OU Not Sweating Big 12 Bowl Image

Some of the top teams that OU beat in Big 12 conference play have suffered tough losses in their respective bowl games, but the Sooners believe that will have nothing to do with the the way they play on Thursday.

The Pac 10 was criticized all year for being one of the weakest conferences.

They ran the table, winning all five of their games on their way to the Bowl Challenge Cup; meanwhile, the Big 12 has lost two major games in the bowl season.

Oklahoma State lost to Oregon in the Holiday Bowl, and Texas Tech dropped their contest in the Cotton Bowl to Ole Miss.

But, while everyone wants to play the comparison game between schools and conferences and who beat who, OU players and coaches have denied the fact that it holds any importance on what will happen in the BCS National Championship next Thursday.

"It doesn't matter," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "All that matters is what you do. You can spin those things any way that you want if you choose to so we don't pay much attention to it."

The players said basically the same thing.

"I've watched the games, and you always want to see your conference do good in the Bowl games," said senior offensive lineman Phil Loadholt. "As far as why that happened, that's with them. You always want to see your conference do good in the Bowl games, though."

Match-ups between different teams in different conferences can expose problems, but that doesn't necessarily indicate how another game will turn out.

"Yeah, that's a whole totally different team," said junior running back Chris Brown. "We're in the same conference, but that's Texas Tech, and that's Oklahoma State, and this is Oklahoma. We focus on what we have to do in our game and the situation that we're in."

What the Sooners will have to do is find a way to score against one of the nation's stingiest defenses.

"[They are] a great defense, very quick, very passive defense," said junior tight end Jermaine Gresham. "So, hopefully I can find some holes in their defense, and hopefully we can pick them apart."

They will also have to slow down yet another explosive offense led by 2007 Heisman Trophy Winner, junior quarterback Tim Tebow.

"[He has the] same qualities [as Bradford], toughness and a great competitor," Stoops said. "You look at the physical presence of him and all of that. He's a great player."

But when Thursday rolls around, the fact that OSU and Texas Tech have dropped the Big 12 out of contention for the Bowl Cup won't matter.

All that matters is the execution on the field by the Sooners against the Gators.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories