Big 12 Dominance

NORMAN, Okla. – No matter which way you look at it, the Sooners have been the most successful team in the Big 12.

Despite only winning one national championship during the conference's existence, they have won the most Big 12 South titles (seven) and the most Big 12 titles (six). Also, OU is the only team to both make the game but also win the crown three years in a row.

Not too shabby.

Now that the Big 12 title game will be having its final hurrah in its current format in a week, whichever team wins its respective division will get the right to say that it got to play in that final game. But the only way that the Sooners have a shot to make their eighth Big 12 championship game is if they defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who are looking to make their first Big 12 title game, Saturday in Stillwater.

"It's an exciting week for everybody," said head coach Bob Stoops. "It's great to be in this position really when you're going into the last week of the year still pursuing the Big 12 championship.

"It's where you want to be. It's what you want."

This is not the Sooners' first rodeo, either. They have been in contention for the Big 12 South title during the last week of the season in nine of the last 11 years.

"We've been here a lot," Stoops said. "So our players are excited about it."

During Stoops' time at OU, he has never gone two years without winning the conference title. But if he fails to win back-to-back conference road games to end the season, he will have gone two straight seasons without hoisting the trophy.

That is not a long time, but it is by Stoops and Sooner Nation's standards.

"We put ourselves in a good position to be able to make it to the Big 12 [Championship game] like we've done in the past couple of years," said senior running back DeMarco Murray, who is going for his third conference title before he graduates. "They've had a chance to make it to the Big 12 as well, so it's going to be a good game. This is Bedlam. It's going to be a hard-fought game, and they have a lot riding on the line and so do we."

The only way to make sure this year is not a first for OU under Stoops is if they do something that has happened in each of the past seven seasons: win Bedlam.

"We've won; we've played well," said Stoops, who is 9-2 against the Cowboys as OU's head coach. "In the end, that's been the case and, again, it's exciting to be in this position. That's not easy to do."

But Stoops and the team's history against Oklahoma State means nothing, Stoops said.

"You have to go play it Saturday," he said. "But it's where you want to be."

Although the past does not mean a thing, OU's dominance in Bedlam has been very similar to its dominance in the race for the Big 12 South, and the Sooners would like to make sure that Saturday's result will put them in a game they have become oh so accustomed to for the last time.


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