McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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December 3, 2012

Shinn at 3 p.m.: It's pins and needles as the BCS plays out

NORMAN — Today is going to be an agonizing day for Oklahoma.

There was victory over TCU on Saturday.  Now comes the agonizing. 

The Sooners found out at 11 a.m. they were ranked No. 11 in the USA Today coaches poll. However, Northern Illinois, the MAC champion that will receive an automatic BCS bid if it’s ranked 16th or higher in the BCS standings, was at No. 16.

There's still the matter of the Harris Poll and average of six computer rankings to go. One thing that went horribly wrong for the Sooners on Saturday was Nebraska's abysmal performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game.

The Huskers' loss opened up another chance for the Northern Illinois to move up in the polls. The Harris Poll and the computer won't be released until the final BCS standings and BCS bowl matchups are announced on ESPN at 7:30 tonight.

CBSsports.com BCS expert Jerry Palm called it on Sunday afternoon the "closest meaningful race ever in the BCS."

No one is going to know for sure until tonight.

It all comes down to where Northern Illinois is in the BCS standings. If it's 16th or higher, it gets a BCS bid and OU is relegated to the Cotton Bowl. If it's 17th or lower, the Sooners will face Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

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