Don't call them spoilers
SAN ANTONIO - It has been a wonderful season in Columbia. The Tigers approached heights previously left unconsidered. Yet none of it can change the fact they where whipped but good Saturday night at the Alamodome. Indeed, Oklahoma has spoiled their chance at a national championship, yet the focus should lie elsewhere.
Going back to the first time Bob Stoops took a team to the Big 12 title game, 2000, Saturday nght marked the Sooners' fifth conference championship over a span in which no other team has won more than one. It also marked OU's second straight Big 12 title. Again, a first among conference teams.
Stoops was asked earlier in the week, more than once, what he felt about playing spoiler. He didn't get it. And after the Sooners' 38-17 victory over the Tigers, he shouldn't get it. OU hasn't so much played spoiler as it has made history yet again.
This isn't the old Big Eight, which included Big Red South and Big 12 North and six pretenders, a conference that, typically, presented both Nebraska and OU one seriously losable game throughout the 1970s and 1980s and always the one in which they played each other. This is the Big 12, a conference that has crowned two national champions since the advent of the BCS, while watching its teams play for three other titles over the same span. OU, Texas, Colorado, Kansas State, Nebraska, Missouri, even Texas A&M have all spent their time in the sun. For years, the only automatic out in the group has been Baylor. This is one tough conference. And OU has done it again.
The Sooners did it by making plays.
They got 18 of 26 passing, 209 yards, two scores and no picks from freshman quarterback Sam Bradford. They got 11 tackles from D.J. Wolfe and eight from Curtis Lofton, as well as a game-changing interception to go with two tackles for losses. And they got 88 yards from senior running back Allen Patrick on just 13 carries.
Chase Daniel threw for 219 yards. Jeremy Maclin caught for 69 and ran for 40.
But after Patrick scored in the second half and Lofton made his pick and the Sooners scored again, it was over. Consider the Sooners' dominance this way. Missouri scored one touchdown. That's all.
OU is headed to the Fiesta Bowl. Missouri will wait and see.
One would think it's Ohio State and Georgia would play for the national title.
One might also think the best team right now won't be there.
It might be in Pasadena, or Glendale, Ariz.