We're now looking at what? 3 weeks worth of what-if'ing so far in regard to the BCS standings? It's usually pretty fun as a weak consolation prize when you're not undefeated and this year seemed like it could be as fun as any with Texas right there on the edge. Of course, as a sports fan, why in the hell would I have expected it to continue being simple fun for any reliable period of time? It's basically nothing short of naivete.
I should have known better and understood that eventually, life, our fanbase's femininity, and OU darkness would eventually catch up to me and pull me back into the abyss of fanatic BCS debilitation. So here we are, with this huge game tomorrow clouding the majority of the UT fanbase's judgment and making all of you dumber and lesser men for the experience, not unlike having your ball's removed in an Oklahoma City bar or staring at an Oprah show with Mad Dog for an hour.
In reality, the reasons for rooting for OU are specious, at best. The reasons for rooting against them are just, honorable, and represent all that is right with us as fans of the Texas Longhorns.
"We need to root for OU because they represent our best chance of making it to the Conference and BCS title games."
I can't dispute that OU represents the only chance for us to win the conference. So? Is that the ultimate prize? Conference Titles are nice, just like Honda Accords and self-flushing public toilets. They're all capable of giving you better comfort. They're also nothing anyone ever brags about, or really gives a shit about among peers.
Frankly, an OU victory makes the path to the national title game more difficult. Beating Missouri once felt fun and simple. Beating them again will be much harder, as we know all too well. Missouri is a good ballclub. They were overmatched by us mentally as much as anything, but they're capable of beating anyone. Tech is not some behemoth rising from the west, incapable of being put down by similar competition. This is far more true on a neutral site near Mizzou. And we certainly know how rabid Missouri fans can be. I was once mistaken for Quinn Snyder at a Kansas City strip mall and was nearly clubbed to death by 2 farmers and a transvestite for both my lookalike hairstyle and the demise of Missouri basketball. I wouldn't wish coping with those fans on anyone. I digress. The point is that a Tech loss to Missouri works better than any other scenario for us making it to the national title game.
An OU win ultimately guarantees us nothing at a national level and that is too risky for us to have a rooting interest. They could very well lose to a good OSU team the following week. They could win out and jump us entirely. Tech could somehow not fall far enough to drop behind either of us. The BCS in and of itself is utterly unpredictable because it is ultimately defined as much as anything by human emotion. Rooting for OU in this game as though the favorable outcome of an OU victory is remotely close to a probability fails to consider simple human frailty. We expect people to credit us at that point with a win 6 weeks ago? Uh huh.
"Rooting for OU makes me uncomfortable, but it is what we have to do."
The whole mantra behind our fanbase's behavior for this game is disturbing and reeks of douche.
For one, an OU victory brings harm to our lifeblood, recruiting. Please don't ever doubt this. OU victories against Poontang State harm us in recruiting, much less victories in the national spotlight against another highly ranked team. They reap benefits from talking heads, high school coaches, and worse. We compete year in and year out for players that compare the two programs. Every moment like this matters significantly for multiple years to come. The more they can appear to be headed downward, the better it is for us. Rooting for them is tantamount to rooting for us to lose to them over the next half-decade.
For two, rooting for OU is a dirty act against God and he resents it. It goes against our religion and there are consequences for that. Our nature is to loathe them for good reason and defying nature is dangerous. These are dirty folk. They lack opposable thumbs and breathe openly through their mouths. They cheat and steal, usually from family and friends. Rooting for them is pretty much a clean break from who you are and there is not a real way back to who you were. You can't unring that bell. Your Oklahomic flambosity will be noticed by the rest of us and you'll never be able to wash that stink off of you. Crossing over to the other side is a despicable act of treachery and you should be hunted down and gutted with an ice cream scooper by your family.
Finally, it's all for naught. OU is not going to win this game. While this Tech team is no historical juggernaut, they're better than this OU team, even on the road. The line, the computer models, the talking heads, they're all dealing in the ether on this game. The OU being cast out there for consideration is the not the OU that's actual showing up on the field each week. Rolling also-rans or worse since the defeat to Texas does not remedy the glaring holes that exist on that team. The primary weakness that can't be ignored is their back 7. They've got little to match up with Crabtree and Co. Jackson and Franks were pimpslapped and made to cry by the likes of Cosby and Shipley. The notion that those 2 and the safeties can hold down the Tech passing game is ridiculous. Perhaps Austin Box can conjure the spirit of Torrance Marshall or Rocky Calmus.
Beyond the soft underbelly that is the OU back 7, there are two other glaring weaknesses with OU. The biggest remaining problem for them is their adherence to process over thought. The staff is dead set in their defensive scheme and Venables has shown this to the world a thousand times over. Lure the safeties up and throw over them, usually with play action. Rinse and repeat. This normally hasn't mattered when they play Tech, given Tech's weak running game in the past. It matters now. Tech has a running game and a short passing game and those will serve as the flame to the moth. Harrell is capable of pushing the ball downfield and Crabtree is certainly capable of getting there. The other big inhibitor for the OU victory is the head coach. Big Game Bob has become a veritable tub of goo, a Big Game Slob, if you will. Not sure what's caused it, probably his overwhelming hubris, but his teams don't play up anymore. These are all things we can count on in this matchup.
On Saturday night, I will be watching Tech wedge a size 15 up the collective ass of the OU fanbase and their team. They will be cackling from behind as they do it and an entire football nation will be guffawing and pointing at the okies in unison. You have choices you can make heading into this game as a Texas fan. I certainly hope you come out the other side better for it, but if you're not, don't expect us to feel for you. Benedict Arnold will cheer your behavior.
Also, read CA's thoughts on mutually assured destruction.