|Heisman, BCS on line when Sooners meet Red Raiders|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 21 November 2008 10:33|
Graham Harrell has all that, too, plus a couple of late-season marquee wins to go with it.
When Harrell and No. 2 Texas Tech meet Bradford and No. 5 Oklahoma on Saturday night, the Heisman race - as well as the national championship chase - will be center stage.
``A lot of people are talking about that, but it's probably the last thing that I'm thinking about this week,'' said Bradford, who leads the nation with 38 touchdown passes and also has 3,406 yards passing.
``When you start thinking about that, then you get away from what's really important and that's winning this football game.''
And it's a HUGE one.
1) to clinch the Big 12 South and establish itself as the conference's clear front-runner for the national championship - and perhaps give Harrell an insurmountable lead in the Heisman race.
The Sooners can spoil it all, just as Tech did three weeks ago against then-No. 1 Texas in another of the Big 12's round-robin between Heisman caliber quarterbacks.
It all started with Bradford against Texas' Colt McCoy back in October, with the Longhorns leaving the Cotton Bowl with the Sooners' top ranking in tow. They defended it against Missouri's Chase Daniel and Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson, but Harrell and the Red Raiders - with a little last-second magic from Michael Crabtree - pre-empted Texas' coronation.
Now the Red Raiders are in the Longhorns' position. Texas Tech finishes a brutal four-game stretch against ranked opponents by facing a highly rated divisional foe on its home field.
The Sooners carry the nation's longest home winning streak at 23 games, and this qualifies as the biggest game in Norman since top-ranked Nebraska came calling in 2000. The Huskers left in defeat and Oklahoma marched on to the national championship.
verly raucous crowd,'' in an apparent bid to get them to be even louder on Saturday.
``It is as big as it gets,'' Sooners receiver Juaquin Iglesias said. ``Just for the fact that all of our goals are still in reach, and if we win, you never know what's going to happen in the BCS.''
Indeed, an Oklahoma win would cause havoc for the BCS by eliminating one of the only undefeated two major conference teams left. Even trickier: The road to the Big 12 South title could then be decided by the BCS rankings as the top three teams would each have one loss, all against each other, entering the final week of the regular season.
Texas Tech can prevent all of that if coach Mike Leach, who was Stoops' offensive coordinator in 1999, can win on Owen Field for the first time in five tries since leaving Norman. The Red Raiders have beaten Oklahoma in two of the last three at Lubbock, including last season - when Bradford suffered a first-quarter concussion and missed the rest of the game.
``This team is experienced and old and we know how to get ourselves up for big games,'' Tech safety Daniel Charbonnet said.
Harrell, who has 36 TD passes and leads the nation with 4,077 yards, has already guided the Red Raiders to victory against Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma State in consecutive weeks.
ke: a shot at the Big 12 title, the Heisman Trophy and, of course, the biggest prize of all.
``They can't want it,'' Stoops said, ``any more than we want it.''