It’s OK to feel bad for Oklahoma State football.
It’s totally allowed and understandable. Feel bad because the Cowboys are considered second-class in Oklahoma and feel bad Oklahoma State isn’t one of the blue bloods of college football. Not fair, not right, but it’s the world we live in. If OSU was wearing different colors, was another school, perhaps it wouldn’t be in this situation.
But feel worse because OSU lost to Central Michigan.
The first reason listed above is one of the things keeping OSU out of the College Football Playoff, but the second is the absolute crusher. Oklahoma State could win the rest of its games and beat the Dallas Cowboys and OU wouldn’t get into the playoff.
There are plenty of things to anticipate if you’re an OSU fan. The Cowboys could win the Big 12. They could play in a NY6 bowl game. But they aren’t going to be in the playoff, no matter what. No matter who loses in front of them, no matter what wins they manage – including a win against Oklahoma in Norman. If Oklahoma State makes the playoff, with a loss to what ultimately is going to be an unranked Baylor team, as well as the debacle against Central Michigan, what would it say about the state of college football? The committee is just not going to let that happen.
OK, fine, OSU got a bad deal against Central Michigan. Sure, it could have been avoided, and the refs didn’t help the situation. OSU should have won the game. The rest of the country doesn’t see it that way, though. They see it as a loss to a MAC team – at home. Inexcusable. Regardless of what the reasons, the bad calls, the clock, whatever. it’s a deal-breaker.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma doesn’t have the same issues. Again, it’s not fair, or right. It’s the world we live in. Oklahoma has brand appeal and a pair of losses to teams you’ve heard of.
The OSU-OU game might well decide the Big 12 title. If teams ranked ahead of OU keep losing like they did this weekend, it could work out where the Sooners somehow sneak into the playoff if they beat West Virginia and then OSU. That conversation might be better suited for another time – and certainly there’s an argument on the other side suggesting the Sooners have no right to be anywhere near the playoff. Fair enough.
But the conversation won’t come up when it comes to OSU. No matter if the Cowboys win their final two games or not. That’s too bad. Maybe in another year, you could blame it on the fact OSU doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt OU or others get. Maybe. But not this year, because when you lose to Central Michigan – and that’s what the scoreboard said – you also lose the right to argue you deserve to be in the college football playoff.