Big 12 lunchtime links: BCS standings before title game must be released

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The potential that the Big 12's South Division representative will be picked by the Bowl Championship Series standings is bad enough.

The idea that the coaches' final vote that makes up that final regular-season poll won't be released is even worse.

John Rohde of the Oklahoman makes a compelling case why these votes must be released in a column today that reminds us of some of the more notable BCS votes by coaches last season.

For a point, look at the voting after last season's Big 12 championship, a day after the Sooners had dismantled Missouri and were on their way to the Bowl Championship Series. But we had these notable votes last season, according to Rohde.

  • Florida State's Bobby Bowden: Missouri at No. 6, Kansas at No. 7 and Oklahoma at No. 10.

  • Clemson's Tommy Bowden: Missouri at No. 5, Kansas at No. 6 and Oklahoma at No. 7.

  • Florida Atlantic's Howard Schnellenberger: Kansas at No. 2, Missouri at No. 4 and Oklahoma at No. 7.

  • Oregon's Mike Bellotti: Missouri at No. 5, Kansas at No. 6 and Oklahoma at No. 8.

  • Louisville's Steve Kragthorpe: Kansas at No. 5, Oklahoma at No. 8 and Missouri at No. 9.

  • Texas Tech's Mike Leach: Kansas at No. 3, Oklahoma at No. 4, Missouri at No 6.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops saw the fallacy of that vote and decided to drop out. But now, he doesn't have a vote and Leach and Texas coach Mack Brown do.

The worries are generated by a potential three-way tie for the South Division lead, which is a likely scenario if Oklahoma finishes the season with victories over Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, Texas Tech finishes by beating Baylor at home and Texas defeats Texas A&M in its season finale.

And do we really think that coaches, when bonuses are generated by Big 12 title game appearances and potential championships, aren't going to vote for their pocketbook? Particularly when the votes might be shielded from public scrutiny?

I don't know, but it doesn't seem to me to be a good situation.

As I self-righteously fulminate for a change in the Big 12's tiebreaking rules -- as I think most other clear thinkers would do, too -- let's take a look at some of today's Big 12 links.

  • Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News does a nice job in a story about Texas Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill, an underrated element in the Red Raiders' recent transformation into a national power.

  • Josh Freeman said he's waiting until he finds out who will be Kansas State's new coach until he decides on declaring for the NFL Draft, the Topeka Capital-Journal's Austin Meek reports.

  • Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World Herald explains why a 7-5 Notre Dame team is more likely to end up in the Gator Bowl than an 8-4 Nebraska team, even with the Cornhuskers finishing stronger with a better record.

  • In the wake of president-elect Barack Obama's call for a college football playoff, Texas coach Mack Brown threw his support behind an eight-team playoff model, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Big 12 columnist Jimmy Burch writes.

  • Even struggling through a disappointing 4-7 season, Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman appeared for the Houston Touchdown Club's annual Texas-Texas A&M luncheon, the Houston Chronicle's David Barron reports. And the Chronicle's Jerome Solomon writes that Aggie fans are upset and Sherman knows it.

  • Sean Keeler of the Des Moines Register muses about Texas' proposed all-sports network, the possible return of Bill Snyder to the sidelines at Kansas State and reveals his Heisman Trophy ballot packed with Big 12 quarterbacks.