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Oklahoma State has to make up a big BCS margin to pass Alabama

LSU is set for title game, but did Cowboys do enough to turn Tide?

December 03, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden celebrates a first-quarter touchdown during the Cowboys' blowout win over Oklahoma on Saturday.
Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden celebrates a first-quarter… (Matthewe Emmons / US Presswire )

reporting from atlanta -- Is it time for a rematch, or time to reconsider?

Should the title game be a do-over between Louisiana State and Alabama or a move-over featuring LSU vs. Oklahoma State?

Is everyone braced for college football's version of Truman's comeback victory over Dewey?

Not even Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy believed his No. 3 Cowboys had a chance of passing No. 2 Alabama this week in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

Gundy, foolishly, came out this week and said even he would vote Alabama No.2.

But what if Oklahoma State wiped rival Oklahoma off the field on Saturday night in Stillwater?

Well, guess what?

Oklahoma State's emphatic 44-10 victory will have folks in Alabama sweating until the final BCS standings are released Sunday.

Never mind CBS all but called the election in favor of the Crimson Tide.

Not all precincts, apparently, had reported.

Here's what we know after LSU came from 10-0 down to batter Georgia, 42-10, at the Georgia Dome and win its 11th SEC title, in convincing fashion:

•We know LSU is the no-doubt-about-it best team in the country and headed to the title game in New Orleans on Jan. 9.

LSU struggled in the first half? So what?

Jordan Jefferson passed for only 30 yards? Who cares?

The Tigers scored 42 unanswered points and, with Houston losing, are the only undefeated major college team remaining.

LSU played a top-notch schedule, beating Oregon and West Virginia in nonconference games.

Nobody caught these Tigers by the tail.

"They are the No. 1 team in the nation for a reason," Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin correctly assessed.

•We know the SEC is not going to send three teams to BCS bowls this year, which could have happened if Georgia won the SEC but LSU and Alabama ended up 1-2 in Sunday's final BCS standings.

•We know Houston's lopsided loss in the Conference USA Title game cost the Cougars a trip to the Sugar Bowl.

•We know Texas Christian, at 10-2, gets the bid if it moves up at least two spots, to No. 16, in the BCS.

•We know the Pac-12 is going to get two BCS bids, with Oregon headed to the Rose and Stanford likely headed to the Fiesta.

The major unanswered question: Will LSU play Alabama in a rematch for the BCS title?

The statistical data strongly suggested "yes," but that was before Oklahoma State embarrassed Oklahoma.

Alabama entered the weekend with a huge lead over No. 3 Oklahoma State, yet it didn't seem fair to many LSU would be forced to beat Alabama twice to win the national title.

"I certainly understand if college football decides it should be two SEC teams playing for the national championship," LSU Coach Les Miles said Saturday.

Miles was trying to be diplomatic. Privately, he might tell you it's not right a team that didn't win its own division gets to play for the title.

Miles didn't even want to have to think about it.

"I think I'm going to enjoy this evening first," he said.

Oklahoma State, the only team with a chance to split LSU and Alabama in today's final standings, did what it had to do by ending an eight-game losing streak against BCS No. 10 Oklahoma.

Was it enough to sway enough voters?

Gundy would have been better served to reserve judgment on the final standings until after the Oklahoma game.

Making a title case now, even after an emphatic victory over Oklahoma, will lose some muster.

Oklahoma State's only defeat was in double-overtime at Iowa State on the day the school learned of a tragic plane crash that killed the Cowboys' women's basketball coach and his top assistant.

Should shock and heartache be a factor for voters to consider?

Oklahoma State is the champion of the Big 12 conference, arguably the nation's No.1 conference this year.

Alabama finished second in the SEC West behind the best team in the nation.

Alabama's lead over Oklahoma State in the BCS standings is .9551 to .8712.

It would take quite a mood swing for voters to come off the Crimson Tide — but it has happened before.

Michigan, without playing a game in 2006, got passed voter by Florida in the final BCS standings.

Michigan was No.2 when it lost at No.1 Ohio State by three points.

Those in favor of a rematch say LSU and Alabama should play if they are the top two teams.

And that's true. But the top two teams are not determined until the final BCS standings are released Sunday.

LSU players are staying out of the debate.

"However it falls, we're ready for it," cornerback Mo Claiborne said after beating Georgia.

Freshman running back Kenny Hilliard agreed.

"It really doesn't matter who we play," he said.

Well, it matters to Alabama, and it matters to Oklahoma State.

All anyone can do now is … wait.

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