Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Another season is over. It was a good one for the Big 12, even if it didn't end exactly like Oklahoma fans and Bob Stoops might have wanted.
I remember covering a World Series many years ago. One veteran seamhead who is one of the most respected members of my profession started sobbing uncontrollably after he turned in his final story of the season. The magnitude of the end of the season finally caught up with him.
I don't think I'll do that today, but Stoops and the Sooners might when they realize how close they were to snapping their BCS losing streak that now hangs like an albatross around the program.
Here are a few lunchtime links to provide a little perspective on last night's game and a spin forward to next season.
After his fifth BCS bowl game loss in the last six seasons, Bob Stoops' nickname of "Big Game Bob" won't survive his team's loss to Florida in the FedEx BCS National Championship Game, according to the Dallas Morning News' Kevin Sherrington.
John Shinn of the Norman Transcript writes that Oklahoma's performance in Thursday's national title game loss was nothing like like it had played earlier this season. The nation's most explosive offense and most consistent red-zone offensive team struggled, while a leaky defense came up with one of its best performances of the season.
Jeffrey Martin of the Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle reports that heralded recruit Bryce Brown of Wichita, Kan., will take an unofficial visit to Kansas State this weekend.
Dave Curtis of the Sporting News writes that the big-game contrast between Florida's Urban Meyer and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops was never more obvious than after the Gators' victory in the national championship game.
Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times includes three Big 12 events among his top 10 moments of the 2008 season. Included were Texas Tech's dramatic victory over Texas, the Big 12's South's three-way divisional tie and Sam Bradford's Heisman winning season.
Veteran Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter/blogger Tony Barnhart ranks four Big 12 teams in his top 20 for the 2009 season with two others listed among his teams to watch. Texas is ranked second in Barnhart's early poll, behind Florida. Oklahoma is fifth, Oklahoma State seventh and Texas Tech 20th. Kansas and Nebraska were his both listed among his teams to watch next season.