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Sooners, Stoops say no thanks to role of spoiler

By John Rohde Modified: November 29, 2007 at 12:47 am •  Published: November 29, 2007
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.


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