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Fort Worth columnist: Sooners argued their case eloquently, said nothing

Contact Gil LeBreton / Fort Worth Star-Telegram Modified: December 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm •  Published: December 1, 2008

In the eternal struggle of man versus machine, man failed miserably Sunday.

That's not to say that the right team won't be playing in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday. The Oklahoma Sooners argued their case eloquently.

They said nothing.

No rented planes circling over Austin. No phone-ins from Bob Stoops in the middle of Mack Brown's Thanksgiving dinner.

Just football. Just a 61-41 victory in hostile environs over a No. 11-ranked archrival.

The Sooners' decisive win Saturday over Oklahoma State was as significant a road victory as any team in the Big 12 Conference achieved this season.

There's your tiebreaker.

As myopic Texas fans -- and their head coach -- conveniently decline to acknowledge, there was a three-way knot, not a two-team tie, atop the Big 12 South standings.

Why should a single game played Oct. 11 decide everything? Why not a game played Nov. 1?

Yet, over and over again over the past two weeks, Brown had filibustered for voters not to forget his Texas team's October victory over the Sooners.

Never mind, he seemed to say, that just one week ago Oklahoma took apart a then-undefeated, No. 2-ranked Texas Tech team by 44 points -- the same Tech team that beat Texas on Nov. 1.

Never mind that the Sooners' season ledger included nonconference victories over TCU and BCS-bowl-bound Cincinnati.

Longhorns fans countered by trumpeting their Oct. 18 -- what is it about October? -- win over the Missouri Tigers.

Oh, right. The team that Kansas beat.

In the end, what could Brown have done for me?

He could have just shut up and allowed his team's memorable 11-1 season do the talking for all of Longhorns, Inc.

Instead, Brown began to show up on TV more than that Geico lizard. The poor-taste clincher came Saturday night when he agreed to be interviewed in the middle of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State telecast.

Why didn't Oklahoma do that, Stoops was asked Sunday?

"I was asked to be on the Texas game Thursday," the OU coach said, "and I said no. I didn't want to do it. I didn't think it was right."

Stay classy, Austin, Stoops was saying, without mentioning any names.

But as Stoops and the Sooners saw, Brown's politicking for his team worked. The Longhorns gained ground in both of the human polls.

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