NORMAN — For those who suggest Oklahoma could play the role of "spoiler” in Saturday night's Big 12 Championship game in San Antonio, keep it to yourself. Or at least don't bring it up within earshot of Sooners coach Bob Stoops. From Missouri's perspective, OU could spoil the Tigers' chances at a national title. This is not the perspective of Stoops. Not even close. The subject was broached with Stoops before Tuesday's weekly media luncheon and the inquisitor (me) got, um, broached. Hey, coach. It's kind of an odd position, you guys playing the role of spoiler this week. Stoops: "That's not true. We've got a chance for the Big 12 championship. There's nothing spoiler about that. A spoiler is some team coming in here 5-6 or 6-5 hoping to knock someone out of the Big 12 championship. Last week (against 6-5 Oklahoma State) was a spoiler role for someone. Not us. It's not a spoiler role when you're in line to win the conference championship. So don't put us in that category.” So it's an insult to be called a spoiler? Stoops: "To me, yeah.” It wasn't intended that way. Stoops: "Well, I'm taking it that way. We're after a Big 12 championship. You say we're a spoiler. We've got nothing to do with that around here. We're all about winning championships.” But you could spoil Missouri's chance at winning the national championship. Stoops: "We're trying to earn a Big 12 championship is what we're trying to do. We don't care anything about spoiling anything. We care about winning the Big 12 championship. That's our total, total mindset. To me there's nothing to be gained by spoiling anything. To me, they're the ones in that position. We gain nothing spoiling what they're doing. We gain a lot by winning the Big 12 championship. That's our whole deal.” Since 1911, the Sooners have challenged for a national title at least once every decade except during the 1990s. The Tigers, however, are in new territory. •Missouri is ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll for only the second week in school history, the previous time being Nov. 14, 1960. Oklahoma has spent 95 weeks at No. 1, which is tied with Notre Dame for the all-time lead. •MU ranks 36th all-time with 193 appearances in the AP poll. OU ranks fourth all-time with 658 appearances. •The Tigers haven't won a conference crown since 1969. Win Saturday night and the Sooners will claim their 41st conference title. •This will be MU's first Big 12 title game. This will be OU's sixth in the last eight seasons. •New Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe will present the championship trophy to Saturday night's winner. Old commissioner Kevin Weiberg presented OU with four championship trophies. Missouri players never even met Weiberg. These stark differences could mean something Saturday night, or they could mean absolutely nothing. "Experience sure doesn't hurt,” Stoops said. "But each game you win and lose on its own merit." From an historical perspective, Missouri is no match for OU. But Saturday's game is about this year, not years past. It's about one team continuing its quest for the national crown, and another team ending its quest for the conference crown. And in the way, stands a spoiler — or whatever word you prefer.