Sooners add to dominance of Big 12 title gameA team would have to win every Big 12 Championship game between now and 2013 to match what the Oklahoma Sooners have accomplished in this game. The Sooners won their sixth Big 12 Conference championship, all in the last nine years, including three straight. No other conference team has won more than two. OU’s Sam Bradford became the first player in league history to quarterback a team to victory in two Big 12 title games. "I’m just happy for our program,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. "(Big 12 championships) are not easy to get. It’s not easy to get here, it’s not easy to win. Fortunately we’ve been able to do it a few times.”
Team effort to replace BoxAfter going through the regular season as OU’s unexpected defensive star, Travis Lewis added another unexpected moment. The freshman who had become one of the Sooners’ most reliable players as an outside linebacker moved to the middle linebacker spot vacated when Austin Box injured his knee last week. But it was a group effort to fill the void for the freshman who had developed into a solid starter before the injury. Junior linebacker Mike Balogun was used in some packages and senior safety Nic Harris occasionally was used in an outside linebacker role.
Tempers flare between Tigers, OULet it be clear, these teams don’t like each other. Missouri and Oklahoma have played a few big games the last three seasons, which can lead to amped-up attitudes, and that was the case Saturday night. Both teams were flagged for multiple personal foul penalties and shoving matches broke out several times.
Schooner swoonA mechanical malfunction sidelined the Sooner Schooner early in the second quarter. After an OU touchdown, the Schooner stalled at about the 20-yard line while both teams were lining up for the following kickoff. Ruf/Neks ran onto the field and appeared to work on the right front wheel. The Schooner did not return to the field other than a short trip around the pylon in the back corner of the end zone.
Signs of the timesThree hours before kickoff, a plane flew over Arrowhead Stadium displaying a banner that read: "Enjoy the beatbytexas.com Bowl.” But Sooner fans exacted their revenge with a bevy of signs inside the stadium. Among them: "But... but... we’re Texas.” And "HEY, MACK, BE A MAN! ACT 40!”
Selmon honored among legendsThe inaugural class of the Big 12 Football Legends was honored during the game Saturday night, with a legendary player or coach from each of the conference’s 12 teams receiving notice. OU was represented by former standout defensive lineman Lee Roy Selmon. Derrel Gofourth of Oklahoma State was honored, as was former Lawton High and Nebraska star Will Shields. Other honorees included Grant Teaff (Baylor), Joel Klatt (Colorado), Matt Blair (Iowa State), John Hadl (Kansas), Priest Holmes (Texas), John David Crow (Texas A&M) and E.J. Holub (Texas Tech).
Big bucks for championship gameBig 12 Conference commissioner Dan Beebe said Saturday that including television revenue, the title game produces $10-11 million for the conference. BY SCOTT WRIGHT