Where's the Respect?

The Sooners are feeling a little slighted after hearing some of the quotes from the Missouri Tigers after the teams' first meeting this season. Despite an OU win, many in the Mizzou camp felt it could have gone the other way. Bob Stoops and others discussed that meeting and this week's Big 12 title game at the Sooners' weekly press conference on Tuesday.

If Chase Daniel hadn't thrown two interceptions and Jeremy Maclin another…

If Curtis Lofton hadn't run that fumble recovery in for a touchdown…

If Sam Bradford hadn't thrown for 266 yards and two touchdowns…

If all those negatives hadn't happened for Missouri, the Tigers would have beaten Oklahoma when the two squared off Oct. 13 in Norman.

As it turns out, all that did happen and Oklahoma won 41-31.

But from message boards to player interviews, you got the idea the Tigers felt if they got another chance at the Sooners, the outcome would be different.

"You get a sense of that through the media, but we came out with the win," said Oklahoma linebacker Lewis Baker at the team's weekly press conference on Tuesday. "It doesn't matter how it comes, a win is a win and you can't take that away."

Though the quotes have toned down as the game approaches, there's still a sense from the Missouri camp that the Tigers let one slip away in Norman.

"We had a lead going into fourth quarter, we made some mistakes, they created some mistakes, so that's how you look at it," Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said. "I think our team at that time said, `Hey, we can be pretty good. If we keep getting better, we might have a chance at this.'"

And getting that chance has been on the Tigers' mind ever since mid-October.

"Yeah, I wanted to win that game. That really would have been the best thing to happen to us, but when we lost that game we rallied together and grew from it," Tiger linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. "Everybody just talked about how we could get back to the Big 12 Championship and play against [Oklahoma], and we took it one week at a time. It's great to be here."

Missouri gets its chance Saturday when the two meet again, this time to decide the Big 12 Championship in San Antonio, Texas.

In the first meeting, Oklahoma was ranked fifth and Missouri 11th. The Sooners were a clear-cut favorite.

This time the roles are reversed.

Suddenly, Missouri is the top-ranked team in the country and can earn a spot in the BCS Championship game with a win over the Sooners.

However, odds-makers have made Oklahoma the favorite.

One factor may be that the Sooners are back in the title game for the second year in a row and the fifth time since 2000. Missouri is in virgin territory.

"It helps, but anyone can win on any given Saturday," Baker said of the experience. "SO we are going to have to go out there and play like we know how."

Added Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops: ""It sure doesn't hurt, but in the end, you win each game on its own merit. In the end, each team is different and we have to win it this year with different guys than a year ago. Some of them were in it last year, but it is still a different team."

Though Missouri has been quick to insinuate the first meeting could have had a different outcome, the Sooners aren't putting much stock into it either way.

"We've put that game behind us," cornerback Marcus Walker said. "It's a whole new game and another four quarters for us to play.

"Beating them already this year doesn't make us feel like we're better than them. We know we'll have to come play Saturday and that's what we'll do."

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