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Stoops' controversial decision pays off

With his team facing a 36-27 deficit in the final minutes against Missouri this year, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops elected to punt from his own 7-yard line, rather than risk turning the ball over on downs and giving Missouri a chance to add to its lead. The decision was made, he said later, with pollsters in mind.

"I've never done it before, but I thought, 'You know what? There's still a bunch of games to be played. Who knows what can happen?' Heck, LSU got in it a few years ago with two losses, right?" Stoops said days after the loss. "Some people don't see the game, only look at the score, as they vote. Right or wrong, that's what I did."

It didn't get Oklahoma in the national championship game, but it might have helped the Sooners reach the Big 12 Championship. A three-way tiebreaker was left to the BCS standings, and a 16-point loss to Missouri might have cost the Sooners more than a nine-point loss.

Regardless, Oklahoma was comfortably above both Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, and will represent the South against Nebraska in Saturday's title game. On Monday morning, Stoops revisited the decision.

"I felt solid about it when I did it, and regardless of what anybody wants to say, there's a certain point -- we hadn't shown any life the first three downs prior to that. We didn't even sniff a completion, and I probably wouldn't have done it had we been out at the 20, 30-yard line, something like that. I know I wouldn't have," Stoops said. "In the situation we were in, I felt it was the right thing to do, and whether it's right or wrong, everybody can have their opinion, but right now, it's worked out OK."