Because score differential is a component in the BCS rankings, there is an incentive for teams to run up the score. Larger score differentials can improve a team's ranking.
The other side of the coin is that there is also an incentive to not let the score get out of hand when you are trailing. OU's Bob Stoops knows this very well because he effectively conceded a game to Mizzou so OU would not be beaten by an otherwise larger margin.
With his team facing a 36-27 deficit in the final minutes against Missouri this year, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops elected to punt from his own 7-yard line, rather than risk turning the ball over on downs and giving Missouri a chance to add to its lead. The decision was made, he said later, with pollsters in mind.
"I've never done it before, but I thought, 'You know what? There's still a bunch of games to be played. Who knows what can happen?' Heck, LSU got in it a few years ago with two losses, right?" Stoops said days after the loss. "Some people don't see the game, only look at the score, as they vote. Right or wrong, that's what I did."