Big 12 champs should celebrate unexpected title

By John Rohde Published: December 3, 2006
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/> In triumph, the OU defense mistreated one of its homeboys. The week started out much better than it ended for Nebraska quarterback and former Norman High School product Zac Taylor.

It commenced by being named Big 12 offensive player of the year and ended with his worst outing of the season on a half-a-hundred attempts and three interceptions.

"We just couldn't answer when we had to answer," NU coach Bill Callahan said.

On this night, a sellout crowd of 80,031 braved temperatures in the 20s to watch two of college football's most storied programs .

In a terrific setting, Arrowhead Stadium once again was seeing red.

Normally, it's the red-clad, hometown NFL Chiefs.

The crimson-colored Sooners have participated all four times the Big 12 title game has been held at Arrowhead and they are now 3-1 in the facility.

Now, for who's got next ...

Only two unbeatens remain in Division I-A — top-ranked Ohio State and Boise State.

The 12-0 Broncos gained their Fiesta Bowl berth two ways: by finishing in the top 12 of the BCS standings and by finishing ahead of Atlantic Coast Conference champion Wake Forest.

Quarterback Jared Zabransky has thrown for 2,325 yards and 20 touchdowns. Running back Ian Johnson has rushed for 1,613 yards and 24 touchdowns.

If that's not impressive enough, the Broncos are 39-1 in conference play since 2002.

Take the school name off their jerseys and Boise State is more than worthy of your respect. The Broncos should at least garner your attention.

But that game is four weeks away. For now, the Sooners can enjoy a conference title that no one saw coming — no one outside the OU locker room, anyway.

"I don't care what people think on the outside," Thompson said.

Nor should he.

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