Print and Go Back NCF Nation [Print without images]

Friday, January 9, 2009
Day-after Big 12 analysis

  AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
  Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners lost again in a BCS title game Thursday night and are drawing comparisons to the Buffalo Bills.

Posted by's Tim Griffin

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Maybe it all came too quickly for Bob Stoops.

The national championship in his second season as a coach back in 2000 and all of those early victories against top-ranked teams made Stoops appear bulletproof.

That image took another hit Thursday night with another BCS title-game loss. That's five BCS losses and counting, including three BCS title-game disappointments.

When Stoops looks back at Thursday's 24-14 loss to Florida with some perspective, he'll see that the better team won. The Sooners couldn't afford all of the red-zone problems as they left too many points on the field in the first half.

The maligned Oklahoma defense actually played pretty well before wearing down from the pressure of trying to contain Tim Tebow and all of Florida's speedy skill-position threats.

Now, the Sooners' struggles in big games are making them kind of like the Buffalo Bills of college football. And those kind of struggles could detract from the Big 12's season after the bowls finished.

Oklahoma will be underdogs next season in the South Division. The rivalry against Texas has never been more heated. It will be interesting to see how the Sooners fare in that position as they attempt to go for an unprecedented fourth-straight Big 12 title.

But I bet Stoops burns for a chance at another BCS game.

Here are some other quick thoughts that came to me this morning as I was packing up after a week in Florida.

Here's my quick picks heading out of the season if all of the teams would return their expected players. I'll reserve my right to change these picks after the NFL draft declaration day passes next week.

But right now, here's how I have the Big 12 set for 2009:

North: 1. Nebraska; 2. Kansas; 3. Colorado; 4. Missouri; 5. Kansas State; 6. Iowa State
South: 1. Texas; 2. Oklahoma; 3. Oklahoma State; 4. Texas Tech; 5. Texas A&M; 6. Baylor.

Big 12 championship game: Texas over Nebraska.

Bowl teams: Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Texas Tech, Colorado, Missouri.