Photos of Oklahoma State's new Big 12 South championship rings made their way onto the internet last week, earned as part of a three-way tie atop the division in 2010.
Oklahoma represented the division in the title game, beating Nebraska to win the conference. At Oklahoma's pro day on Tuesday, Sooners coach Bob Stoops walked past a group of reporters and brought their attention to the new banner in the team's indoor facility commemorating their 2010 title.
"You see we got another championship banner up?" Stoops said, according to The Oklahoman. "It’s not a South Division one, either."
Stoops' jab is funny. There's no denying that, regardless of your affiliation as a fan. Sports figures, especially in college, are most often muted these days, and it's nice to see some personality once in awhile.
Oklahoma safety Tony Jefferson also took to Twitter on Tuesday to voice his displeasure at Oklahoma State quarterback tweeting a photo of his Big 12 South championship ring.
This is a "to the victor go the spoils" situation. Oklahoma State and Nebraska had their chance to shut the Sooners up with a lot on the line and didn't do it. So, high road or otherwise, Oklahoma has earned the right to talk.
Stoops didn't explicitly elaborate, but it might be safe to assume he isn't a fan of handing out multiple division championship trophies.
This week, a mockup of a ring Missouri hoped to have made leaked to the media as well. After the 2008 season, Texas sparked a controversy by adding a "2008" with an asterisk next to it on the wall in its facilities that listed the program's Big 12 titles. Oklahoma won the Big 12 in 2008, but lost to Texas and won a three-way tie with the Longhorns and Texas Tech at the end of the season via the BCS standings to represent the South in the Big 12 title game. The year and asterisk were eventually removed.
I don't have a problem with allowing teams to claim a share of the division, but it seems a little ridiculous to pass out trophies and allow schools to have rings made if they choose to do so. There are a set of tiebreakers written into the league's bylaws, and those tiebreakers make it clear who won the divisions last season.
That would be the Sooners and the Huskers.
I don't have a problem with teams celebrating and acknowledging division titles even if they lose in the conference championship game, but next year, when the league goes to 10 teams and round-robin play, only one team should get a conference championship trophy, and only one team should have rings made.