Run and Shoot: Welcome from the Alamo City

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Welcome from the Alamo City

SAN ANTONIO - Well, here we are at the Alamodome and the weather's great. Oh, sure it's nice inside, but the odd thing of it, though the Alamodome is way cool, one has to admit, if ever there was a city that counted on tremendous year-round weather, it migh be San Antonio. Nonetheless, it remains a fine setting for today's Big 12 championship game.

Of course, reviewing the stakes for both teams is at this point is quite redundant. Oklahoma can win a Big 12 title and Missouri, should it beat the Sooners, can win a Big 12 title and play for a national title. The Sooners are trying to get to the Fiesta Bowl a second straight season, while the Tigers are trying to get to the Superdome. It's just that simple, yet there are some details that might lend perspecitve.

This ain't OU's first rodeo. In fact, it's the Sooners' sixth. Of their previous five trips, all of them beginning in Bob Stoops' second season (2000), the Sooners have won four. When Stoops acts offended by the thought his team is here to play spoiler, it's because he happens to think winning four of the last seven and, perhaps, five the last eight Big 12 title games is a gargantual deal. Missouri, on the other hand, has not won an outright conference title since 1960.

Hard to believe, maybe. Missouri's had some great players, from Kellen Winslow to the ex-Mariner Phil Bradley, James Wilder was a pretty good running back, and Brad Smith was a fine quarterback, even if his freshman season might have been his finest season. And don't forget Steve Stipanovich and John Sunvold … oops, wrong sport.

As for internal subplots, each team has its fingers crossed hoping one of its best players is available. Sooner defensive end Auston English, the Big 12 sacks leader, is hoping to go after missing three straight games. He has been recovering from a fracture to a non-weight-bearing bone in his right leg. Meanwhile, Tiger tight end Chase Coffman, one of Chase Daniel's favorite targets, is hoping to play through an ankle sprain. Both Stoops and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel have said each player will be a game-time decision.

Oddly, for all the Big 12 title games OU has played, this is its first in the Alamo City. Four times the Sooners have played the conference championship at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, and one time at Houston's Reliant Stadium.

So, perhaps, OU has not been HERE before.
Missouri, however, has not been anywhere, ever, between the regular and bowl seasons.
There's a first time for everything, of course. We'll see if the Tigers make it happen tonight.

Grab a seat, we're about to start.

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