Posted on: March 12, 2009 11:01 pm

XII vs. Ten and Who Should Be In & Out

I don't know why, but it always seems like I am arguing with Big Ten fans about the March Madness viability of teams from these two conferences.  As a 7.5-year temporary resident of Columbia, Missouri, I am admittedly biased toward the Big XII.  However, my bias does not prevent me from being objective and rational in comparing these two conferences.

One Illinois fan claimed -- on the Mizzou team page, no less -- the Big Ten would get 7-8 teams in the tournament.  I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that asinine argument.  In the same metaphorical breath, this guy said the Big XII would get 4-5 teams in, max.

The latter argument is not obscene; the former is. 

Each conference has locks for the tournament: Kansas, Mizzou A&M, and OU are in from the Big XII; Illinois, MSU and Purdue are in from the Big Ten. 

Each conference as probablies (I know, it's not a word): Texas and OSU (after beating OU today) from the Big XII; Penn State, Ohio State  (20-9...RPI - 36...Big wins - Purdue, Minnesota, at ND, at Miami, at Michigan, Penn St Butler....Bad Losses - WV (by 28!), at Purdue (bby 25!)) and Minnesota from the Big Ten. (I included all the info about Ohio St. because, until 10 minutes ago, I thought they were out.  But upon further review, their resume is pretty tough...)

So, as I see it, that's 6 Big XII entries and 6 Big Ten entries. The other ones are toss-ups:

Big Ten: Michigan has lost 12 games, including against Iowa, who went 5-13 in conference; also lost to Wisconsin (not the team of years past) twice. MY PICK: OUT...Wisconsin has lost 11 games (against 19 wins); lost to Iowa and Northwestern (a team that doesn't even deserve Tournament mention); played tough non-conference schedule, but lost to 2 of 3 tough opponents. MY PICK: OUT.

Big XII: Unfortunately, no need to discuss. Kansas State was out with its loss today. Baylor was out as soon as it finished 5-13 in conference.

So both conferences likely get 6 teams in. So enough of the Big Ten faux-superiority, all right?


Now, one other pondering re: March Madness -- how the hell is Arizona still in the conversation? This team lost 13 game and didn't reach 20 wins. Its RPI is 53 (sure to go down after today's loss). I would MUCH rather Mizzou face Arizona in the tournament than, say, USC, whom I fear a little (despite Mizzou's early-season neutral-site win against them). Arizona has NO argument. OUT.


One random question: NOW is it okay to call Bristol Palin kind of a slut? I mean come on, it was clear that guy was a loser all along. People make mistakes, sure. But trying to cover a mistake with a forced marriage (i.e. another mistake) is ridiculous.


Hot rap line of the moment: 

I Brooklyn Dodger them; I Jack, I Rob, I sin.
Awww man, I'm Jackie Robinson, 'cept when I run base, I dodge the pen.

-Jay-Z, Brooklyn Go Hard (feat. Santogold)

Posted on: December 9, 2008 5:45 am

Mess with the Bull(___) = (For)get the Horns

Anyone get that title? See, the phrase is "You mess with the bull, you get the horns." Well, the BCS, as it has proven for years, is really just that without the C. (That's what that blank, above, is.) That remains true this year, despite a vast improvement (only one screwed team, with fairly unpersuasive beef [see below]) from years past. Then, the "Horns", obviously, represents Texas. So what it means is when you mess with the BCS, you forget Texas for a spot to play for the National Championship. MAN I'm clever.


What is Texas so pissed about?

I understand they think they got screwed. Whether or not they did is certainly up for (and has been) debate(d) (ad nauseam). But seriously -- what's the big problem here?

They can't be upset about Florida being ahead of them. Luckily, they seem to agree with this -- Mack Brown voted Florida as his #1 in the most recent (and crucial) coaches' poll.

Okay...so they're upset about Oklahoma being ahead of them? There are two possibilities as to why they're upset at Oklahoma: (1) Oklahoma is in the BCS Title ahead of them, or (2) Oklahoma was in the Big 12 Championship ahead of them, leading to  (1).

Option #1 is simply ridiculous -- OU absolutely destroyed my school's football program (no, not just the team) in the Big 12 Championship, at which point OU was already ranked higher than Texas. Before that game, it was painfully obvious that an OU win meant OU would go to the title game. So this option is out the window.

Option #2 -- although a little stale and cumbersome -- is probably what Texas is still grappling with. And as I mentioned in my last blog (albeit, somewhat in jest), it is a very real possibility that Texas did, indeed, get screwed out of a spot in the Big 12 Title game. But closer analysis seems to reveal otheriwse:

Margin of Victory. This is an element in the BCS formulation. Texas' 11 wins have come by an average of 26.4 points. OU's 12 wins have come by an average of 32.75. Advantage Oklahoma.

Results against Common Opponents. This doesn't count explicitly toward the BCS formulation, but it does implicitly. (Just think about it.) The results (not considering venue):

-Mizzou (single tear) - OU +41; TX +25 (OU +16 on Texas)

-OK St. - OU +20; OSU + 4 (OU +32)

-Kansas - OU +14; TX +28 (OU +18)

-Texas Tech - OU +44; TX -6 (OU +68)

-Baylor - OU +32; TX +24 (OU +76)

-TX A&M - OU +36; TX +40 (OU +72 -- boy did A&M suck this year)

Because this analysis skews toward OU for not counting it's one loss, I'll throw that in there also -- so after docking OU 10 (the amount by which it lost to Texas), OU is still ahead of Texas by 62 points. Advantage Oklahoma.

The One Loss. Ready to have your socks blown off? Here you go: Texas' loss was far worse than Oklahoma's. Yes, Texas can argue what everyone immediately does: The head-to-head win over Oklahoma. But unfortunately for Texas, in my mind, that only makes Oklahoma look better. OU's one loss was to the #3 team in the country -- a team that, save for one loss and one close game against a ranked foe (OK St.), has dominated all season. Texas' one loss, on the other hand, was at the hands of a weaker team -- one which OU beat by 44. Texas Tech is currently #7, and is lucky to be there after almost squandering what should have been a gimme-blowout at home against Baylor. (On the subject: The TT-Ole Miss game will be one of the bowl season's best.)

Texas can also argue (although this is a very specific and slight argument) that its loss was less impactful than Oklahoma's because it lost by a slimmer margin, on the last play. That's one I actually agree with (why I mentioned it), but it just doesn't carry a lot of water. Also, a relevant counterargument by Oklahoma would be, again, "we beat that team by forty-four.Advantage Oklahoma.

Personally, I think Texas would make just as good a Big 12 representative as Oklahoma. Has Texas played Mizzou in the Big 12, I think it would have done what it has done all year -- beaten an opponent (in this case, MU) by somewhat less of a margin than OU did. (Think something along the lines of 56-31...just picked numbers out of a hat.) I think either team could beat Florida. I also think either team could be beaten by Florida.

I think the game will be incredible.

What I am CERTAIN of, though, is that either team -- Texas or OU -- could absolutely destroy Ohio State, which, for the second consecutive year, finds itself in a bowl in which it does not belong. (I will have a comprehensive bowl prediction blog in a couple of weeks. OSU's predicted outcome will be considerably anti-OSU.)

And on that note, coming soon...Is it just me, or is it entirely possible that the Big 10 gets swepped out of its bowls?

They just never learn with that conference. (I can hear the rebuttals now: "Well at least we learn in that conference!!! HAAAA!" Kudos in advance, geniuses.)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com