John Klein: BCS again a disappointment
BY JOHN KLEIN Senior Sports Columnist
Monday, December 03, 2012
12/03/12 at 4:44 AM
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There was more proof on Sunday why college football has the best regular season followed by the worst post-season.
For the second straight year, a large portion of Oklahomans are disappointed by the final BCS standings.
The BCS formula, now in its last two years of life, has once again proved to be the worst system in sports.
Oklahoma finds itself losing out on a BCS bowl because under the BCS rules Northern Illinois must be awarded a BCS bowl.
Yes, the same Northern Illinois that lost to lowly Iowa, the worst team in the Big 10. The same Northern Illinois that beat Army by one point.
That bumped Oklahoma down a slot and that sent everyone else in the Big 12 tumbling down, especially Oklahoma State. The Cowboys, who tied for third in the Big 12, got the league's eighth bowl slot.
Tulsa was rewarded for winning Conference USA with a rematch against Iowa State, the ninth-place team from the Big 12.
That is an amazing downward turn for Oklahoma's three major college football teams.
OU dropped to the Cotton Bowl to face Texas A&M on Jan. 4 while OSU goes to the Heart of Dallas to play Purdue on New Year's morning.
Oklahoma appeared on the verge of a Sugar Bowl date after grabbing a piece of the Big 12 Conference on Saturday in a victory at TCU.
But, the Sooners lost the automatic BCS bowl bid to Kansas State because of the head-to-head tiebreaker (the Wildcats won in Norman).
So, left up to voters and the computers, NIU got just enough support to knock out OU.
It comes just one year after Oklahoma State also lost a heartbreaking decision on the BCS bowl selection show.
The Cowboys came up just short of qualifying for the national championship game, finishing just a tiny fraction behind No. 2 Alabama.
Many believe last year's BCS decision, which led to a rematch of SEC rivals Bama and LSU in the title game, was the spark for a new four-team BCS playoff that will start in two years.
None of the debate helps change what happened to OSU last year or to OU on Sunday.
The system hasn't always been so painful for Oklahoma. OU benefited from the BCS formula in 2008, when it had a razor-thin edge over Texas (a team that beat the Sooners) in the standings and advanced to the BCS National Championship Game. In 2003, OU got routed by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game but still was strong enough in the standings to advance to the BCS title game against Louisiana State.
Still, it somewhat defies logic how Northern Illinois gets a BCS bowl bid ahead of the Big 12 co-champ.
It is easy to make the case for the Sooners.
Oklahoma lost just twice this season - to No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 5 Kansas State.
The Sooners finished in a tie for the Big 12 Conference title, the second-ranked league in college football behind the Southeastern Conference.
Also, the BCS rule that limits conferences to two BCS bowl teams is keeping LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M out of the BCS mix, as well.
However, a remarkable turn of events this weekend turned against Oklahoma. Four teams directly in front of Northern Illinois all lost - No. 12 Nebraska, No. 16 UCLA, No. 17 Kent State and No. 18 Texas.
The Huskers got crushed, just as Northern Illinois needed.
If any of those things don't happen, we're not having this discussion.
Of course, all of this would be simpler if Oklahoma had won one more game.
That is the case for Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane dealt with a handful of disappointments but then went out and won its way to the Conference USA championship and a Liberty Bowl invitation.
TU coach Bill Blankenship deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Hurricane focused on the big prize after a series of disappointments.
In the days leading up to the Conference USA Championship Game, Tulsa was stunned to find out athletic director Ross Parmley was alleged to have been involved with an alleged Oklahoma City bookie.
And on the same day TU found out about Parmley and an NCAA investigation into the allegations, C-USA announced East Carolina and Tulane are leaving Conference USA.
That means six of the 12 Conference USA teams are leaving six teams, including Tulsa, to go to the Big East.
Plus, there were disappointments during the season.
In retrospect, Tulsa should feel like it let a golden opportunity for an unbeaten season and a great shot at being in a BCS Bowl get away. TU lost to Iowa State of the Big 12 and Arkansas of the SEC, two teams that suffered through disappointing seasons. Tulsa was in a prime position to win both of those games.
Then, just two weeks ago, Tulsa played its worst game of the year and still came up just one yard short in a loss to SMU.
Yet when Tulsa had to make plays to rescue a victory over UCF, the Hurricane did.
"I think we've got a lot of guys that have played a lot of games," said TU coach Bill Blankenship. "There's just no shortcut to experience."
Now, they'll get to repeat a game that was played on the first day of September.
Send a note of thanks to the BCS.
1. Notre Dame .9978
2. Alabama .9441
3. Florida .8984
4. Oregon .8621
5. Kansas State .8226
6. Stanford .7683
7. Georgia .7583
8. LSU .7511
9. Texas A&M .6756
10. South Carolina .6604
11. Oklahoma .6502
Original Print Headline: BCS again a disappointment
Notre Dame vs. Alabama
At Miami, Fla.
7:30 p.m. Jan. 7