Mac Engel

In playoff era of college football, neither Texas nor Oklahoma is in the elite club

Whomever wins the Red River Shootout, don’t worry because there will be a sequel, for this is how the Big 12 is designed.

At stake in these Red River Shootouts is a golden hat, and the right to have your brains stomped in the BcS Plus 2 playoff game.

We are in Year 6 of the playoff era, and one of the residual effects of the crooks who control college football’s monopoly is that their little postseason bracket created a divide within the structure of the Power 5.

The Big 12 is not above that line.

Neither the respective fan bases of the University of Oklahoma or the University of Texas-Austin should complain. They are the only two Big 12 teams with any shot of gaining an invite to the exclusive, platinum club playoff party.

Even though neither will win a playoff game this year, it beats being a member of the Pac- 12.

The venerable dump that is the Cotton Bowl is again dressed up for Saturday’s game between No. 6 OU and No. 11 Texas, and the fate of the conference in 2019 is effectively settled.

These are the teams that will play at Jerry’s Club in December, again, in the 2019 Soda Pop Big 12 Money Grab Game (i.e. also called the Big 12 championship game).

Sorry, Baylor. You’re not making it.

Much to the delight of TV execs and the BcS Plus 2 playoff selection committee, Texas and Oklahoma are the two best teams in the Big 12, but the gap in college football has never been any bigger than it is right now.

Never has Parity felt any more unwelcome than the 2019 college football season. Not even Texas or Oklahoma is good enough.

There is Clemson, Bama, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State and ... a toll bridge to Norman, Oklahoma and Gainesville, Florida.

Oklahoma and Texas may slip into the top 4, but until a Big 12 team proves it can physically handle one of these upper echelon teams in a playoff game, don’t believe it.

Until the best athletes are on defense in the Big 12, such as they are on the top teams in the nation, neither Oklahoma nor Texas will join the big room.

Please don’t waste your valuable breath by citing the 2018 Texas-Georgia Sugar Bowl as proof otherwise. The game was in January, and while Texas and Coach Tommy Boy deserve all the credit for beating the Bulldogs, teams change.

Please don’t waste your time citing the 2017 Oklahoma/Georgia Rose Bowl as proof. The Sooners had that game in the bag and blew a 31-14 lead with the nation’s best player on their team, quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Texas is unmistakably improved under Tom Herman, but Bevo was also whipped by LSU in Austin earlier this year.

Lincoln Riley may be the Bill Gates of college football, but until his defense proves it can stop quality teams, you can’t believe what we are watching right now will play out any differently in late December and early January.

The Big 12 has reached the playoffs three times, all three OU losses.

As witnessed in Year 1 of college football’s postseason era, the playoffs don’t want a Big 12 team other than OU or UT. TCU and Baylor were good enough to earn the fourth spot in 2014, but both were denied that position because they are named TCU and Baylor.

College football has always been about a small handful of teams competing for No. 1, but the playoffs have shown that that number has been cut in half.

Texas and Oklahoma are the names the BcS + 2 wants, and while one of these two may make the playoffs neither of them is winning a game.

We’ve seen this before, and we’re watching it again.

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