It was a scenario I heard enough Sunday when the bowl matchups were announced that I wish someone, just one sane person on national television would have put an end to it. It was even the subject of a wire story last week that was picked up by numerous outlets including this one.
The headline still makes me cringe.
"Texas could still be crowned AP's national champion."
I know the idea of a split national championship was almost unheard of in the BCS era until USC and LSU split the title in 2003, but do people forget why they split the title that year? USC finished the regular season as the No. 1 team in both the AP and coaches poll that year. The Trojans were ranked in the top two in four out of the five BCS standings before the final one, where they finished third and were relegated to the Rose Bowl as LSU and Oklahoma played for the BCS crown.
It makes sense to assume that if you vote a team No. 1 to finish the regular season and that team beats the No. 4 team (Michigan) in the Rose Bowl by two touchdowns that you would keep that team at No. 1 to finish the season. That's what most AP voters did in 2003 and what most coaches would have done as well if they weren't contractually obligated to vote for the winner of the BCS title game, which that year saw their No. 2 (LSU) beat their No. 3 team (Oklahoma) by one touchdown in the Sugar Bowl.
Now that's a controversy that deserves a split championship and a revamping of the BCS, which is exactly what happened. To even suggest that Texas' plight this year deserves the same consideration is ridiculous.
Texas finished the regular season ranked third across the board by the AP, coaches and the BCS. Now let's assume Oklahoma narrowly defeats Florida and Texas blows out Ohio State, why would any reasonably thinking voter change their vote after those results? First of all, if Oklahoma were to beat Florida in the BCS Championship Game, it would have closed out its season by beating No. 2 Texas Tech, No. 12 Oklahoma State, No. 20 Missouri and No. 2 Florida. Texas meanwhile hasn't played a ranked team since it lost to Texas Tech on Nov. 1. A win over No. 10 Ohio State, which was blown out by USC, beaten at home by Penn State (and doesn't even deserve to be in a BCS bowl game) doesn't do much for Texas' resume.
Yes, Texas beat Oklahoma 45-35 on Oct. 11, but that was two months ago when Oklahoma wasn't scoring over 60 points a game while Texas averaged 38 points during the same stretch. The BCS, as we have learned, isn't about head-to-head matchups (especially when there's a three-team tie in the Big 12) but about your complete body of work. If Oklahoma goes on to beat Florida, I can't see how the Sooners wouldn't be the unanimous national champions, no matter what Texas did three months earlier.