The 11--1 Longhorns lost out on a spot in the Big 12 conference title game, despite having beaten Oklahoma this year, because of a tiebreaker system that relied on BCS standings.
Dan Patrick: Why isn't head-to-head the first tiebreaker?
Mack Brown: It just isn't, but I've already asked the Big 12 to look at changing it. It probably wouldn't be admitted right now, but probably they wish head-to-head would have been in there. Hopefully they'll revisit that this spring.
DP: How crazy is it that six computers play such an important role?
MB: I don't think it's best, but college football is like a reality show right now. We're changing offensive coordinators during the season, changing head coaches during the season—we're letting guys have three years. So it's a different time, whether we like it or not.
DP: If college football had an eight-team playoff, how would that affect your kids' classwork?
MB: I don't think it would affect anything, if we threw out conference championship games, which have been watered down some. I would like to see us play more conference games, throw out the conference championships, maybe play 11 games, play the bowls like they are and then get the best eight teams at the end—regardless of conference affiliation. I think if an eight-win team that wins a conference championship gets in the BCS and Texas Tech doesn't at 11--1, that's not fair either. It seems like everybody except the people in power feel very strongly about the playoff situation, but I don't see it happening right now.
DP: I talked to USC coach Pete Carroll last week about him and other top coaches, such as Bob Stoops, Nick Saban and yourself, getting together to discuss a playoff system with the leaders of the BCS. Would you be open to that?
MB: Boy, I would.
DP: What would you say to them?
MB: I would say that the sport is really, really healthy, TV is great, radio is great, we've got more fans coming than ever before. But to ensure that we keep it that way for the future, I'd really like to see the best teams playing at the end of the year.
FOR HEISMAN VOTERS the choice became even more complicated on Saturday—unless, that is, they were among the 3% to 5% that amazingly cast their votes before the conference championships. It's fine if you like Texas's Colt McCoy or Texas Tech's Graham Harrell for the award, but don't you at least wait to see if the other top candidates do something incredible? Which they did: Oklahoma's Sam Bradford (above) threw for 384 yards (a Big 12 championship game record) as Oklahoma beat Missouri 62--21, and Tim Tebow made just about every big play as Florida knocked off Alabama in the SEC title game. Let's leave early voting for less complicated stuff, like presidential elections.
No Cheering in the Projection Booth
THE NFL demonstrated a 3-D telecast of live football in movie theaters with a screening of Thursday's Oakland--San Diego game. It sounds like a fun idea. (Although from what I've heard, the Raiders' offense still looked one-dimensional.) But if the NFL really wants to make you feel as if you're at the stadium, it needs to go even further.
• TAILGATING in the lobby. Instead of brats and burgers, popcorn and Junior Mints.
• SCALPERS hanging around outside the multiplex and muttering, "Anyone need two for Madagascar?"
• CLIMATE. If it's 18° F in Denver, it should be 18° F in the theater as well.
• FOR DETROIT LIONS home games, make sure that the theater is half-empty.
Movie of the Weak
SPEAKING OF movie theaters, this week I spoke with Tim Carr, director of Leaf, a low-budget movie about Ryan Leaf. I was surprised someone made a movie about the 1998 NFL draft bust. Will this be a trend: sports biopics about the ungreat? What's next, the life and crimes of Maurice Clarett, Art Schlichter or Rae Carruth? Or how about the memorably coiffed NBA benchwarmer Dwayne Schintzius (right)? It could be a musical called Mullets Over Broadway.
THE FINE PRINT: Tough sentence for O.J. Simpson. Even with parole, he'll be 70 when he resumes his search for the real killers.
Go to DANPATRICK.COM for more on the NFL, and hear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9 a.m. to noon ET.
PRESENTED BY State Farm
ILLUSTRATION BY KEITH WITMER
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (BRADFORD)
D. CLARKE EVANS/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (SCHINTZIUS)
PETER READ MILLER (BROWN)