Best I can tell, there are two camps forming in regards to the BCS.
Camp one is the rematch camp. These folks recognize that LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the country and regardless of what happens today, they’d rather see a rematch than watch LSU romp some other team in New Orleans. You can also call this the “Eye Test” camp because, quite frankly, Alabama just looks better than the other contenders.
Camp two is the anti-rematch camp. Alabama had its chance when it lost to LSU, 9-6 in overtime at home, back on Nov. 5. Give somebody else a chance. Besides, Alabama won’t even win its division, much less its conference. And why should LSU have to beat them twice anyway?
I understand both camps. But I want there to be a third camp:
The Oklahoma State camp.
Of course, this camp doesn’t need to exist until if - and it’s a big ‘if’ - OSU beats Oklahoma today in Bedlam.
But if the Cowboys win that game, you don’t need to be an “anti-rematch” person to argue that OSU, and not Alabama, should be playing LSU Jan. 9 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the BCS national championship.
Quite simply, OSU’s resume would compare favorably to the Tide’s.
Many are sleeping on that fact because as of today, four of the six BCS computers have Alabama ranked ahead of OSU. But what happens to those computers if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma, which is ranked No. 6 by all but one of the computers that have Alabama ranked ahead of Oklahoma State.
Remember, Alabama is idle and has no chance to improve its station.
If OSU beat Oklahoma today, The Cowboys will be 5-0 against teams that are ranked in the BCS top 25 (although the loser of Texas-Baylor might drop out). Alabama is 2-1 against current top 25 teams. Of course, the loss is to No. 1 LSU.
Some of that has to do with strength of conference. This year, the computers love the Big 12 and it has not been a vintage year for the SEC, at least in terms of depth. The SEC is a five-deep league this year with LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina making it a top-heavy conference.
That’s counter to assumptions some might make about the always mighty SEC. The league’s depth has been hurt this year because Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Florida have not been as good as we originally thought they would be.
An Alabama win over Florida on Oct. 1 looked great at the time, but not so much any more. But OSU’s win over Kansas State on Nov. 5 and the win over Baylor Oct. 29 look better now than they did then.
It’s clear Oklahoma State had the tougher schedule. Even computer rankings that like Alabama more right now show that that OSU has played a tougher schedule. The Sagarin rating, which has Alabama at No. 2 and OSU at No. 3, has OSU’s schedule ranked the nation’s 8th toughest and the toughest among the top 10 teams.
Alabama’s schedule? It’s 23rd.
The big strike against OSU was the loss at middling Iowa State and that is a tough one to get around. But the bottom line is this: An 11-1 OSU team will have played a tougher schedule than Alabama but ended up with the same number of losses and more quality wins.
And that, to me, speaks for itself.
If OSU wins Bedlam tonight, it will surely help the Cowboys in the computers. Maybe not enough to completely close the gap, but it will be significant. They have a tougher hill to climb in the human polls, where they are ranked No. 5 in both the Harris and USA Today polls.
Perhaps many who have OSU down at number five also don’t care to see an LSU-Alabama rematch. Maybe they don’t want to see Alabama-LSU again because there were no touchdowns the first time around. Maybe they don’t want want the rematch because they are tired of the SEC’s dominance.
Either way, if OSU wins today, an OSU camp will form and it will marry the anti-rematch camp. I would bet a Bedlam win will get the Cowboys a good computer boost, but an even better human boost.
But would it be big enough to overcome the Eye Test camp?
I don’t know. All I’m saying is don’t pencil in the Tide just yet.