Big 12 morning links: Sooners return to Northwest

September, 9, 2008
9/09/08
10:16
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

After a miserable early trip to the Northwest, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops promised he would never again play a Pac-10 team on the road.

Stoops' determination was fueled by the Pac-10's rules that mandate having its own officials work nonconference home games.

The Sooners were involved in a controversial onside-kick recovery at Oregon two years ago that eventually led to a comeback victory by the Ducks.

But even after another controversial Pac-10 officiating decision in Seattle last week, Stoops said his team is ready for the challenge of another tough road game Saturday at Husky Stadium.

Stoops said Monday he couldn't get out of the Washington game because it had already been scheduled before the Oregon game.

"You know how it is to try and get games. Scheduling isn't easy to do," Stoops said. "Washington had already come here. It's living up to the agreement. We're good with it and anxious to go play. It's a great stadium with a great atmosphere. You need to go meet the challenge."

An extensive package of stories in the Oklahoman this morning renewed memories of that Oregon game framed against the backdrop of the blown call in the BYU-Washington game last week. 

Just a thought here. Maybe it would be better to let sleeping dogs lie.

And that's why Stoops hasn't made much about his earlier disappointment as he prepares for the Huskies on Saturday.

Here are some of the other stories people are talking about across the Big 12 this morning.

  • Texas DT Lamarr Houston will be back in the starting lineup against Arkansas following  a one-game suspension stemming from a DWI charge. Houston took responsibility for his actions as he met with the media.
  • Although WR Dez Bryant made headlines with 236 receiving yards, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy was pleased with the work of his other receivers in the Cowboys' victory over Houston. WR DeMarcus Conner, who didn't have a reception, delivered 12 knockdown blocks. That work appears to have OSU headed to having a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver for the fourth time in the last six seasons.
  • Kansas All-Big 12 LB Joe Mortensen was set to be a Nebraska player before Bill Callahan reneged on a scholarship offer on signing day.
  • A Nebraska fan has reached a settlement with the Oklahoman and Oklahoman beat writer Jake Trotter after writing a bogus article about two OU quarterbacks from earlier this summer.
  • The Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel speculates that Nebraska's early running game struggles might be the residue of a line trained to emphasize pass blocking in the last four seasons.
  • The Lincoln Journal-Star's Curt McKeever had this nugget from Colorado coach Dan Hawkins about the Big 12's unprecedented 12-0 record last week: "I guess if it's the first time ever, it's pretty hard."
  • Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman isn't ready to rule out QB Stephen McGee from the Aggies' next game against Miami, despite a sprained right shoulder.
  • Iowa State QB Phillip Bates remains known more for his big reception last season against Iowa than for his throwing abilities. ISU coach Gene Chizik said his team must show major defensive improvement for any hope of upsetting the Hawkeyes on Saturday.
  • Colorado will spend the next 10 days trying to get a handle on the offensive changes at West Virginia, where the natives are restless after the struggling start against East Carolina.
  • Lawrence Journal-World columnist Tom Keegan writes about Daymond Patterson, Kansas' new deep threat. The Jayhawks will be trying to prove something to the nation Friday night at South Florida, even as they work in new CB Phillip Strozier into the starting lineup.
  • The Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond wonders why third-string QB Blaine Gabbert's redshirt was burned in the Tigers' game against Southeast Missouri State. Meanwhile, the Tigers' struggling pass defense, which ranks 115th nationally among 118 teams, has sputtered since All-American S William Moore went down with a foot injury. And WR Danario Alexander is set to return after missing his first two games with a knee injury.
  • After being found not guilty of first-degree sexual assault, Nebraska OL Andy Christiansen was reinstated on Monday. But Coach Bo Pelini is more concerned about finding a replacement for injured DE Barry Turner.

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