Beginning with last season, the Big 12 moved to a 10-team, round-robin schedule with no divisions; because of the new format, the conference's preseason marketing campaign centered around the idea of “one true champion.”
But had Oklahoma defeated the Cowboys last December, the Bedlam rivals and Kansas State would've all finished tied atop the Big 12 standings.
OU's head-to-head victories over OSU and K-State would've given it the Fiesta Bowl berth, but the 2011 Big 12 title would've officially been shared between three “co-champions.”
“(The Big 12) can do what they want,” Stoops said days before his team's 44-10 loss to Oklahoma State, which claimed the outright conference title.
“Did you ask them what happened to their whole promotion of the ‘one true champion?' You should have. That's all I heard for two days on the whole Big 12 coaches media circuit down there.
“I kind of took offense to it because we won seven of them. I thought they were all true ones. I thought they were changing it that this was going to be the one true one, and I guess they reneged on that. That doesn't make much sense to me. I'll let them explain it.”
Saturday, if one team — Oklahoma or Kansas State — wins and the other loses, the Big 12 will get another outright champion.
But there remains the very strong possibility that the Sooners and Wildcats end up as “co-champions.”
Stoops didn't like it when he thought OU might have to share conference supremacy with teams it beat; he shouldn't feel right, then, lofting a banner for a title “shared” with a squad his Sooners couldn't conquer at home.