Lisa - Sooner '90 and Rob - Hokie '91
Well a fellow Sooner (who happens to be a doctor) sent me a note asking if I knew that a request had been made (and rejected) to pair the Oklahoma Sooners with the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Orange Bowl this year. I was not aware of the story yet (too much preparation for Christmas I suppose.)
Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated wrote a neat little piece...
The BCS selected Ohio State (1) and LSU (2) to play in the BCS National Championship Bowl. None of the other highly ranked contenders (Oklahoma, Georgia, Virginia Tech or USC) will be pitted against each other in bowl games.
However, an agreement had been made which would have allowed Oklahoma (3) to play Virginia Tech (4) in the Orange Bowl. But the BCS conference commissioners shot down the idea.
According to the official BCS selection process, the Hokies, as ACC champions, and the Sooners, as Big 12 champions, were "contractually committed" to their conference's host games -- Virginia Tech to the Orange Bowl and Oklahoma to the Fiesta Bowl.
However, there's also a written clause -- one that has yet to be invoked during the BCS' 10-year history -- that allows the commissioners to "adjust the pairings ... after the completion of the selection process." Among the circumstances that can be taken into consideration are "whether the same team will be playing in the same bowl game for two consecutive years" (Oklahoma played Boise State in last year's Fiesta Bowl) and "whether alternative pairings may have greater or lesser appeal to college football fans ..."
Hey -- Sooners vs. Hokies would have been a GREAT GAME!!!
"If we weren't going to be in the 1 vs. 2 game, we wanted to know if there was a possibility to play the highest-ranked team out there," said Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione. "At that point, we didn't know which team that would be."
Proposed adjustments to the written placement rules must be requested and then approved by the BCS commissioners following the conclusion of the formal selection process. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said he made the request on behalf of his league's school but was met by resistance.
When asked why the opportunity to see the No. 3 and 4 teams play would not qualify as a game with "greater appeal to college football fans," as the BCS manual spells out, SEC commissioner and current BCS coordinator Mike Slive replied, "Everybody looked at that, and knowing that, still came to the same conclusion. In any such consideration of something like this, you have to look at the question of what precedent does it set -- particularly when there have been more compelling requests that have not been granted -- and what are the unintended consequences?"
And what unintended consequences are those? Possible split national championship titles if Oklahoma won by a landslide?
Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione commented, "I just hope at some point in time we can hear an explanation of why this wasn't possible given the fact the rules provided that opportunity if it was in everybody's best interest. Clear-thinking, well-intentioned minds would like to know whether something like this is possible."
Fair enough question. Personally, I still think it would have been a great matchup. For more, read "The Orange Bowl that Wasn't."
Virginia Tech won the ACC Championship over Boston College and are headed to the 74th Annual FedEx Orange Bowl. The Hokies will face the Kansas Jayhawks on January 3, 2008 in Miami and tickets go on sale early this week.
University of Oklahoma won the Big 12 Championship over Missouri and are headed to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Sooners are the first team in Big 12 history to win consecutive titles and will face West Virginia on January 2, 2008 in Glendale, Arizona.
It will be an exciting football Bowl Season.
Go Sooners! Go Hokies!