College Football Preview: Missouri vs. Oklahoma
Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2008
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Just one more win, that’s all Missouri needed last season. Beat Oklahoma and the Tigers would play for their first national championship.
They couldn’t pull it off. The Sooners pulled away in the second half and won the Big 12 championship, sending Missouri to the Cotton Bowl instead of the national title game.
Now, Missouri gets a rematch ó with a chance to ruin Oklahoma’s national championship hopes, no less.
“I don’t think there’s any question about it: Our guys are dying to win this game,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said.
Missouri entered last year’s game ranked No. 1 in the BCS, on the cusp of playing in the national title game after winning the Big 12 North with an emotional 36-28 victory over rival Kansas the week before.
Oklahoma squashed Missouri’s BCS hopes with stifling defense and a bruising running game, outscoring the Tigers 24-3 in the second half to win its second straight conference title. Ohio State and LSU ended up with the invites to the national championship.
When the teams meet again today at Arrowhead Stadium, it’ll be the Sooners (11-1, 7-1) chasing the BCS dream.
Oklahoma enters the game ranked No. 2 in the BCS ó No. 4 in The Associated Press poll ó after earning a spot in the conference title game by winning a three-way tiebreaker over Texas and Texas Tech in the Big 12 South.
That meant no head-to-head advantage, so the winner of the Big 12 South came down to the fifth tiebreaker: BCS rankings. Oklahoma leapfrogged Texas in this week’s standings, finishing .0218 ahead of the Longhorns after being third the week before.
The shake-up gave the Sooners a clear shot to the BCS title game.