beat Texas and Oklahoma State, two teams that still look pretty good. Certainly better than LSU, and UGA look today.
Let's compare the teams' losses: Texas Tech famously lost this past weekend at OU. Florida was beaten at home by Ole Miss back in September. Ole Miss has climbed into the rankings at #25 in the AP, but they are still a 4-loss team that lost to Wake Forest. Oklahoma is one of the best teams in the nation, and is almost unbeatable at home.
So why is it that when we discuss 1-loss teams and their championship prospects, we completely ignore the Red Raiders? They have the identical record to Florida, have seemingly beaten better teams, and have seemingly suffered their lone loss to a better team.
The reason is, as always, the BCS sucks. If you lose early in the season, at home, to a 4-loss team, it is somehow better than losing late in the season, on the road, to a 1-loss team. Even if the teams you have beaten seem to be more impressive. With Saturday's loss, Tech fell almost completely out of the championship game discussion, behind Florida, USC (who was beaten by 3-loss Oregon State) and even Texas, whom the Red Raiders beat head-to-head three weeks ago. Even as someone who has been skeptical of Texas Tech all season, it is difficult to look now and understand why they are placed where they are in the 1-loss-team pecking order.
The BCS finds new ways to make less and less sense each year, and maybe you and I will grow tired of beating ourselves over the head about it, but just not yet.
by WCT, The Ship of Fools