NCF Nation: Bennie Owen
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."
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Bob Stoops turned 48 earlier this week. And while the Oklahoma coach is revered in the Sooner State, it wasn't a holiday or anything.
At least not that we know of.
Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel put his spin on Stoops' birthday in a unique way. He compared the career stages for other notable Oklahoma football coaches when they turned 48.
Barry Switzer's wishbone was struggling a little when he turned 48 in 1985 with Troy Aikman as his starting quarterback. Bud Wilkinson was in the middle of his run for the U.S. Senate in 1964. Chuck Fairbanks was trying to rebuild a struggling program at Colorado, well after his salad days at OU. Bennie Owen was getting ready for his 19th season as the Sooners' head coach. And Howard Schnellenberger was preparing for his fourth season as Miami's head coach, only 23 victories into his college head-coaching career.
With Stoops apparently excited about continued coaching at Oklahoma, it will be interesting to see what happens for him in the years after his 48th birthday.
Of a more immediate interest for him will be his team's trip to Washington to attack some nasty road karma. Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle writes that Stoops currently has a nation-best 20-game home winning streak at Owen Field. During that same time, the Sooners are a more pedestrian 12-9 on the road.
Those recent road woes have raised the stakes for Saturday's game at Husky Stadium.
"For me, this is the game of the year because this sets the tone for our future road games and sets the tone for our team," redshirt freshman LB Travis Lewis told the Chronicle. "It's easy playing in front of 85,000 who love you, but what about the 80,000 who hate you?"
It will make Saturday's game the biggest test for the Sooners so far this season. If Stoops can win, he would become the fourth OU coach to have won 100 games during their careers at the school, joining Wilkinson, Switzer and Owen.
Pretty select company, indeed.
Kind of like being included with these morning links:
- Lawrence Journal-World columnist Tom Keegan predicts that Kansas QB Todd Reesing will be the difference in the Jayhawks' key game with South Florida. But in order to win, Kansas must neutralize South Florida DE George Selvie, who has been dubbed "The Baddest Man in College Football."
- New Mexico State will have endured 35 practices before it finally opens the season Saturday against Nebraska.
- Teammates may kid Texas LB Roddrick Muckelroy about sounding like a squeaky mouse, but they love his production on the field.
- Injured Texas Tech CB L.A. Reed is expected to play Saturday night against SMU and could even start against the Mustangs.
- Nebraska has confirmed a three-year scheduling deal with Fresno State. The Cornhuskers will host the Bulldogs in 2011 and 2016 and visit Fresno in 2014.
- There's no quarterback controversy at Iowa State, where both Austen Arnaud and Phillip Bates understand their roles. But perhaps the biggest reason for the Cyclones' 2-0 start has been their special teams.
- Missouri backup TB Jimmy Jackson is OK with his reserve role in the Tigers' backfield.
- Former Colorado coach Eddie Crowder, who died Tuesday at the age of 77, leaves an unmatched legacy at Colorado. Former Boulder Camera sports editor Dan Creedon writes about some of his favorite memories of Crowder.
- Baylor QB Robert Griffin isn't a normal 18-year-old college student, on or off the field.
- Increased attention to his schoolwork helped Kansas State CB Courtney Herndon grow up. He's on track to graduate after playing the game of his college career last week.
- State Fair of Texas officials are excited about changes around the Cotton Bowl and it has nothing to do with the introduction of chicken-fried bacon as a midway food staple. The Cotton Bowl's new seating configuration will expand capacity to 92,180 -- making it the ninth-largest stadium in the nation.
- Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman is learning about the big adjustment from the NFL to college football.
- Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler said media members whiffed by placing no Oklahoma State players on the preseason all-conference team.