Should No. 2 Alabama be penalized for not having to play Saturday? The Crimson Tide didn’t play Saturday because they’re not a conference champion. No. 3 Oklahoma State beat its arch-rival No. 10 Oklahoma 44-10, getting a last and very powerful word in before the BCS judges make their final decision on who will play in the National Championship Game against No. 1 LSU. The Cowboys had never won an outright conference championship. Ever! Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, who five days ago explained that it wouldn’t be fair to rank his Cowboys ahead of the Tide, had a change of heart Saturday night. “They had their shot,” Gundy said. “Just give us ours.”
Alabama fans stake a powerful argument. They lost in overtime to LSU, 9-6, on Nov. 5. The Cowboys lost, 37-31, at Iowa State, a .500 team, on Nov. 18. OSU’s case: a 5-2 edge over Alabama in wins against the current Top 25 and a 7-3 edge in wins over bowl-bound teams. If the debate comes down to which team is better, Alabama will win it. If it comes down to which team had a better record, Oklahoma State has the data on its side. Without a playoff, this is where the college football debate is decided. Oklahoma State got the last word. We will learn Sunday night whether the Cowboys made their case.