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The Big Picture

September 21, 2003|Elliott Teaford

The Big 12 Conference was pretty much down to the Big One by the close of business Saturday, with the Oklahoma Sooners standing alone among a crowded field of pretenders and frauds.

See, the Sooners took care of business against UCLA, which was no big deal since the Bruins can't seem to a.) tackle, or b.) cover punts. But a win is a win is a win.

Ask Kansas State about failing to accomplish the expected. The Wildcats, who had designs on a national championship after posting a 4-0 record against a string of weak opponents, couldn't deal with Marshall.

Scratch the Wildcats from a list of conference challengers to the Sooners.

Texas, which believed it could challenge Oklahoma this season, went to pieces against a fired-up Arkansas team last week and doesn't figure to put up much of a fight against the Sooners in the Red River Shootout Oct. 11 at Dallas.

Scratch the Longhorns.

As for the rest, say goodnight, Buffaloes.

Colorado got thumped by Florida State.

Nebraska doesn't have it.

Neither does Oklahoma State.

Missouri is 4-0, but victories over Illinois, Ball State, Eastern Illinois and Middle Tennessee State don't exactly have anyone outside of Columbia, Mo., fired up.

So that leaves Oklahoma as the only serious contender from the conference, one set to challenge for the BCS championship Jan. 4 at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

-- Elliott Teaford

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