With five Saturdays of Big 12 regular season left, the race for who will play Oklahoma in the Big 12 Bullshit Rematch Bowl (aka Big 12 Championship Game) is still quite up in the air, but that’s not going to stop us from pontificating on it just a bit as it seems there is SOME clarity at this point in the competition.
For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to avoid discussing what would happen if we ended up with a scrum of teams tied for one spot with three losses. While that is a possibility and not one that is that far out of reach, I’m pretty confident that both participants will have two or fewer blemishes on their conference resume.
Let’s look at the remaining schedules of the key players:
Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1)
-at West Virginia
-at Texas Tech
Combined records of remaining opponents:
Overall 20-17 (12-17 minus OU); Big 12 9-13 (4-13)
Iowa State (5-2, 3-1)
-at West Virginia
-at Texas Tech
Combined records: Overall 23-14 (15-14 minus OU); Big 12 11-11 (6-11)
Baylor (6-1, 3-1)
-at Kansas State
Combined records: Overall 24-13 (16-13 minus OU); Big 12 11-11 (6-11)
Oklahoma (8-0, 5-0)
-Bye (because of course they get a bye way late in the season)
-at Oklahoma State
Combined records: Overall 22-7; Big 12 11-6
Dishonorable Mention…Texas (4-3, 2-2)
-at Iowa State
-at West Virginia
Combined records: Overall 19-16; Big 12 8-12
We will start with Texas as they have no room for error. As I stated, I think the Bullshit Rematch participants won’t have more than two losses each. Although Texas is good enough to beat either Baylor or Iowa State on a given Saturday, can they beat BOTH in back-to-back road games?
Exactly, so we will end this analysis here and not waste more of your very expendable time.
Next, let’s look at the most likely participant…Oklahoma. They are sporting a spotty, but still undefeated record on the season. They have tested “losing waters” a couple of times with Texas and Kansas (yep, you read that right) and have clearly demonstrated that we really aren’t sure what we are going to get from them each week. That makes it interesting given that the Sooners must play the other three main contenders (two of them on the road), all with good defenses and two with capable offenses. I would expect OU to drop one of these as they have been far too inconsistent week-to-week. Lay an egg with any of these teams and you’re getting an “L” on the report card. That being said, I don’t think they lose TWO of those three games, so I’m betting that Oklahoma is virtually a lock for the rematch even though it would be great fun of the most fantastic kind if they dropped two and somehow missed it.
Now for the scrum with one loss…
All three have Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and TCU remaining. All three have already played each other. It pretty much boils down to this…whichever team can run the table and NOT lose to OU is in. If all three somehow manage to get home with two losses, then the screwy-ass round-robin Big 12 tiebreaker scenario kicks in. Since these three would tie the “round-robin” portion of that scenario (they would all be 1-1 against the other two), it would fall to the conference rankings of the remaining teams to determine who gets in, and this gets a bit messy. If, for example, Texas and Kansas State are tied for 5th place, that tie will be broken by who won the head-to-head. If Texas beat KState, then the three contenders would be compared based on result vs Texas first, then Kansas State, and so on. However, if three or more teams are tied then the contenders are compared based on each of their collective records against the tied teams.
If it goes past that then it would be comparing the point differential in the round-robin games between the three contenders. Since they have already played each other, we know the result of that…
Oklahoma State +7 (beat Baylor by 10, lost to Iowa State by 3)
Iowa State +1 (Beat OSU by 3, lost to Baylor by 2)
Baylor -8 (Beat Iowa State by 2, lost to OSU by 10)
That’s right…Oklahoma State is in a humongously advantageous but also vulnerable position. The gargantuan advantage is that the Cowboys have already played and defeated Texas, while both Iowa State and Baylor get the Longhorns over the next two weekends. The vulnerable position is two-fold…
One…obviously any head-to-head with Iowa State is a non-starter, as would an odd three-way tie with OU and Iowa State.
Two…OSU’s offense is not dependable as of this writing, and very much puts them in danger of losing any of the other four games besides Bedlam, which most of us are rightly presuming will be a loss just because. Three losses will definitely knock the Cowboys out of contention.
I haven’t vetted every single tiebreaker scenario, but I think right now it’s pretty easy to figure out what to root for….a three-way tie with Baylor and Iowa State, a tie with Baylor, or a solo 2nd place finish.
I’m feeling a bit ill now.
This was a bad idea…