The Norman Transcript

November 27, 2012

No clear-cut champ?

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s won seven Big 12 championships and never had to share any of them. All were claimed by winning the Big 12 Conference championship game.

But if OU beats TCU Saturday and No. 7 Kansas State tops Texas, the league will, technically, have co-champions.

Sooner coach Bob Stoops, who has been opposed to the co-champions concept in the past, said OU will take the trophy if that’s the case.

“The rules are what they are; I don’t make them,” he said at his press conference on Monday.

If both the Sooners and the Wildcats win on Saturday, both will finish with 8-1 conference records. However, the Wildcats will receive the automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl because it beat OU in the head-to-head matchup on Sept. 22.

Ovation appreciated: When OU introduced its seniors prior to the Oklahoma State game, the loudest ovation was for quarterback Landry Jones. He expressed his gratitude on Monday.

“It was great. The fans here are great. I always really appreciate all that they do for us. The energy that they bring to our field, it just makes this place definitely have a bigger home-field advantage,” he said. “On senior night, I was just so appreciative of what they have done and how they supported me that day.”

The grind is almost over: The Sooners will play their ninth game in nine weeks on Saturday. Players admit there’s been a physical impact from playing that many weeks in a row.

There is, however, a way to get through it.

“Stretch and ice. The ice tub and stretching to take care of your body, basically,” wide receiver Justin Brown said. “That’s where the maturity level comes in and you have to know what you have to do to get ready for the next game.”

Stoops smothers Tennessee rumor: Stoops rejected any notion that he’s interested in the vacant job at Tennessee on Monday.

“Me? Really? I like my job,” he said. “No. I love my job. I’ll try to keep it another year.”

Stoops, who is wrapping up his 14th season at OU, has often been mentioned as a candidate for other jobs. Tennessee has been in the market since firing Derek Dooley on Nov. 18.

Jones, Saunders receive Big 12 honors: The Big 12 announced on Monday that quarterback Landry Jones has been named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and wide receiver Jalen Saunders is the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week.

Both players played integral roles in leading the Sooners to a 51-48 overtime victory over Oklahoma State.

Jones, who claimed the prize for the second straight week, completed 46-of-71 passes for 500 yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys. He became the first player in OU history to register back-to-back 500-yard passing games and owns all three of the 500-yard games in school history. It was his 12th career game with 400-plus yards. Jones set single-game school records for both completions and attempts, breaking the previous marks of 39 completions.

Saunders ran back an OSU punt 81 yards for his first career punt return touchdown. The junior from Elk Grove, Calif., finished the game with 251 all-purpose yards, the sixth-highest single-game total by an OU wide receiver. Oklahoma is the only Big 12 team that has two punt return touchdowns in 2012.

John ShinnFollow me @john_shinnjshinn@normantranscript.com

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