December 1, 2008

The Associated Press: Bringer of Justice?

We all know how the final regular-season BCS standings came out. We all saw Barry Switzer's stupid smiling face on Fox declaring how "Bob took the high road," insinuating that somehow Mack Brown's lobbying on Texas's behalf was more whiny than Bob Stoops's exact same lobbying on OU's behalf. Not that Switzer would know the "high road" if he got run over by a truck on it (and then backed over, and then run over again...).

At any rate, there remains a glimmer of hope for the Longhorns that has nothing to do with Missouri (who, for the record, have no shot of beating Oklahoma unless it's snowing). LSU fans (like this guy) will recall the 2003 season, in which there was much hand-wringing and shouting about who should play in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship. Oklahoma had just gotten waxed in the Big 12 Championship Game by Kansas State. USC played a weak conference schedule. LSU seemed to be the only team that everyone tacitly agreed belonged in the game. In the end, of course, LSU and USC shared the national title, with AP voters placing Southern Cal at the top and LSU claiming the crystal football.

Yes, LSU fans in some corners are still bitter about sharing the title, sure that Southern Cal couldn't have scored on that mighty Tiger D. And some (but probably fewer) SC fans are still upset about being left out of the official title game. But in the end, it was the best possible solution in a broken system: both deserving schools get to claim a national championship. Undefeated Auburn would not be so lucky the following season.

So the question now is whether the 2008 Texas Longhorns, should they win their bowl game, will get the SC treatment or the Auburn treatment. Should Alabama win two more games, they obviously deserve the title of undisputed national champion. But we don't think they can beat Florida. And if they don't, two of the following roughly equally deserving teams will play for the national title: Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Penn State, USC, Texas Tech. The teams on the second half of that list all have a major chink on their resumes that will keep them out of title contention. Texas is likely to be the most qualified team left out of the championship game. Should the Longhorns beat Ohio State or whomever they play in the Fiesta Bowl, here's hoping that the AP voters award this amazing Longhorn football team a share of the national championship. Lord knows they deserve it.

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