--Come on, give it to me straight. I drove a long way to see you, the least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
You mean not good, like one out of a hundred?
I'd say more like one out of a million.
So you're telling me there's a chance?
(note: our hopes might be tied to Cincy Saturday)
Since 3:15 PM yesterday orangebloods have begun the inevitable march through the 5 stages of grief - Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, & Acceptance. As with the loss of a family member, the jilting from a fomer lover, or the spilling of a pitcher of beer, losing the Big 12 south tiebreaker - to OU nonetheless - is devastating.
At 3:16 PM Sunday, denial set in for me. I feverishly searched the internet for any indication that someone had fat-fingered the BCS ranking.
For me, anger didn't set in until Barry Switzer's proclamation that Stoops took "the high road" through all of this.
Today, I along with many orangebloods have moved into the "bargaining" phase. This is where we continue to look for possibilities to make it to the MNC while risking embarassment and swallowing our pride. As prideful Longhorn fans, are we letting our weakness show too much by coming up seemingly impossible BCS scenarios, or outlandish reasons for disqualifying OU alltogether due to the Big Red Fiasco? For the better part of the day I've resisted endulging myself in what could happen, or what should have happened. I've been trying to reason my way out of bargaining in order to skip depression and go straight to acceptance. I've acknowledged how well this team overacheived and I've looked forward to a bright future and a promising 2009.
Yet, the promixity that this team came to a MNC birth, not to mention how close it still is gives me reason to pause. There are over 30 days between December 6th and the MNC game, and more importantly there are 2 realistic ways Texas could still find its way into the national championship game.
1. Missouri beats OU
Why it won't happen - OU is rolling at this point and is just too good to lose. Missouri's defense is perfectly awful, and got beat time and time again by a less than spectacular Kansas offense that a week before managed 7 points at home to your Horns. Regardless of whatever offense Mizzou can muster, it will not be enough to keep up with Bradford and Co. Pay attention to the margin of victory in this game though and remember 56-31.
Why it will happen - First and foremost Fate and her sister Karma are cruel, cruel bitches. If there was ever a time for those two to rear their ugly heads, this would be it. Missouri had a wakeup call against Kansas and got caught looking ahead to a showdown with one of two teams that derailed their title hopes this year (Texas) and last year (OU). You may not have been paying attention, but OU got beat in special teams as well as buy a mobile QB (does this sound familiar) against OSU. Missouri has the ability to do both, and has arguably a better tight end in Coffman than OSU has in Pettigrew. Additionally, OU's middle is going to be tested now without Box. If Mizzou wins, Texas is in and its as simple as that.
2. Florida beats Bama, and Texas stays ahead of Florida in the BCS
Why it won't happen - First off, who said Florida would beat Bama? Although Bama hasn't won with flash, they've answered every challenge this year. Their D-line and O-line are stout, the can run the ball with Coffee, and they have a hell of a playmaker in Julio Jones. JPW doesn't make many mistakes at QB, and you can rest assured that Nick Saban will have this bunch prepared for Florida. There won't be a let down by Bama.
Secondly, it won't happen because if Florida beats Bama, Florida will be the new #1 team in the country in both the polls and they'll jump Texas in the BCS. Addtionally, teams that are playing this week have a decided advantage over teams that are not playing - which means that USC could find its way to squeek ahead of Texas on some more ballots this week which would hurt our chances. Also consider that some voters felt obligated to put Texas ahead of Florida last week in order to not screw Texas in the polls. However now that the Big 12 tie-breaker has been settled, and assuming that Florida beats Bama those voters will put Florida back ahead of Texas where they will feel it belongs. Finally, because the "Texas over SEC Champion Florida" scenario is already being discussed and because the coach's ballot will be public information voters will favor Florida over Texas to avoid a BCS meltdown.
Why it will happen - Florida can and will beat Bama, but Saban's preparation and coaching will slow this game down and make it an ugly victory at best for the Gators. Chaos could then ensues in each of the 3 pieces to the BCS puzzle and keep in mind 56-31 as well as the fact that Cincy is playing Hawaii this weekend.
The 58 coaches that gave Bama their 1st place vote will then split their votes between OU, Florida, and Pac-10 champ USC. Should OU beat Mizzou by less than 56-31, then Texas could find its way to be #1, or #2 on some ballots regardless of who a voter puts at #1. As long as Florida does not leap both Texas and OU in the coaches' poll, and as long as USC doesn't make a dramatic move ahead of Texas as well, Texas will stay close enough to Florida.
In the Harris poll, Florida is already ahead of Texas, however Texas will slip behind OU in the poll unless OU wins by less than 56-31. If Texas offsets some of the votes it loses to OU with gaining some of the votes that Bama loses then Texas could once again stay close enough in this poll to leave it to the computers.
In the computers Bama is currently ahead of Texas in 2 out of 6 computers, so it is safe to say that a Florida win over Bama will register profoundly on these 2 computers (A&H and Billingsley). Its tough to say what can happen in the computers, but Florida could certainly over take Texas in 3 or 4 of the computer polls. Which brings me back to Hawaii.
Lost in all of this is fact that Hawaii plays Cincy Saturday. Let me repeat that, Hawaii (which played Florida) plays Cincy (which played OU). Guess what happens if Hawaii beats Cincy? The Colley Matrix spits out Florida as its new #1. In any computer, a Hawaii victory could destroy any chance of Texas getting past Florida. Unbelieveable right?