Letter to Bob Wagner

The BCS final poll was released last night, and much to the dismay of the entire Cowboy nation, OKState did not get enough votes to land in the number two spot. One of the Harris Poll voters made the mistake of ranking OSU sixth behind LSU, Bama, Stanford, Boise St. and Oregon. I obtained his email address (rowagner@ksbe.edu) and sent him this message:

Mr. Wagner,

I am writing this email as a fan and alumnus of Oklahoma State University to convey my disagreement with your recent vote in the Harris Poll.

I agree that LSU is the best team in the national, hands down. It seems a little unnecessary for you to place Alabama in the second place slot, asking for a rematch, when we already know the result of that game as it was played on November 5th.

Using the “quality loss” argument, it is safe to assume that you do not penalize Alabama for losing to the best team at home, however, the logic you employed in this decision is contradicted later in your top-five.  Oregon lost to the same LSU team on a neutral field, then blow out Stanford, who you have ranked ahead of the Ducks. After another loss to a post-season-ineligable USC, you still maintain that Oregon is better than Oklahoma State.

Boise State failed to go undefeated in a Mountain West schedule that is, safe to say, is one of the weakest in the FBS. By failing to put away TCU at HOME, they clearly should not be considered for a top-5 ranking. As you can now see, your fellow voters agree with that as they have ranked them seventh in the final poll.

The only explanation I can find is a clear “west-coast bias” for lack of a better term. It is obvious that you would try to do your part to assist Boise State secure a BCS bowl as you feel it would show your support to the former WAC team. I will admit, the BSU/Hawai’i battle between Jared Zabransky and Colt Brennan, who should have never been invited to the  Sugar Bowl after the 2007 season, was fun to watch in the same manner that co-ed flag football games are fun.

When everything is said and done, and I look at your top six teams, LSU was the right decision at one. I can live with Alabama at two. Stanford has a solid case at three, even though their strength of schedule was not as impressive as another team ranked below them with the same record.

My first real issue is having Boise State, who lost the rights to a Mountain West Conference Championship at home to a far less-superior team, ranked as the fourth best in our country. Additionally, having two-loss Oregon at number 5 is unacceptable, when you have an Oklahoma State team who, by the numbers, have more quality wins against a tougher schedule than any team not named LSU.

I am sorry that you submitted this ballot after such little forethought on its implications; and that you honestly believe that there are five teams ranked ahead of Oklahoma State. Perhaps after the Fiesta Bowl has been played, and OSU is able to win against a (in your opinion) VERY talented Stanford team, you will see this team for what it is, the second-best behind an all-time great LSU team, and one that was worthy of a chance to play them in the BCS National Championship Game.

Best regards,

SPC William Reinier
12B Airborne Combat Engineer

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2 thoughts on “Letter to Bob Wagner

  1. Mr Wagner,

    It’s become common knowledge that you recently voted Oklahoma State 6th in the Harris pole. As an esteemed sports analyst, it’s your job to research, report, and represent accurate information regarding College football. Do you really believe Oklahoma State to be 6th in the country, or did you allow an unfair bias to affect your vote? 

    If you really do believe Oklahoma State to be the 6th ranked team in the country perhaps your research was flawed. We have beaten more ranked teams than any of the 5 teams you ranked above us, won the Big 12 Championship, and only suffered one loss the entire season, which occurred after a school tragedy. Our players also arrived to this game 20 minutes before kickoff. Our offense is listed as number two, according to stats, and scores faster than any team in the country. Our games, excluding the loss to Iowa State, were never close. We handedly defeated Texas, Baylor, K State, OU, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M. Impressive wins, wouldn’t you say? 

    If your research was not flawed, you must have had a different reason for the atrocious placement you gave us in the poll. I’m going to assume this is the actual reason behind your vote. I’m sure you consider yourself a professional, as I consider myself a true college football fan. As a professional it’s your duty to put preconceived notions aside and represent facts. You didn’t do this in your vote, Mr. Wagner. For whatever reason you cast a truly terrible vote on behalf of Oklahoma State. Either you didn’t do your research, or you ignored statistics and voted base off of personal preference. Either way, shame on you. I implore you to please conduct next season in a professional manner when a decision this important presents itself. 

    Respectfully,
    Mitch Braig

    Sent from my iPhone

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