Monday, November 19, 2007

Sooner Title Hopes not dead

Most folks are proclaiming the Sooners national title hopes dead. Well, Dr. Crimson N. Cream is here to tell you the patient is not dead yet, but has some serious life support issues. Here's how those championship hopes could start breathing on their own: (rankings are BCS rankings and point spreads are off of Yahoo! or DMN Monday paper, copied without permission):

  • #18 Tennessee, a 3 point underdog, beats unranked Kentucky this weekend.
  • #10 Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State.
  • #1 Ranked LSU (12.5 pt favorite) loses to Arkansas this weekend , or loses to Tennessee in the SEC Championship game.
  • #2 Kansas- #4 Missouri winner loses to #10 Oklahoma.
  • West Virginia (17 point favorite) loses to #20 Connecticut, or even less likely, is upset by Pitt the following weekend.
  • #11 Southern Cal (3 point favorite) defeats #6 Arizona State.
  • #7 Georgia, (3.5 pt favorite) loses on the road to Georgia Tech.
  • #8 Virginia Tech ( 3.5 pt favorite), loses either at Virginia this weekend or loses in the ACC championship game to Boston College. Per the Sagarin predictor (also cited blatantly without permission), the Hokies would be a 3 point favorite or so in that game.
  • #9 Oregon, a 2 pt favorite, loses to UCLA at home this weekend, or they lose to their 7-4 intrastate rival Oregon State the following weekend.
With the scenario, I believe you'd have an 11-2 Sooner team as a Big 12 champion playing Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl.

Here are the most unlikely elements of this, according to point spreads:
  • should Tennessee upset Kentucky, they'll likely be a 14 pt underdog to LSU
  • West Virginia is a 17 point favorite at home against #20 Connecticut.

The other on the field elements all involve games where the point spread is less than 4, and as a result, are quite possible.

The other big hurdle, in my opinion, would be the human poll voters. I perceive, through my crimson and cream colored glasses, a bit of bitterness toward the LandThieves for backing into the national championship game in 2003 and failing to show up at the Orange Bowl following the 2004 season. If a voter realized the Sooners were poised to be the two loss team to play the Sweatervests, they might "vote down" the Sooners and choose another two loss team as the #2 team. Looking at the other two loss teams at that point, you'd have:

  • LSU, with losses at Kentucky and to Tennessee/Arkansas
  • West Virgnia, with losses to Connecticut and South Florida
  • Arizona State, with losses to USC and Cal
  • Oklahoma, with losses to Colorado and Texas Tech
  • USC with losses to Oregon and Stanford
  • Texas, with losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State

Looking at losses only, LSU is the team that lost to the most formidable foes. Because of this, from a Sooner perspective, I think it's important for LSU to beat Arkansas then lose to Tennessee. A loss to Arkansas and then a victory at the SEC Champ game would probably leave poll voters putting LSU ahead of the Sooners.

Also, if Missouri beats Kansas, you'd have a one loss Kansas team - who didn't win their division and might not beat a team that ends the year with a record above .500 - that might be ranked higher than the Sooners. I don't think that's likely, though, as the Sooners would have at least beaten Texas (9-2 or 10-3), and Missouri (11-2 with both losses to OU), and I think Kansas will be punished severely if they lose to their one premier foe of the season.

Now, you can take this checklist with you on your Thanksgiving trip and you'll know just how to root for the games this weekend.

1 comment:

John said...

LandThieves --

I hope the final weeks of the season play out as you have suggested. That would be amazing but I agree with you that we're not real popular with many humans and almost all of the computers, so I think if a 2-loss team were to land in the NCG, it could be USC. I'd love to be wrong though and you to be right.