Bob Stoops doesn't buy the theory that it's harder than ever to win a Big 12 title. In his mind, that demeans all those championships he won when the 21st century was young.
“Those ones we won before weren't easy,” Stoops said.
Maybe he's right. But this much we know. Unlike the old days, more schools are winning than in the past.
And if the Stoops Troops don't beat Baylor on Thursday, and dang few people think they will, that list could grow.
OU plays in Waco in a game that just feels like it could have lasting ramifications.
Win this game, and little ol' Baylor remains more than the Big 12 favorite. The Bears can become the fifth school to win the conference championship in the last five years.
Texas in 2009, OU in 2010, OSU in 2011, Kansas State in 2012. Baylor would bring seldom-seen parity to the Big 12.
Only 15 times since World War II has a major conference spread its championships over five members in a five-year span. The Big Eight never did it. The Big 12 never has. The Southwest Conference did it once.
Lose this game, and the mighty Sooners officially will have entered drought status. Lose this game, and OU isn't winning the Big 12. Again. After four titles in five seasons (2006-10), the Sooners have gone two straight seasons watching traditional underdogs enjoy the Fiesta Bowl fruits. Losing to Baylor would make it three straight.
Yep, parity has come to Middle America. Baylor, K-State and OSU have had long stretches of futility, but they've become sabertooths in recent years.