Morning Coffee

The growing rift between the Big 12 South and North divisions is no joke, writes Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. "What's wrong with this picture?" Kiszla asks. "The Big 12 needs to get its act together. Work together. Learn to play together. Or let football teams with too little common ground go their separate ways."

That may sound drastic, but is it really when the Southern division champion has won the last three Big 12 title games by a combined score of 141-13? Even within this season, in games between teams from separate divisions, the team from the South is 13-3.

What are some potential solutions? Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops suggests the league scrap the conference championship game, for starters. "It would probably be great if you threw out the Big 12 championship game and just crown your (regular-season) champion and play everybody like the Big Ten does, or the Pac-10," Stoops said during a teleconference with reporters. "You could play an extra conference game, get away from the divisions and mix up the teams you are not playing each year."

Coaches across the league understand that the decision is about making money, and isn't likely to change soon, but the points of objection are legitimate. Whether the conference keeps its conference title game or not, the problems predicted by Tom Osborne when this conference was founded have come true. The South is dominating the conference at a level that's not good for anyone involved. Time to make a change.

ABC Sports has released its coverage map for Saturday night's college football coverage, and a majority of the country will have their eyes on the Longhorns. The blue area shaded in the map below indicates the regions of the country which will receive the Texas-Kansas State game at 7:00 p.m. As noted by Andrew earlier this week, this could be a chance for Texas to showcase its strength to a national audience. Or, should it lay an egg, plant seeds of doubt.

Remember when Iowa State was supposed to be a strength on the schedule? It hasn't exactly worked out that way. Cyclone coach Dan McCarney was fired/resigned yesterday after his team dropped its sixth conference game of the season this past Saturday. Elsewhere from Texas' September schedule, North Texas coach Darrell Dickey was shown the door with three years remaining on his contract. The Mean Green are 2-7.

Mack Brown says that he wants more weight placed on the human voters in the BCS formula, and understandably so. "I'd like to think that even with the flaws of the coaches' poll or the writers' poll or the different polls we have, at least you have eyes looking at it and people who are basing [their vote] on what they feel, strength of schedule and the way a team is playing."  

His complaint is slightly off base, though. What Mack really wants is for the statisticians who create the computer formulas to be able to factor in more context into their algorithms. Per the current BCS rules, the computers are essentially operating with one hand tied behind their back. Restricted from factoring in margin of victory, the formulas relatively overvalue wins, losses, and strength of schedule. If university presidents are unwilling to embrace a playoff format, they at least need to look long and hard about reforming the regulations on the computer formulas. If not, the excessively rigid and conservative non-conference scheduling that Bob Stoops fears are sure to become the norm.

--PB--

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