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Big 12 breakfast links: Another week, another huge game

11/22/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Can it really get much better than this?

With Texas Tech and Oklahoma poised for this week's "Game of the Century" matchup in the Big 12, most college football fans will be riveted to the action at Owen Field tonight.

It's been that way all season, according to Dallas Morning News columnist Kevin Sherrington, who writes that the shotgun marriage between the old Big Eight and Southwest conferences has resulted in a dream football configuration for 2008.

It's hard to believe that one season has featured more excitement and drama in a conference than this one. The Big Eight and SWC were strong national entities in the 1960s and '70s. But only in 1971 and 1995 did either league finish with more than two teams in the top 10.

It's not beyond the realm of possibility that with some bowl success in the next few weeks, five Big 12 teams could end up in the top 10 this season. Four of the five top Heisman Trophy contenders are playing in the Big 12 and three will be on display tonight: Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford.

Which is why today's game in Norman is so interesting from a national perspective. And why next week's game at Stillwater could be just as meaningful -- depending on how the game plays out tonight.

Here are some other stories that people are talking about across the heartlands this morning.

  • Bob Stoops and Mike Leach helped plot a coaching revolution during the season they were together at Oklahoma in 1999. It was an eceletic mix, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Gerry Fraley.

  • The Dallas Morning News' Kate Hairopoulos breaks down the amazing story of Texas Tech walk-on kicker Matt Williams.

  • Kansas State athletic director Bob Krause, munching on popcorn during a basketball game earlier this week, didn't look like a man heavily concerned with finding a replacement for Ron Prince, according to Topeka Capital-Journal reporter Austin Meek.

  • After all of its recent struggles in BCS games, Oklahoma needs to win tonight against Texas Tech to regain some national luster, Norman Transcript columnist Clay Horning opines.

  • Gene Chizik will make patching his leaky defense at Iowa State his prime offseason priority after today's finale against Kansas State, the Gazette's Eric Petersen writes.

  • Texas fans are in the unusual position of rooting for Oklahoma tonight in order to keep Texas Tech from winning the South Division. The Austin American-Statesman's John Maher analyzes the five most important games in history for Texas fans that didn't involve the Longhorns.