A week before the final standings are released and the Bowl Championship Series is already ticking people off.
Oklahoma — not Texas — is headed to the Big 12 championship game with an inside track to the national title game by moving ahead of the Longhorns in the BCS standings Sunday.
Texas’ victory against the Sooners in October wasn’t enough to give the Longhorns the advantage in a three-way tie between the Red River rivals and Texas Tech atop the Big 12 South. And that’s sure to leave many in Austin dismayed — at the least.
“Going into the last couple of weeks, we knew that a good team was going to be left out of the Big 12 championship. Unfortunately, in this situation, it was us,” Texas coach Mack Brown said in a statement. “It is what it is. We don’t like it, we don’t agree with it or think it’s fair, but, like anything else, we’ll handle it and move forward.”
The Big 12 had to use its fifth tiebreaker, best BCS rating, to determine which team will play North winner Missouri on Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.
The Sooners (11-1), who lost to Texas, 45-35, in October, barely edged the Longhorns. Oklahoma has a .9351 BCS average. Texas’ BCS average is .9223.
Oklahoma was a point ahead of Texas in the USA Today coaches’ poll and six points behind the Longhorns in the Harris Interactive. The computer ratings preferred the Sooners and that made the difference.
“They don’t have agendas, they don’t have loyalties, they don’t have opinions. They don’t have all the bias that everyone else does,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “And if you say no one else does, then I don’t think you’re really being truthful.”
So the Longhorns will be watching two teams they beat play for the conference title, rooting for Missouri.
Oklahoma is second in the BCS standings behind unbeaten Alabama. Texas is third and Florida is fourth.
The winner of the Southeastern Conference championship game between the Crimson Tide and Gators is virtually guaranteed a spot in the BCS national title game on Jan. 8 in Miami.
Oklahoma would earn the other spot by beating Missouri.
If the Sooners lose, it could open the door for Texas to go to the national title game, despite not playing for its conference championship.
The Sooners were behind Texas last week in the BCS standings by a tiny margin.