November 8, 2007

Fritch's Big 12 Tour: Complete chaos

Take that, college football. Half of the top six spots in the BCS standings this week are occupied by the bad, old Big 12 Conference, including two North teams that weren't even ranked at the start of this parity parade called the 2007 season. Throw in January-hopeful Texas and the Big 12 holds four out of the top 14 seats in the BCS. As for preseason AP top-15 USC, Wisconsin and California? Check your TV listings in December.

Save the "yeah, but." Don't want to hear them. Judging from preseason magazines (now buried beneath the pile of box scores that matter) the North entered this mess as the biggest imposter division among BCS conferences. But Kansas (No. 4 BCS, No. 5 AP) is one of only three unbeatens and Missouri (No. 6 and No. 7) has also settled into the same Big Cheese Suite shared by Ohio State, LSU, Oregon and South-leader Oklahoma (No. 5 and No. 4).

Of course, the only spots that matter for the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7 are the top two, but the possible parting gifts (think New Year's Day, 70 degrees and sunny) must be killer.

"We've got a strong conference," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, whose Sooners join LSU as the only two teams to remain in the AP top 10 all season. "The BCS is showing it right now. That's proof of it right there."

Oklahoma must pass three more tests -- Baylor, at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State at home -- to earn the right to defend its league title. Kansas and Missouri will meet in Kansas City on Nov. 24 to settle the North.

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