Leach, Raiders Limp On, Title Shot Looks Gone

Against the wall, Texas Tech rallied to beat Baylor, 35-28, and hold serve in the growing madness that is the Big 12 South, effectively passing the buck to Oklahoma in Stillwater, Okla., tonight on ABC. Of course, there’s a pretty decent chance that Oklahoma State could upset the Sooners, which would send the Red Raiders to the Big 12 title game off the least impressive win a Mike Leach-coached team has had in a long time.

mike leach smoke

(Oklahoma and Baylor have smoked out Texas Tech as a pretender.)

Considering the fact that Baylor finished at 4-8, and that they’re most impressive win came against Iowa State, that’s not saying much. The Red Raiders had to rally for 21 points to squeak past the Bears … at home. Needless to say, this isn’t quite the same team that beat Texas and obliterated Oklahoma State three weeks ago.

Making things worse, Michael Crabtree had to be carted off the sideline with a right foot injury in the first half, and didn’t return, sitting out the second half in a walking boot. Naturally, all of this begs the question: If Oklahoma loses, could Texas Tech lose the Big 12 title game to Missouri? And even if they win, can voters really justify vaulting them above Texas in the polls and the BCS rankings?

It’s a legitimate question at this point, even with Missouri suffering yet another soul-crushing loss to Kansas Saturday afternoon. There’s sure to be voter sympathy for the Red Raiders, who famously beat the Longhorns head-to-head earlier this year on a miraculous late drive that trumped Texas’ miraculous late drive. Still, it seems like a stretch to say that a Texas Tech team — likely to be missing it’s top offensive target and coming off a narrow win over a 4-8 team and a 44-point loss — is a more legitimate title contender than a resurgent Texas team that beat its rival 49-9. It may not be fair, but that’s life. Texas and Oklahoma both look legit, Texas Tech doesn’t. End of story.

crabtree catch

(This might be the last grab we see from Michael Crabtree before a bowl.)

Of course, the Sooners should win tonight and end this hypothetical moral quandry for voters by creating an even bigger one with a three-way tie for the Big 12 South title. Then again, Missouri should have beaten Kansas, Georgia definitely should have beaten Georgia Tech and Oregon State should be able to handle Oregon at home. So you never know (as long as you’re not talking about rivalry games involving SEC teams).

After all, Baylor just reminded everyone of that unpredictability. If Oklahoma State reminds the world again, well, good luck sorting everything out, BCS. Oh, and there’s an Obama on line two. He’s says its about a playoff? What’s that?