Sooners the better

The Baltimore Sun

In the hair-splitting universe of the Bowl Championship Series and college polls in general, Oklahoma deserves to be ranked ahead of Texas for No. 2 (behind unbeaten Alabama) by the length of a couple of links on a first-down chain.

The most obvious argument that supports Texas' claim to No. 2 - and to be positioned to play Missouri for the Big 12 title Saturday and possibly challenge 'Bama in the national championship game - is the simple fact that the Longhorns beat the Sooners, 45-35, on Oct. 11. Both Big 12 rivals finished the regular season 11-1.

However, since losing to Texas, Oklahoma has won six straight, averaging nearly 60 points a game. Three of those wins were against top-20 teams, including then-No. 2 Texas Tech. That Oklahoma win, on Nov. 22, was by 44 points.

This past weekend, the Sooners outscored No. 11 Oklahoma State by 20 points in a 61-41 shootout. Meanwhile, Texas barely survived a scare from the Cowboys by a mere four points earlier in the year.

Still, the Sooners are not out of the woods. They do have to play Missouri for the conference title. A win reinforces Oklahoma's ranking, but a loss opens the door for Texas to get a shot at the national title.

So if Oklahoma's loss to Texas is cushioned by the passage of time and the Sooners' win over Texas Tech is magnified because it happens to be more recent, well, that's exactly the way it should be.

By a slight margin, Oklahoma is the better team right now.

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