Sooners can clinch sixth Big 12 South Division title in eight years.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) --
Oklahoma has played in
12 championship games than any other team. The
third-ranked Sooners look to add to their total as
they try to clinch the Big 12 South title for the sixth
time in eight years when they visit Texas Tech on Saturday.
The Sooners (9-1, 5-1)
have a one-game advantage over second-place Texas in
the South Division, but they own the tiebreaker over
the Longhorns because of their 28-21 win in the Red
River Rivalry game on Oct. 6. Oklahoma needs one win
in its last two regular-season games to guarantee at
least a tie with Texas and therefore, another shot
at the conference championship.
Oklahoma, which has won
a record four Big 12 titles in its five championship
game appearances, extended its conference win streak
to five games with a 52-21 win over Baylor last Saturday.
The Sooners moved up one spot in the AP poll, matching
their highest ranking of the season.
Freshman running back DeMarco
Murray ran for three touchdowns and returned a kickoff
91 yards for another score as Oklahoma recorded its
highest point total in conference play this season.
Sam Bradford, meanwhile, completed 20 of 25 passes
for 353 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
"I felt comfortable tonight
throwing the deep ball," said Bradford, who connected
on four passes of at least 40 yards, including a 60-yard
TD to Manuel Johnson. "I think each week I gain more
comfort with our wide receivers' timing."
Since suffering their only
loss Sept. 29 at Colorado, the Sooners have outscored
opponents 180-94 during their win streak.
The streak has helped the
Sooners move into the fourth spot in the BCS rankings,
and with only one undefeated team from a BCS conference
remaining, the door is open for a one-loss team to
sneak into the national championship game. Oklahoma's
potential matchup with undefeated No. 4 Kansas in the
Big 12 title game would then have major BCS implications.
"I realize we're in a good
position. Is it the best position? No," coach Bob Stoops
said. "But with two or three games to go, the bottom
line is all I can do anything about is getting prepared
to be as good as we can be against Tech.
"That's what I've said
to the players. All this talk and all this banter about,
what does it do? The bottom line is Tech is all that
matters to us - winning at Tech, and if we do we're
a step closer."
The Red Raiders (7-4, 3-4)
have an entirely different set of distractions as they
try to put a controversial week behind them and finish
their regular season on a high note.
Last Saturday, coach Mike
Leach criticized the officiating crew after two Texas
Tech touchdowns were disallowed in the third quarter
of the Red Raiders' 59-43 loss to then-No. 15 Texas
in Austin. The first was overruled when video replay
clearly showed the receiver let the ball hit the ground.
On the next play, a touchdown pass was negated by a
Without naming him, Leach
noted that referee Randy Christal lives in Austin.
"I think it's disturbing
that Austin residents are involved in this. People
work too hard, too long, there's too much money invested
in these games to allow that," Leach said. "Am I condemning
the crew? Hell yeah, I'm condemning the crew."
Leach managed to avoid
a suspension for his comments, but was fined a conference-record
$10,000 - twice the previous record.
The fallout from Leach's
comments overshadowed another strong game from Texas
Harrell, who completed 36 of 48 passes for 466
yards, five touchdowns and one interception. He leads
the Football Bowl Subdivision with 421 completions,
4,878 yards and 43 TDs.
Harrell has guided a Texas
Tech offense that leads the FBS with 542.8 yards per
game and ranks sixth with 42.5 points per game. The
defense, however, has given up 43.7 points per game
in three losses in the Red Raiders' last four games.
Texas Tech has lost six
of its last seven meetings with Oklahoma to fall to
3-11 all-time against the Sooners. The Red Raiders,
though, won the teams' last matchup in Lubbock 23-21
on Nov. 19, 2005.