When Cowboy fans look at the Associated Press polls every Sunday afternoon, a happy sight awaits them. For the first season since 1984, Oklahoma State football is third place in the A.P. standings. As we can all tell, OSU is riding a "Bullet" in the polls towards the BCS National Championship.
Because #1 Louisiana State and #2 Alabama play each other this weekend, OSU is poised to move even higher. If OSU beats KSU this weekend, they put themselves into the drivers seat for at least the #2 spot, thus a National Championship pole position is the Cowboys to use or to squander. All the Pokes have to do to get to New Orleans is win out four more games. The BCS Computers will make sure of this.
The BCS Computers (herein referred to as "BCS Robots") love them some OSU. In addition to the humanoid Harris Interactive College Football Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll, an average of 6 robot formulas are used to make the BCS rankings. OSU is ranked #1 in five of the six BCS Robots. Only the Richard Billingsley Robot has OSU at #2 and LSU in the top spot.
Basking in the love of a cold, emotionless, robot is only partially satisfying to STATE fans, however. As human fans, we want approval from other humans. The Cowboy fanbase is dying to see parentheses next to Oklahoma State's name in the A.P. poll signifying real number one votes by real people. Win this weekend versus K-State, and almost certainly the Cowboys will get some #1 love that doesn't require batteries or an extension cord.
So why is OSU not getting the human #1 votes already? The Collie Matrix and the rest of the robots love us, why can't Art Briles, Frank Beamer, Bo Pellini and the rest of the Coaches Poll love us? Why doesn't the Harris Interactive College Football Poll screw up the courage to finally ask us out? Short answer: Keep winning and we won't need their approval, anyway.
This weekend's K-State match would have offered a way for the Cowboys to prove their #1 worth had KSU not laid a 41-point egg against the wounded one-loss Sooners last Saturday. Had the Wildcats beat OU, it would have provided the last chance OSU had this season to play another undefeated team. (Thanks a lot, Texas Tech, for ruining "Bedlamaggeddon". No, seriously. Thanks!) Beating the #17 Wildcats will still be a good conquest, but it won't be the same to pollsters as if K-State came in to 'Stillville' ranked #5th or #6th as they would have been as a no-loss team. Still, OSU must beat them all the same.
Then again, giving first place human votes to OSU after a win at home against "Bill Snyder 2.0" and his Wildcats should be largely academic proposition for pollsters, and the KSU game will have very little to do with it. Because one of the top two teams is going to lose this weekend by default, first place votes will no longer be divided amongst LSU and Alabama (also, Boise St. will win against whatever dunce they have scheduled this weekend and that pesky Idaho sportswriter will cast his misguided first place A.P. vote for them as usual), but probably between the LSU/'Bama winner, OSU, Stanford, and/or Boise St. Number one votes will have to go somewhere, and they will have to go to an undefeated team. Because #1 LSU is currently getting the most first place human votes (91 in the Harris Poll vs. Alabama's 21 Harris votes), their losing on Saturday would redistribute first place votes the most dramatically. Thus, if you are hoping for a Les Miles/Mike Gundy showdown in the BCS game, root for LSU. If you want more human first place votes to go OSU's way, root for 'Bama.
As it has been said more than once this year about our team: JUST WIN, BABY. In totality, votes and rankings will take care of themselves for an undefeated team playing in a major conference like the Big 12 (now featuring West Virginia! and TCU!). The goal at the start of the season for many Poke fans was only to win the Big 12 and play in the Fiesta Bowl. Now 8 and 0, basking in the ineffectual, but mind-blowingly efficient #1 love of football calculating inanimate robots, anything less than the big enchilada of the BCS Championship will be disappointing. Cowboy Football has arrived.
Don’t forget to show support for your favorite coach (MIKE GUNDY) by voting him as the 2011 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year at www.coachoftheyear.com