There is only ONE Oklahoma

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Elliott Sadler, you're fired!

Remember when Marty Mcfly was ‘fired’ via a fax in ‘Back to the Future II’? One has to wonder if that was the manner in which GEM fired Elliott Sadler even though there was two years left on his contract. There is never a good time to let ANY employee go, and there is never a pleasant way to do it, but business decisions like this are made every day in the ‘real world’ and when I have been asked over and over via email and phone calls if I ‘was surprised by this move’, my answer has been the same every time. ‘Not really’

There have been many questions by the Sadler faithful of when and why the GEM management did this and I have a couple of theories (as speculation is pretty much all we can go by at this point until the principals speak up.)

Question #1; When was the Sadler camp informed?

OneLugNutShort’s theory: We pretty much all know that Elliott has been spending much of, if not all of the off season at home in Emporia (getting ready for his big date) and at his hunting camp(s) which are located near Emporia (which allows dog hunting). I would think that a decision of this magnitude would have to be done ‘face to face’ and at the GEM shop/offices. Tracking Elliott’s private jet in December reveals two possible dates. Dec 1st in which the jet made two trips before noon est between Statesville and Emporia. (1st trip to pick up Elliott at home in Emporia and the second trip to return him) Allowing for a little over two hours in Statesville in between leaving open for the possible ‘meeting’ time. The second possible date would fall on December 14th when Sadler's jet had spent the previous two days in Emporia only to fly to Statesville, where the plane set idle for almost 8 hours before flying to Greensboro, NC, where the jet has set idle since.

Just speculation but I think that Sadler was informed on Dec 1st personally (a Monday), and that the team would be ‘privately’ informed in Dec 15th (another Monday) thus allowing Sadler to ‘clear’ out his personal affects the day before on Dec 14th, a Sunday.

Question #2: Why did GEM do this?

The question of the week and there are many reasons. But I am reminded of a post by Brett Griffin on SFC that pretty much sums up the hirings and firings in the NASCAR CUP world as we have come to know it today.

“To quote Eddie Wood in 1999 when I first met him, "Brett, if this were easy everybody would do it".

Well, it isn't easy and that's why the best of the best survive -- drivers, crewmembers, owners and sponsors! (Hopefully if business managers and spotters fall into that saying I'll be around for at least a little while longer!) No one is exempt from that rule anymore. If you don't believe me just look at the lack of sponsors this year, look at the good ol' boys that no longer drive on a regular basis in the Cup Series or look at the teams who used to be around that you'll never hear of again -- the pioneer owners now down to a handful of smart business guys.”
Brett Griffin 3/10/08

I have read and seen some of the ‘excuses/justifications’ from some of the Sadler faithful going from ‘marketability and likeability’ to ‘equal equipment’ to the need to be with a more ‘loyal company’ and even ‘bad luck’. While these are factors that must be considered, they do not always carry as much weight, as the Sadler fan wants them to. Lets take a short look at each:

This can by a real touchy and unique subject and no matter how nice one is in front of the camera, if one doesn’t perform well and up to expectations on the track, the marketability can take a back seat. Looking back at the past couple of years, just where has Sadler ‘fit’ into his sponsor’s marketability plans? Other than the occasional cardboard stand-up at Best Buy in all honestly would it make any difference if it was A.J. Allmendinger or who ever. Sure Sadler lists his favorite fast food at the ‘Big Mac’, but I don’t see many add campaigns. There was the ‘Sonoco’ ad campaign but I think that was directed more towards the ‘likeability’ aspect (so below). Is A.J. as marketable as Sadler? On the short term, that answer is no, but when Sadler was cutting his teeth with the Wood Brothers, neither was he.

I have never been a fan of the ‘side show’ acts of Trackside Live, but there are many fans that do. That being said these appearances have to have added to his ‘likeability’ for many, but does that translate into sponsorship dollars and opportunity? Looking at that other ‘regular’ drivers on these types of shows, it appears to be more about shock value and an act, than the content of the show itself. Is A.J. as likeable as Sadler? Depends on your tastes, Ask me two years from now, but he is not unlikable at this point.

side bar: 2008 marked Elliott's Sadler's omission from the CHEX Most Popular Driver Award finalist (finishing in the top 10 in fan voting) after making the list in 2006 and 2007. Before 2006, Sadler had never been a finalist.

Equal equipment:
This has been an Achilles heal for a lot of drivers/fans when justifying poor performance. For the 2008 season, again I will fall back on a Brett Griffin quote from about 1/3 into the 2008 season.

“Are we getting the same stuff? Yes. Are there cars the same? No. And, they never will be. They have different teams and the reality is they may be similar but they'll never be the same... a round of wedge here, a track bar adjustment there, a degree more of right front camber on the right front, 50 pounds more spring in the right rear -- that's called racing man. And, that's what keeps us all coming back -- to see who will be the best next week
Brett Griffin 3/19/08”

Brett brings up some great points, which was further validated after the Spring Michigan race where Sadler asked to have ‘the same stuff as Kasey was getting’. Then crew chief Rodney Childers explained that the ‘stuff was the same, with the exception of the front end stuff the you (Elliott) don’t like’.

I think cutting to the core of what Brett was stating is that each driver gets different results from similar equipment. While that result may only be a quarter a tenth a lap difference over a fuel run, over the course of a race, that can be the difference between a top 10 and finishing a lap down. Is A.J. one of these drivers that can get that quarter a tenth? I honestly have no clue.

Loyal company/team:
Actually this is sort of amusing considering the history of GEM/Evernham and also considering Sadler himself. We are speaking of a driver with 10 full CUP seasons under his belt and raced for 3 different teams. Two of which Sadler broke existing and recently signed contracts to go to another race team. I have heard of one comment that Sadler did not burn any bridges when using ‘out clauses’ and such. Not sure, but I would be very surprised if Doug Yates has been waiting on Sadler’s door step to offer him his old job back. While time may have healed some open wounds with the Wood Brothers, even in their current state would they even consider Sadler again?

Bad Luck:
How many years is this one going to be used? It has been a staple since 2005. Lets just leave this one alone for now.

So what happens now? (Thanks Mr. Weber)
Is there a ride out there for Sadler? Of course. Will it be a ‘better’ ride than the 19? In the short term, no (there is a reason why the ride was open in the first place), but on the long run, who knows?

I think that Sadler puts his best seasons together when there are not high expectations placed on them. I don’t think he will ever be the ‘dominant’ driver of the tier one group (and there are only a handful of those), but he can still get the job done after ten years. When he focuses and has the drive, he is a smarter/better driver now than he was in the 2004 ‘chase’ season. And he will still have the best spotter in the business if he chooses.

The road is long, but I still believe there is ample time for a methodical return for the ‘Southern Gentleman’ on the track. You will bounce back, Elliott.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elliott Sadler

One can't help wondering if recent conversations between Elliott Sadler and PR man Brett Griffin might have been similar to scene #5 from Andrew Lloyd Weber's, EVITA, 'Another suitcase in another hall'. In this 'silly' time, one can have a giggle now and then. After all, it is good for the soul!

(a parody of "Another suitcase in another hall")

I don't expect my rides to last for long
Never fool myself that my dreams will come true
Being used to mediocrity I anticipate it
But all the same I hate it--wouldn't you?
So what happens now?

Another ride in another garage

So what happens now?

Take your picture off a sponsor’s wall

Where am I going to?

You'll get by, you always have before

Where am I going to?
Time and time again I've said that I don't care
That I'm immune to gloom, that I'm hard through and through
But every time it matters all my fans desert me
So anyone can hurt me--and they do
So what happens now?

Another ride in another garage

So what happens now?

Take your picture off a sponsor’s wall

Where am I going to?

You'll get by you always have before

Where am I going go?
Call in three months time and I'll be fine I know
Well maybe not that fine, but I'll survive anyhow
I won't recall the teams and races of each sad occasion
But that's no consolation--here and now
So what happens now?

Another ride in another garage

So what happens now?

Take your picture off a sponsor’s wall

Where am I going to?

You'll get by, you always have before

Where am I going to?

Don't ask anymore

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Elliott Sadler...his name is A.J. Allmendinger

update 4:45 CST 12/28/08
Seems the Sadler faithful are getting a bit restless, and understandably so. They would like some answers or at the very least some words of wisdom from either the 'former' driver of the 19 or his PR man. Brett is still lurking but the cat has got his tongue so far. The questioning on SFC has even brought out some that swore they would never post there again. But like history has shown, the 'paying' Sadler fan is left out in the cold. At least so far.

update: 8:30 CST 12/27/08

Brett Griffin (aka spotterman) was lurking on the SFC message board a little more than an hour ago. There is little doubt that he saw the thread concerning this story yet made no denial or comment. It is a usual practice for Sadler's PR man, to normally squelch such a rumor. Maybe he is simply gathering his thoughts though.

I have to think there is more to this rumor than simply firing a driver. (but this is the 'Evernham way')

Remember when Elliott Sadler didn't have the courtesy to call a fellow CUP driver by name? Ego aside, it was a classless move and one that was criticized on this blog. Now there is a hard core rumor from what most call a very credible source that Sadler will be replaced this up coming season by good ole 'WhatHisName'.

This just 6 months after Sadler had signed a multi year extension to his existing contract. Can anyone say IRONY alert???? Seems there must be some pesky 'out clause' being used by GEM. Double irony alert.

Let the spin cycle begin and I am sure I will receive word from SFC and other Sadler opinion sites and will be happy to post the spin. And lastly, it was also just a few months ago that I jokingly said that Sadler would be the next driver in the 8 car at DEI. (well, I was close, just didn't get the car number right) Maybe my jokes are reality, maybe not. Can't wait to see A.J. on IRacing next time.

More to come on this story.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A few things we, as Sooner fans, should know...

...about the Florida Gators. Having the benefit of CBSC (the college cable channel for CBS and hence, the SEC) and DVR, I have now seen multiple Gator games on tape. The first thing I have to say is, wow. They are damn good. Their O is multiple and dangerous, their D is fast, aggressive, and smart, and their special teams are special (to the tune of blocking 8 kicks this year, returning 2 punts for TD, and hitting 75/76 XP and 11/12 FG).

Things most of us already know:

Tebow is very athletic and very accurate, which could give us serious fits. He runs very well when he needs to, can hit most throws with ease, and when he's on fire, he will tear any D apart. He is like Zac Robinson in a lot of ways (remember the number of 'dead to rights' moments we had him in OU-OSU?) but better.

The top three options at RB for UF are not only fast, but very quick, can find the hole quickly, make a quick cut, a move, and be off to the races. That goes for Rainey, Demps, and Harvin. They are fast, to be sure, but that only counts after you make the first and second level miss, and they do that at least as well as any running back we have faced. All three of them.

Brandon Spikes is the real deal at LB. He is among the best LBs I have seen this year on tape. He plays very fast, has great instincts, and is dangerous for passers across the middle (4 INT, 2 returned for TD). He was absolutely brilliant against LSU. None of their other LBs (They've started 5 at the Will and Sam combined over the year) are much to write home about, but they are good.

Things most of us don't know:

Their front four are very, very good. Maybe the best we've faced. Their rotation is awesome. Dunlap isn't even a starter all the time, but he is a headhunter (12 TFL, 9 Sack). Cunningham and Trattou are the listed starters, and they are very, very good. Very much like Beal and Alexander in our last few games. Their interior is stout. Terron Sanders and Lawrence Marsh allow the ends to have some freedom. Sanders was the one that recovered that fumble against UGA and broke loose for 20 yards to set the score up (very athletic move for a 300 pound man).

Their secondary is among the best we've seen, again, maybe THE best. Black is a Ballhawk and so is Wright. Black leads the SEC in picks with 6 and has 2 TDs. Haden and Jenkins are lockdown cover corners. Both have three picks.

Their O-Line is big, agile, and strong. They average about 312. The Pouncey twins are damn good, and they're not even the best blockers on the team. Phil Trautwein probably takes that honor (although it's close). These guys grade out very high and pancake the hell out of D-Lines.

So... All things considered, we've got our work cut out for us. Is it NASCAR season yet??? I hope not.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A (very) long statistical analysis of OU and Florida

Yes, I have been distracted from NASCAR over the past few weeks and after the new year I will offer my never ending opinions of the goings on with the sport and especially 'my driver' and the #19 GEM team. But it is not every day that your college football team makes it to a BCS champ game:

I know the prevailing wisdom seems to be that Florida is going to beat us 65-63, but I don't see it playing out that way. I have come to a different conclusion. One team may light up the scoreboard, but I don't think both teams will. I think it's either a blowout, or a very close game with a lower final score than people expect. The reason I believe this is OU and Florida's recipes for success are extremely similar. Dynamic offenses that are put in favorable positions by opportunistic defenses. Because I love my team, but more so because I'm a massive 'numbers cruncher', I've done some exhaustive investigative web-surfing to support this supposition. This is a very long post, and very stat-heavy, so go ahead and stop reading...right about....now.

An opportunistic defense creates turnovers and momentum-changing events like quarterback sacks and tackles for loss. I'll start there.

Turnover Margin

No surprise, Oklahoma and Florida are 1st and 2nd nationally in turnover margin. Oklahoma is +1.77 per game, Florida +1.69. This seems like a push, however if you dive a little deeper the statistics reveal a little more. Florida leads the nation in passes intercepted with 24. However, Sam Bradford has thrown just one interception since the Texas game, or one interception in his last 257 attempts. Tim Tebow has thrown 3 interceptions for the year on 258 attempts. It seems unlikely either team will gain an advantage in this department. OU may have an advantage in fumbles. We've recovered 17 fumbles on the year, while Florida has lost 8 fumbles. Conversely, Florida has only recovered 9 fumbles on the year, while OU has only lost two fumbles on the season. That in itself is amazing, and is the lowest total of any team in the country. The next lowest team has 4. For reference, OU has lost two fumbles on 1,036 plays for the season for an average of one fumble lost every 538 plays. Florida has lost 8 fumbles on the season on 800 plays for an average of one fumble lost every 100 plays. I would give OU a very, very slight advantage in the turnover department. If we can recover just one fumble in the game it may be the difference.
Verdict-Slight advantage to OU

Sacks/Tackles For Loss

OU is 3rd nationally with 42 quarterback sacks. Florida is 33rd with 32 quarterback sacks. OU averages a sack against the opposition once every 11.83 pass attempts. Florida gets a sack once every 12.57 pass attempts. Guess who numbers 1 and 2 are in sacks? Texas and TCU. In case you're wondering, 7 of the 11 sacks OU has allowed on the season were to Texas and TCU. We've faced 3 other teams on the season with more sacks than Florida: Cincinnati, Texas Tech, and Nebraska. Those 3 teams combined for a total of 2 sacks against us. OU has allowed a total of 11 quarterback sacks on the year which is 4th best statistically. Florida has allowed 16, which is 13th best. This is where it gets interesting though-OU allows a sack every 43.27pass attempts, Florida allows a sack every 18.68 pass attempts. Florida has also faced more defenses that are statistically weaker in quarterback sacks. I'm not sure how significant this will turn out to be, but it appears to be an advantage for OU

There is a pretty significant discrepancy in our advantage in tackles for loss. OU ranks 9th nationally with nearly 8 per game, Florida is 85th with just over 5 per game. Both teams are nearly identical in TFL allowed. OU 12th, Fla 14th, both allowing just over 4 per game.
Verdict-Advantage to OU

3rd down offense/defense

I believe this is one of the most overlooked stats in football. Converting 3rd downs offensively allows a team to sustain drives and retain momentum. Conversely, a defense's ability to stop the opposing team from converting 3rd downs kills momentum and gives the other team the ball back. Not surprisingly , OU and Florida both excel in each category.

OU is 7th nationally with a 3rd down conversion rate of 51.6%. Florida is 13th with a conversion rate of 49.3%. What's interesting is we've already faced 5 teams with a higher conversion rate than Florida. Texas-2nd 57.1%, Texas Tech-4th 54.5%, Mizzou-5th 54.4%, TCU-8th 51.5%, and Kansas 11th 50%.

Again, both teams are nearly identical in 3rd down defense. Florida is 15th nationally, allowing opposing offenses to convert 31.8% of the time. OU is 21st, allowing a 33.3 conversion rate. Something to consider about this statistic that lends itself in OU's favor-OU's defense has faced 5 of the top 11 offenses in converting 3rd downs. This would appear to be a good sign for us defensively. There's a common theme that manifests through these statistics-TCU and Cincinnati. These are very solid teams. TCU is 5th, Cincinnati is 6th in this category.


I'll attempt to dissect the defensive statistics a little now. FYI, I won't be breaking down the offensive numbers. Most of us know them anyway. Defense is supposedly an overwhelming advantage for Florida, but the statistics reveal some interesting things. I'll break this down in 3 categories-Rush defense, pass defense, and total defense.

Rush Defense

OU and Florida are nearly identical in rush defense. Florida ranks 16th nationally, OU ranks 18th. However, OU has a slight advantage in yards per carry allowed (OU 3.24-UF 3.33). Once again, we faced the top two defenses in these statistical categories this year: TCU and Texas. If you exclude quarterback sacks, we had identical yards per carry averages against Texas and TCU-2.43. What's encouraging is we're averaging 5.74 ypc since the Texas game. Florida averages 5.96 ypc on the year.

Pass Defense

This is where it supposedly gets ugly for us. A casual glance at the statistics would support this theory. OU ranks 99th at 253 ypg allowed. Fla ranks 19th at 174 ypg. However, once again, if you dive deeper there's more to the story...First off, a difference of only 79 ypg translates into a difference of 80 spots in the rankings. More interesting tidbits...OU has more pass attempts against than any other team in the nation (497). Florida averages 7 fewer pass attempts against its defense a game less than OU. OU's defense allows 12.01 ypc and 6.62 ypa. Florida allows 10.47 and 5.45. In pass efficiency defense Florida is 2nd nationally. One of the primary reasons for this is they lead the nation in passes intercepted. As discussed previously, you wouldn't think this would be a major factor against us. OU ranks 41st nationally in pass efficiency defense, and 1st in the Big 12. TCU ranks 4th nationally, and Cincinnati 28th. This area is obviously still an advantage for Fla, but its not as drastic as you would be led to believe.
Verdict-Advantage to Florida

Total Defense

The defensive rankings are really easy to be fooled by. It's been proclaimed over and over again by the media that the only team in the Big 12 that plays defense is Texas (50th in yards allowed nationally,). But Texas allows only 20 fewer ypg than we do. We're 2nd in the Big 12 in this category behind Texas, but only 65th nationally. The 3-game stretch of Texas, KU, and KSU earned us the reputation of having a terrible defense, and rightfully so. We allowed 438 yards to Texas, 491 to KU, and 550 to KSU . Now...can anyone tell me if anything might have happened in the Texas game that created this sudden inability to stop opposing offenses? A major upheaval in personnel, perhaps? Anyone?

Once the defense settled in and identified a suitable replacement for Reynolds we've allowed a respectable 350 ypg since the Kansas State game. For reference, that's against the 12th (Nebraska), 4th (Texas Tech), 7th (OSU), 6th (Mizzou), and 77th (damn you, TAMU!) ranked offenses nationally. We're not as bad defensively as everyone seems to think.

Florida allows 279 ypg, which is 9th nationally. They allow 4.4 yards per play on the season. OU allows 5.06 yards per play on the season. OU's defense has faced 922 plays this season, which is the 5th most of any team. Florida's defense has faced 826 plays on the season. Florida has played 4 teams this year that rank 97th or lower in total offense (!), not including a lower division team, The Citadel. The highest ranked offense they've played against this year is Georgia's, which ranks 21st. The second highest ranked offense they faced belonged to Ole Miss (37th), and we all know the result of that game. TCU is ranked 2nd in total defense, Cincinatti is 26th.

Just judging from the statistics I'm inclined to give the advantage to Florida, but not by a substantial margin.
Verdict-Slight advantage to Florida

Special Teams

This will be the last area I dissect. It's pretty bad...but maybe not as bad as you would think.

I keep hearing about how great Florida's special teams are, but the statistics I have don't back that up. I can't find statistics on blocked field goals/punts, which they may very well be proficient at. What I do have is a little surprising. We rank 107th nationally (not surprising) in kickoff return average defense with an average of 24.1 per return. Florida is not a whole let better though, they rank 90th with a 22.4 average. We're dead last out of 119 teams in kick-off touchdowns allowed (4). However, Florida has not ran a kickoff back for a touchdown this year. What's surprising is Florida's relative ineptness at returning kickoffs. You would think with all their (alleged) sub 4.3, Olympic team alternate sprinters they would be among the best in the country in this category. They rank 44th, with a 21.83 average. We rank 7th, with a 25.17 return average, which also surprised me.

They're better at punt returns, which may not benefit them significantly because we don't punt a lot. They're 8th nationally, with a 14.4 average and 2 td's. We're 70th nationally, with a 8.3 average and 1 touchdown. We're actually outstanding at punt return coverage, we've allowed a return on 9 punts for a total of 49 yards. Florida is equally impressive, allowing 63 yards on 13 returns for the season. Hopefully we won't have to punt the ball much, because we have the 5th worst average of all teams at 36.37 yards per punt. Fla averages 42.79 yards per punt. We have punted more than them, 51times for us, 42 for them.
Verdict-Advantage Florida, but not as bad as we thought

Final Analysis

Using all of this information, I'll go ahead and offer a prediction. I'll get to that in a minute. The statistics indicate a matchup between two very evenly matched teams. Some things I didn't include because it seemed like common sense, such as an OU advantage in total offense. What all the statistics reveal to me is if both teams play their A+ game, OU wins narrowly. However, both teams are so evenly matched and so similar in game plan that even a -1 in turnover differential could make all the difference. This is also with the assumption that OU's A+ team shows up. That is the key variable in the entire equation. What OU team shows up? Is it the team that went on the road to Stillwater and out dueled OSU's best team in a quarter-century, or is it the team that was by embarrassed in the Fiesta Bowl? That leads me to another troublesome observation...we've seen a team in the last year a lot like Florida...and that team was West Virginia. Except Florida has better athletes, and more of them. However, despite the media love affair with Tim Tebow I'm of the opinion he's less dangerous than Pat White. West Virginia probably had a superior running game to Florida, but Florida's offense is more diverse. Attempting to pick this game objectively I think it would be somewhat irresponsible to pick OU, given our recent history in bowl games. I won't make anyone happy with this, but if I'm picking with my head I'd be forced to pick Florida. But if this team plays like we all know its capable of, I do think we have the superior team and can therefore achieve victory.

Monday, December 01, 2008

All roads in the Big 12 South lead to.........

Three teams tied for the Big 12 South Division Championship in 2008. Shiny, new trophies now reside in Norman, Austin and Lubbock. Lubbock? Yes Lubbock, where Texas Tech claims just as much of the crown as Oklahoma and Texas. All are 7-1.

You remember Texas Tech. After 10 games and back-to-back wins over Oklahoma State and Texas, the Red Raiders were 10-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation. The college football world was all awash with Tech's high-powered offense and obviously improved defense, and for good reason.

Then OU happened. Tech ran into a buzz saw on Owen Field and lost by 44 points. Mike Leach's program went from belle of the ball to the alternate at an eight-year-old's birthday party. Talk of Tech vanished faster than Michael Crabtree's short jaunt into the end zone, and the reasons for that aren't pretty.

Yet call up Big12Sports.com and there Tech remains, tied atop the Big 12 South and part of this triangle that has everybody's diastolic number well north of 100. PR campaigns aside, Tech is and must be part of the discussion. Tech is just as tied as Oklahoma and Texas.

Ties in sports were made to be broken, NFL games and at least one past MLB All-Star game notwithstanding. When available, the best way to break ties is through head to head match-ups although a quick look through the NCAA basketball bracket will reveal teams in the tourney that were beaten by teams that were left out. Still, head-to-head works pretty well until three teams tie, and each of the teams can claim a victory over one of the other three, but not both.

So here we sit, trying to find a South team to go to Kansas City for the Big 12 title game, and staring squarely into the eyes of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). Let's talk about the BCS as a tie-breaker.

You can hate the BCS if you choose and Lord knows a lot of people do. But the fact remains that the BCS is the system we use to determine the participants for the national championship game and the most lucrative bowls.

When each college football season commences, the six BCS conferences have two clearly defined goals: 1) Get two teams into BCS games and, 2) Get one of the teams into the national championship game.

And that is why the Big 12 Conference implemented a tie-breaker plank that includes the BCS. Some want to argue that it doesn't belong, but like most arguments against the BCS or even a playoff, it is impossible to look at the circumstances in any one particular year, and think that a remedy for this season would necessarily work in subsequent years. Here's why.

Let's say that OU, UT and TTU all were tied just as they are now, but that instead of OU and UT holding down the Nos. 2 and 3 spots in the BCS they held down Nos. 2 and 4, respectively, with USC sitting at No. 3.

Now, if you're the Big 12 and you're in that scenario, which tie-breaker makes the most sense? Do you want to dislodge Oklahoma and forfeit a potential spot in the national title game? Of course not.

But ignoring precedent we're now getting a plethora of other tie-breaking suggestions, including one that recommends a point differential. For Heaven's sake, in the attempt to perfect a system let's not forfeit sportsmanship.

Remember the fallout from Oklahoma's 77-0 win a few years ago. What if that score had been 90-0 in the interest of breaking a tie? Think for a moment about the ugliness of a road team, already up by four or five touchdowns, punching in another as time expires.

And what about teams that win with defense rather than a high-powered offense. Is 60-20 more valuable than 35-0? I guess a point differential could be capped ala the NFL, but in college ball would that really solve anything?

Question the BCS all you want, but as long as the BCS is here, you can't question tie-breakers that are pointed in that direction.

Now, what you can question is posturing, politicking, etc. As an Accounting professional, I am all for advocacy and holding a standard while putting the best foot forward, and to be sure, OU did those things. But when one team goes to a rival's stadium to face a rival that is unbeaten at home and ranked No. 11/12 nationally, and wins by 20 points, then falls in the human polls, the human element has taken a turn that raises a lot of questions.

Tell you what, get on Google and find me the instances in which a ranked team has beaten another ranked team under those same circumstances and then dropped in the polls. It's not unprecedented but it is rare on rare.

Bottom line is this … three teams tied for the Big 12 South championship. Three. That tie is being broken in a manner that best maximizes a system, whether it's flawed or not, that determines college football's highest honor.

Here's to hoping that the process can play out with professionalism and the high road still intact.