This allowed the Buffaloes to share the National Crown with an undefeated Georgia Tech squad that had demolished Nebraska (the 2nd place team in the Big 8) 45-21 in The Citrus Bowl earlier that day. Not to mention the fact that I haven't heard of a modern team before, or since, winning a National Title with a loss and a tie (obviously not possible anymore) to their name.
Since then, The Big 12 has had a team win a share of the National Title by campaigning to the media (Nebraska '97), and two teams play for the title without even winning their conference crown - '01 Nebraska and '03 Oklahoma. Shocking to no one, neither won the BCS Title Game.
That's why when I happen to come across an article decrying the lack of respect given the conference by the recent BCS Poll, I do something I rarely do - fire off a terse response to the writer:
I'll let you know if I hear back from the guy. It's doubtful, though. As good of an argument as I feel I made, I wouldn't be surprised if his ill-conceived piece received numerous missives like mine.
Date: Oct 16, 2006 11:47 AM
Subject: Let's Review The "Big" 12...
The Big 3, Little 9's Last 4 Trips to the National Title Game: 1 Win and 3 Bad Losses. You're right, Big 3, Little 9 (Henceforth, "B3L9") teams can score...against other B3L9 teams. Arguably the two biggest out-of-conference games of the year netted the two likely participants in the B3L9 Title Game (Their elite?) a grand total of 17 points. (USC-Nebraska, Texas-Ohio State)
That's how the B3L9 measures up to the top BCS teams. 2 TD's Better than Notre Dame? Maybe...but you're talking about a team that had to scrape and claw to beat woeful Michigan State. They will be exposed again.
You can complain all you want about Auburn, but the fact remains that they have beaten LSU and Florida without much offense. That is much more impressive than hanging 63 on Baylor...who scored fewer points against Army. They got caught looking ahead, and a coach like Houston Nutt will make you pay for that.
Meanwhile, B3L9 Teams like Kansas have to figure out how they lost to a bad MAC team in Toledo, how Texas Tech's mighty offense scored 3 points on a middling TCU team, or how Oklahoma State lost to a Houston team currently on a 3 game losing streak. Yes, the SEC has Mississippi State, but the B3L9 has several teams that inspire about as much confidence in their fan-bases as Starkville's Bulldogs.
Why is that? Well, I personally think it's because the B3L9 is down. You can call it whatever you like. Don't worry, the time will come again where a B3L9 team gets blown out in their final regular season game, keeping them out of the B3L9 Title Game, is dismantled by a lesser team in said Title Game, and still gets to play for the National Championship, or gets to play ahead of a 12-0 SEC team, only to fail to show up for the Orange Bowl. It is because of that history that any B3L9 apologist whining about "their" 1-loss team being excluded makes my skin crawl. They deserved it last year, they don't this time...nor did they in '01, '03, or '04...