ARLINGTON — The “Horns down” was reserved Saturday for the Oklahoma fans at AT&T Stadium, ending a week when a controversy over the hand sign took on a life of its own.
The Big 12 wrestled with whether or not “Horns down” would be an automatic penalty, finally deferring to the NCAA rule book that it would be a judgement call.
Why not make it automatic, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was asked before the conference title game.
“Because the rule is not written that way,” Bowlsby said. “We don’t want to turn this game into a circus. These kids have worked too hard for too long to have that be the situation…
“I wish it was that clear but it’s not.”
Oklahoma players were on their best behavior outside of an unsportsmanlike penalty on Grant Calcaterra for spiking the ball after the clinching touchdown.
“There’s just a lot of hate and animosity toward Texas,” OU linebacker Curtis Bolton said. “When we’re playing Texas, that’s ‘Horns down.’ That’s how it’s been. But I wasn’t going to be the one coming back to my coach explaining why I got 15 yards.”
Bowlsby also weighed in on other topics:
— Even though Bowlsby said he loved the “unbelievable energy” Saturday at AT&T Stadium, he still likes the idea of Texas and Oklahoma continuing to play each year at the Cotton Bowl. “I think playing at Fair Park is a good deal, just because I tend to be a traditionalist,” Bowlsby said.
— Bowlsby agreed that the Big 12 is better when Oklahoma and Texas are both strong in football. “But lost in that comment is the fact we had four other teams competing for bowl eligibility on the final week of the season. We had a lot of good football played last weekend,” Bowlsby said. “I think the balance of the conference is as much the story as the top of the conference. But sure, the Big 12 is stronger when Texas and Oklahoma are both playing at high levels.”
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