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Sunday, December 7, 2008
Stoops humble about Sooners' historic three-peat


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Bob Stoops hates the mere mention of the "D" word.

A historic three-peat of Big 12 titles convincingly provided the Oklahoma coach with his record sixth Big 12 championship after the Sooners' decisive 62-21 victory over Missouri.

 
 Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
 Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops won his sixth Big 12 Championship, 62-21, over Missouri Saturday night.

And the slight hint about whether the Sooners have staked a dynasty during their recent run was enough to make Stoops blanch.

"I don't go into any of those words," Stoops said. "That isn't me. You won't get me into saying that."

Maybe Stoops won't. But quarterback Sam Bradford understands how special the Sooners' recent run of success in the Big 12 has been.

"For us to win three straight Big 12 championships, it just shows what type of team we have around here and the chemistry we have," said Bradford, who became the only quarterback in Big 12 history to win more than one championship. "Everyone wants the same thing around here. And that's to win."

Stoops and the Sooners' have continued the success that helped carry the Oklahoma program to seven national championships. And it can be argued that the recent sustained run through the Big 12 has been more impressive than the earlier work of Barry Switzer, Bud Wilkinson or Bennie Owen because the Big 12 has been harder than any of the Sooners' previous conference affiliations.

"I've been around the Big 12 since the inception and realize the parity and how hard it is to get these," Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. "The guys who have been around here have set a precedent and we expect to be in this position. And to win it three years in a row is very special."

The Sooners have now won six Big 12 titles in the league's 13-season history. Nebraska and Texas are next with two conference championships. And no other coach in league history has won more than one.

Still, Stoops said nothing was to be expected with this team -- particularly with its recent controversy qualifying for the championship game by nosing out Texas despite losing to the Longhorns in an earlier game this season.

"I never count on the fact that just because you've been good before that you're going to be now," Stoops said. "I guess I say you have to earn it every time. And this team has persevered through a lot."

While some might have doubted whether Oklahoma deserved to be in Kansas City as the Big 12's South Division representative before the game, their performance Saturday answered many critics.

The Sooners rang up 60 points for an NCAA record fifth-straight game. They rolled up 627 yards of total offense and notched their fifth victory over a ranked team this season.

Their roll started from the beginning of the game, scoring on the opening possession for the 11th time in 13 games. And they proceeded to blow the game open with a 28-point blitz in the second quarter.

Oklahoma was forced to punt only once in the game, converting 12 of 16 third-down plays against the beleaguered Missouri defense. They had no turnovers, no sacks and scored all nine times they got the ball inside the red zone.

Winning like they did proved that the Sooners belong in the BCS title game -- even if some might have doubted whether they really belonged in Kansas City.

"There was a lot of talk this week about how we didn't deserve to be in this game," Bradford said. "We didn't get a lot of credit for what we had done this year. There was a lot of motivation for us to come out and play well and prove to everyone in the country that we belonged in the game."

Tailback Chris Brown understands that some weren't ready to accept that the Sooners deserved to play in the championship game. He didn't care, as long as his team made the most of its opportunity.

After three Big 12 titles in his first three seasons at Oklahoma, Brown wants more in the future.

"You know, we're still building around here," Brown said. "It's a big accomplishment to get three championships. But next week we'll start talking about getting four."