Whine All You Want, Longhorn Fans
Those rankings mean that, even though the Horns defeated the Sooners earlier this season, it's the Sooners who are the Big 12 South champs. And it's the Sooners who will be playing the Missouri Tigers for the Big 12 Conference Title on Saturday.
But I've got a response to that whining. First, maybe the Longhorns should have showed up for the first half of that game against the Red Raiders, and maybe the Horns defense should have played the final minute of that game instead of letting Michael Crabtree tippy-toe his way into the end zone.
And maybe Mack Brown should consider playing a little tougher non-conference schedule. The Sooners played a tougher schedule, and the Sooners played more ranked teams. Finally, while the Horns had to resort to running up the score on the Aggies to try to score some style points, it seemed to me that the Sooners had to struggle to not score on the Aggies.
Yes, the Horns beat the Sooners way back in October. And it sucks that that doesn't count for more. But the Horns helped to create the Big 12 tiebreaker rules, including that rule that says that if three teams are tied, then the team with the highest BCS ranking becomes a Big 12 division champ.
The Sooners are currently ranked number two in the BCS. But they've got to play on Saturday. If they win, they go to the BCS title game, probably against the winner of Saturday's Alabama/Florida game. But if Oklahoma loses, then the odds are that the Horns will get the chance to play for the BCS title instead.
But I don't care about that. Right now, I'm just too busy enjoying the Longhorn whining.
SOME MISCELLANEOUS COLLEGE NOTES:
Let's hear for the Rice Owls. The Owls defeated the Houston Cougars 56-42 on Saturday in front of 35,534 fans in Rice Stadium. The win moved the Owls record to 9-3 for the season, and guaranteed their best record since 1953, when they finished the season 9-2.
Rice Owls quarterback Chase Clement had another outstanding game, throwing for 380 yards and five TDs while also running for a touchdown. But the outstanding player of the game for Rice was tight end James Casey, who caught 12 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw a touchdown pass, and he rushed for another touchdown.
But the Owls are not the only Houston-area team that will be heading off to a bowl game. Though they lost the game, the Cougars finished the season at 7-5 and are also bowl qualified. Cougar QB Case Keenum threw for 520 yards on Saturday versus Rice. He also threw for five touchdowns.
The BCS rankings currently find four non-BCS conference teams in the top 12. Utah is ranked at six, Boise State is ranked at nine, TCU is ranked at 11, and Ball State is number 12. There are two ways for a non-BCS conference school to be invited to a BCS bowl game. The first way is to be ranked among the top 12 teams. The second way is for a non-BCS school to be ranked in the top 16, and for it to be ranked higher than that of a BCS conference champion with an automatic berth.
However, only one non-BCS school is guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl. After that, the other the schools are dependent on at-large bids.
The Tennessee Volunteers should be announcing today that their new head coach is going to be Lane Kiffin, the former head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Kiffin, 33, was the youngest coach in modern NFL history when the Raiders hired him at age 31. He was an assistant coach for Southern California, Fresno State, Colorado State, and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
And the word on the street is that he will be bringing his dad along with him. His father, Monte Kiffin, is the current defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
-- John Royal