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Mailbag: Brain Style (Nerds Get Mail, Too)

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Email, to be exact.

And you're lucky, too. In my nightmares, where I receive actual paper mail, this guy is always waiting for me at the mailbox to hand me my letters personally. Yeesh to say the least.

I got so mad about the BCS that I made a video about it (from the Longhorns perspective)...

It’s kind of funny.


Kind of funny? More like my new anthem. Oh, and if any of you are having a bit of writer's block trying to pen that perfect letter to the Big 12, may I suggest:

Dear Dan,

I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore.



A couple more emails after the break...

IMHO, the greatest blemish is the coaches voting AT ALL. They can barely prepare enough time to watch game film for their own responsibilities regarding upcoming opponents...much less take in 25-35 games each week to assess... each team's worthiness of ranking. Moreover, the offensive bias leads coaches and sportswriters alike to have man-crushes on the likes of Leach, Stoops, Tebow, and Bradford. Meanwhile, the two defensive teams: Bama and UT are getting absolutely zero love. The only team OU played with any defense at all shut them down in the 4th when it counted most. Similarly, FL has not seen the likes of Bama's defense yet this season, and I wonder how they will handle them since their biggest test was a severely overrated Georgia team. While FL and UT share the argument of a very narrow loss, FL has played nobody in the top 10 all season...neither has Bama.

I agree that the fairest thing for the national title barring a Bama victory is an OU Horns rematch...on another neutral field. Ironically, this could validate the BCS were OU to win...but I will take UT's defense over their offense any day.


Wow, lots of good stuff here. First of all, I agree with you about the coaches voting at all. Some say they spend hours on their ballots and take it very seriously, others don't even know how many losses the next team they're going to play has. They're all guaranteed to have an incentive to cheat if their team is anywhere near the top 5 or that magic BCS eligibility cutoff, #14.

So what can we do? Well, BZ called for secret BCS computer ratings (and therefore, a mildly secret BCS standings) until the final standings that send the top 2 teams to the 'ship, as well as publicizing all coaches' and Harris voters' ballots and requiring a 500 word explanation of your top 5. That's a start, but the coaches really aren't going to like writing an essay every week when they need to be watching film and preparing practices, so they'll never go for it (Leach would probably alternate between writing a short story where different breakfast foods stand for the top five teams and just writing his top five rankings over and over until he hit 500 words). That doesn't mean it isn't a good idea, however - I think we should ditch the coaches and quit expecting them to care. I think the Harris Poll is a crock, as well, but it could be made serviceable with BZ's improvements. Open the ballots to ridicule, make them justify (in writing) their top 5, don't tell them the computer scores until they've voted in the final poll, and introduce some way for a voter to get tossed from the system if he/she, for instance, doesn't know that Penn St. or OU has lost a game over a month later.

In regards to your other point - that Florida and Alabama haven't beaten anyone ranked in the Top 10 - Um, yeah. That's the big red elephant/green gator in the room isn't it? I'm shocked that no one has taken up this battle cry, and everyone is content to let the voters get away with overrating Florida for the same reasons as OU (Flashy offense, blowing teams out late in the season), but with none of the actual on-field achievements to warrant an argument. Florida has beaten Georgia and Florida State and that's it as far as ranked teams. Georgia just gave up 45 at home to Georgia Tech running the damned option for the first year, and Florida State is only still ranked after that beating because it came at the hands of Florida. Plus, let's not forget the little fact that when Florida lost, it was at home to an 8-4 Ole Miss. If Alabama beats Florida, I have no problem with having them ranked ahead of us, as they'll have one very good win and no losses, but Florida has no business being ranked ahead of us no matter what they do to Alabama. Their loss will be worse than ours and we'll have the far better win (once the Tide lose a game, they ought to drop like a rock in the computers), plus a few more impressive wins to boot. The fact that they'll have won the SEC is a technicality. We beat the Big 12 champion and we only lost once to a team that wasn't in the Big 12 CG, so we sure as hell didn't not win the Big 12. We deserve to be ranked ahead of Florida right now and no matter what happens Saturday.

I've noticed a pretty sympathetic press reaction to the longhorns situation this week. Is it not possible that if OU plays mizzou close, we could pass OU and slip in to the NC?

-M.B. (no, not that MB)

No. At this point, if OU wins, they're going to be ahead of us no matter what. The humans would have to combine to give us basically a full ranking point gain, plus the computers can't get any worse than they are or we're toast. I said no, but I mean almost surely no. It's mathematically possible for us to jump OU, but it won't happen, how's that?

Rooting Guide for Saturday (In order of most important to us):

1.) Root for Mizzou to beat OU by any margin. This virtually guarantees us a spot in the NCG, as USC is never going to catch us with those computer scores unless they're a unanimous #1 in both human polls (and even then I think it would be close). Bonus from this is that if OU struggles with Mizzou and Florida wins ugly over 'Bama (see #2), it could help muddy the human poll waters.

2.) Root for Florida. An ugly Florida win and a little bit more campaigning could make the top three of the human polls into a total clusterf*$#. I don't give a damn what Hinton says over at Dr. Saturday, this is going to be way closer than people think as long as the voters don't give up on us completely now that we aren't in the Big 12 CG.

3.) Root for Alabama... on defense. The uglier Florida wins, the better.

4.) Root for UCLA. Just because we hate the Trojans.

Thanks to everyone for the great emails, and keep them coming. I'll always reply to you, either here or in private (I almost feel like this is an unwritten blog policy), and I'll never use your full name unless you say it's cool (that is blog policy).