Sam Bradford and Oklahoma wanted to drive home one point: They belong in the BCS championship game.
The fourth-ranked Sooners did that with a 62-21 blowout of No. 19 Missouri for the Big Twelve title last night in Kansas City, Mo.
Taking advantage of an opportunity many felt it didn't deserve, the highest-scoring team in major-college football history romped to a third straight conference crown and became the first to reach 60 points in five consecutive games.
"We were tired about hearing everyone talking about how we didn't deserve to be in the game," Bradford said. "It was a big motivator for us.
If all goes as expected today, Oklahoma (12-1) will be in the top two of the Bowl Championship Series standings, looking at a title game matchup against No. 2 Florida on Jan. 8 in Miami.
Touted as the best two conferences in college football this season, it seems appropriate their champions will play for the national title.
For Oklahoma and coach Bob Stoops, it'll be their fourth appearance in a BCS national championship game. The Sooners won their first try in 2001 against Florida State, but have lost their last two - to LSU after the 2003 season and to Southern Cal after the 2004 campaign.
"I don't see how we could not be No. 1 tomorrow," Bradford said.
Oklahoma's win likely leaves once-beaten Texas to play in the Fiesta Bowl, perhaps against Ohio State, and once-beaten Texas Tech to play in the Cotton Bowl against an SEC foe. Texas defeated Oklahoma, but lost to Texas Tech, which was blown out by Oklahoma.
The Sooners' losing streak in BCS games overall is four, taking some of the luster off a coach who earned the nickname "Big Game Bob" early in his tenure.
No one would argue with Big Twelve Bob, though. Stoops improved to 6-1 in the conference title game.
This one was over by halftime. By then, Bradford had already put up Heisman-worthy numbers, with 240 yards and two touchdown passes, and the Sooners led, 38-7. Along the way, they zoomed past Hawaii's NCAA record 656 points set in 2006.
The Sooners kept trying to put up more points until the end. Chase Daniel and Missouri (9-4) never really had a chance. The Tigers are expected to face Northwestern (9-3) in the Alamo Bowl.
Missouri has 21 victories the last two seasons, but only the win over Kansas last season for the school's first North Division title really counts as a signature win.
The 19th-ranked Tigers have lost two straight since coach Gary Pinkel got a new $2.3 million contract. They've lost 19 of 20 to Oklahoma, one of many signals that Pinkel's rebuilding job is far from complete. They were a 17-point underdog largely because of a porous defense that couldn't prevent the Sooners from topping 61 points for the fifth straight game.
Without a reliable defense to keep the Tigers in it while Oklahoma scored on all but one first-half possession, Daniel faced another futile game of catch-up.
Bradford, scheduled for surgery on a broken left thumb today, was rarely hit and had plenty of time to locate targets. Oklahoma rolled up 359 yards at the break against a defense that has been soft all season despite replacing only one starter from last year's team.