KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the slightest moments, for just a fraction of time, this game felt a little like 2003.
DeMarco Murray got hurt on the opening kickoff. Bob Stoops played it a little safe on the opening drive and settled for a field goal. The Schooner got stuck on the Arrowhead Stadium turf. Missouri seemed to be putting up a fight.
And somewhere deep in the heart of Texas, Mack Brown and the Longhorns had to allow themselves to think that these irresistible Sooners could be felled, just as the indestructible Sooners of '03 were cold-cocked by Kansas State in KC.
But the Longhorns would not get the last laugh on this cold Missouri night.
Soon enough, here came the Oklahoma avalanche we've come to expect in this video-game season of 2008. Touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, field goal, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown.
62-21. Another Sooner rout. Another 60-point performance, five in a row. Another Big 12 championship, three in a row. And, after a four-year wait, another shot at a national title.
Florida, here come the Sooners.
This game surely removed all suspense from tonight's BCS announcement. It's Oklahoma-Florida for all the marbles hard by the sunny sand of South Beach.
“Hopefully, the people that watch this game tonight, we made an impression on them,” said linebacker Travis Lewis.
The Sooners suffered through an anxious Sunday a week ago, waiting to hear if they would win the BCS lottery to break the three-way tie in the Big 12 South.
The anxiety should be gone today. College football's voters and computer programmers will give the sport the game it most longs to see: Oklahoma-Florida, two teams that stumbled a bit two months ago but have been thrashing even the best of foes ever since.
“That's a pretty convincing win in a championship game, when you have to have it against another ranked team,” Stoops said.