After losing to the Texas Tech Red Raiders two weeks ago, the Oklahoma Sooners' hopes for a spot in the BCS National Championship Game were downgraded from damn good to dismal.
You could definitely argue that the Sooners should be nowhere near New Orleans this January after losing at home to a 30-point underdog. Whether or not you'd be right, though, the fact of the matter is that the latest BCS standings offer OU plenty of reason for optimism about their chances. The Sooners don't have full control over their own destiny, but they'll have a bigger hand in determining their fate than once thought.
So entering the final five weeks of the season, what should Sooner fans be pulling for?
1. Oklahoma wins out.
Sorry to insult your intelligence, but just stating the facts.
2. Stanford loses.
If the Cardinal make it through the regular season undefeated, the Sooners are done. That's another obvious one. Again, my apologies.
Plain and simple, the Sooners will be as anti-Cardinal as they come for the next few weeks.
3. Oregon loses.
The gap between OU and the Ducks in the computers appears large enough that the good guys are in the clear here. Just to be safe, though, it would be nice if Oregon dropped another between now and Dec. 3.
4. Boise doesn't reschedule any games.
As is the case with Oregon, the Broncos' computer profile really hurts their chances of getting to Nola. The Broncos have to hope for chaos.
5. Oklahoma State wins out until Bedlam.
I doubt this matters for the computer polls so much, because OU plays any team from here on out that could potentially upset the Pokes.
A highly ranked OSU in the final game of the year would make the Bedlam rivalry – A.K.A. "The Battle for the Golden Driller's Pick Axe" – the biggest contest of the season's final weekend, though. If OU won, that kind of juice could sway some pollsters in the Sooners' direction in December if needed.
6. Tulsa, Florida State and Ball State keep winning.
The more Ws these guys pile up, the better OU's standing with the eggheads. Sooner Nation needs to get behind the vanquished with a quickness.
7. LSU rolls Alabama on Saturday night.
With all the praise being showered upon these two teams leading up to their showdown this weekend, it certainly raises the possibility of a rematch in New Orleans in January.
Given that the regular season game is in Tuscaloosa, a tight 'Bama victory could give the pollsters enough reason to think these are the two teams that should sqaure off for all the marbles. If the Bayou Bengals win decisively on the Crimson Tide's turf, however, it becomes hard to make a case for 'Bama to get a second bite at the apple.
Also, a win over Oregon in the opening weekend of the season would make the Tigers' computer profile arguably the best of any one-loss team.
All in all, OU is actually sitting in pretty good shape, despite the loss. The Sooners do need to hold up their end of the bargain, and a loss by Stanford is paramount. Still, it's not a bad position for them to be in, all things considered.