Friday, November 28, 2008

Proving that I could be a Sports Blogger: If Texas doesn't get to play for the National Title, blame Provincialism

For those of you who watched Texas dismantle the hapless and hopeless Aggies last night, the message was clear: Texas deserves a chance to play for the National Title.

I was impressed by the combination of humor and ingenuity of U.T. students with their myriad "45-35" signs. Of course, the Horns won their annual slugfest with then-No. 1 OU, 45-35, on a neutral field at the Cotton Bowl. That should pretty much settle which team is better, one would think.

There were a lot of good signs at DKR-TexasMemorial, such as "If I thought 35 > 45, then I'd be a student at OU". I also liked the nice acrostic for the ESPN audience: "Every Sooner Prays No One Remembers ... 45-35."

This PR campaign is in full force because it appears that a number of the voters in human polls that make up a good portion of the incomprehensible BCS system were impressed with the "style points" scored by OU in its 65-21 national TV thrashing of Texas Tech. Meanwhile, Tech beat Texas on its home field on a miracle pass with one second left to play.

If the three teams (all currently with one loss) end up tied for the Big 12 South lead, the one with the highest BCS ranking will represent the South in the Big 12 Championship Game vs. Missouri, which Texas has already beaten, 56-31, by the way. If either Texas or OU goes to the Big 12 game and wins, then a trip to the BCS National Championship follows.

Given Tech's meltdown at OU, they have essentially fallen out of National Championship contention. Thus, the PR battle is raging between Oklahoma and Texas. In that regard, consider this fine effort. Heck, there is even a giant Facebook group devoted to UT's effort.

So, let me roll a grenade into this debate: The only reason that OU is considered to have a shot a passing Texas in the polls at this point is ... provincialism. Put another way, it's good ol' East and West Coast ignorance.

Around here, pretty much every one understands that Texas Tech is a much different -- and much, much better team -- at home, where they needed a miracle to beat a beat-up Texas team. On the road, Tech has been, well, Tech. It's been this way forever. Thus, my in-office prediction for the OU-Tech game was: OU 55, Tech 24. I was surprised not at all by the OU-Tech result.

Of course, Bob Stoops kept Sam Bradford in the game and winging it well into the 4th quarter to run up the style points, too. People around here are familiar with the Stoops (and Tech) pattern in this regard, as well.

But if your only familiarity with Lubbock and Big 12 football is what you see on ESPN or ABC, then you might not know all of the above. You might want style over head-to-head. Put another way, if you're an LA writer who is still wretching about the turkey being murdered in the background of the Palin video, then you probably don't know that there wasn't much style or surprise to the Tech meltdown versus OU.

My sneaking suspicion is that things will break such that the great campaign underway will get derailed by an Oklahoma State upset Saturday night. This, too, shouldn't be a shocker to those who are familiar with life and football in these parts.

But a little study ... a little getting out-of-doors ... a little opening of the mind is in order. Yes, Virginia, there are small-minded people in large cities near large bodies of water.

To be of assistance, I might suggest a little heavenly guidance. Look up and seek wisdom. I hear that the "45-35" crowd has rented a plane to fly over Stillwater (that would be the home of Oklahoma State for you East Coast beat writers) on ESPN Game Day with a "45-35" sign.

It promises to be some of the best aerial propaganda out here in Flyover Country since the Wicked Witch was talking smack to Dorothy.