(From BCS Guru)
My mailbox is about to explode. All these questions about the Big 12. With three Big 12 South teams in the top five of the latest BCS standings, it seems inevitable that somebody from that trio will play in the BCS championship game. And there is conceivably a way to get there without the bother of being in the Big 12 championship game.
Should Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma end up in a three-way tie, with 11-1 records and each losing to one another, the Big 12 South representative in the conference championship game will be determined by tiebreaker No. 5 - the highest-ranked team in the penultimate BCS standings. Now, this is a terrible method to settle things - really not much better than a coin flip - but that's the way it goes.
So here's the team-by-team scenarios of how Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma might get there:
Texas Tech: At No. 2, the road for the Red Raiders is the most straightforward. Win three more wins, a spot in Miami will be waiting. The toughest one will be the Nov. 22 visit to Norman, and with both teams having a bye week to get ready for that one, it shapes up to be our next Game of the Year. Now, what if Tech loses to No. 5 Oklahoma? Sorry, then the Raiders are pretty much done. A loss, this late in the season, likely will drop them to No. 5 or 6, and most likely shut out of the Big 12 title game and definitely the BCS title game.
Texas: For now, the Longhorns have a slight edge over Oklahoma by virtue of their head-to-head win in Dallas and superior computer rankings. But all that can change if OU beats Texas Tech. An Oklahoma win most likely would force tiebreaker No. 5 to be invoked and Texas might get vaulted over by the Sooners. Now, Texas has a shot of going to the BCS title game without going to the Big 12 title game - if Texas Tech beats OU but loses to Missouri, it's possible the Longhorns can get up to No. 2 and earn a date with the SEC champion.
Oklahoma: The Sooners must beat Texas Tech - and not forget about Oklahoma State the week after - to have any chance of staying in this discussion. A win over second-ranked and unbeaten Red Raiders might push OU ahead of Texas in the human polls. As it is, OU is barely ahead in the coaches poll and slightly behind in the Harris poll. And though the Sooners are currently behind Texas in every computer ranking, a win over Texas Tech more than likely will slingshot them past Texas for good. A scenario also exists for OU to miss the Big 12 title game but make it to the BCS title game - should Oklahoma lose the tiebreaker to the Longhorns, who then drop their rematch against Missouri in the Big 12 title game.
Let's do a matrix, and this is what it might look like involving these three teams: (assuming they each win their remaining regular-season games):
1. Texas Tech beats Oklahoma
TT beats Missouri for Big 12 title: Texas Tech in BCS title game; Texas in BCS bowl
Missouri beats TT for Big 12 title: USC in BCS title game; Missouri, Texas in BCS bowls
2. Oklahoma beats Texas Tech, then beats Oklahoma State
OU beats Missouri for Big 12 title: OU in BCS title game; Texas in BCS bowl
Texas beats Missouri for Big 12 title: Texas in BCS title game; OU in BCS bowl
Missouri beats OU for Big 12 title: Texas in BCS title game; Missouri in BCS bowl
Missouri beats Texas for Big 12 title: OU in BCS title game; Missouri in BCS bowl
3. Oklahoma beats Texas Tech, then loses to Oklahoma State
TT beats Missouri for Big 12 title: USC in BCS title game; TT, Texas in BCS bowls
Missouri beats TT for Big 12 title: Texas in BCS title game; Missouri in BCS bowl
We'll discuss the SEC, USC, potential bowl matchups and the unbiased relative merits of each of the one-loss teams and Utah later this week as well. Yes, there's lots to talk about.