In yesterday's Big 12 Championship Game, Oklahoma came back from a 17-0 second quarter deficit to beat Nebraska 23-20. Many people credit Oklahoma's come back victory to a strong defensive performance that forced four Nebraska turnovers. What many people don't know is that there was a lot more than just Oklahoma's defense that factored into slowing down Nebraska's offense.
Dr. Pepper has been sponsoring the Big 12 since its inception in 1996. Something that often goes unmentioned about Dr. Pepper's sponsorship is that they give free unlimited Dr. Pepper products to players and coaches during the the Big 12 Championship Game.
Nebraska offensive coordinator took advantage of this handout, or at least he thought so. In a postgame press conference Watson said, "We wanted to catch Oklahoma off-guard right outta the gate. We were looking for that extra boost to get the guys going, so we tried jacking them up on sugar and caffeine.
"We were going to use Red Bull originally, but coach Ron Brown was scared that we might be violating NCAA substance abuse policies in doing so. With energy drinks out, it became a no-brainer to use Dr. Pepper, especially since we already had coolers of it provided to us on the sideline."
Initially, this strategy payed off. On Nebraska's first possession Roy Helu scampered for a 66-yard touchdown run. In regards to the run, Helu said, "Man I could taste all 23 flavors when I hit that hole. There's nothing like the refreshing aftertaste of Dr. Pepper after a long run to the end zone."
About midway through the second quarter it became obvious that Nebraska was starting to come down from it's sugar high. The Huskers offense began to show the same signs of fatigue that adolescents across the country show every time they drink more soda than what their mothers told them to drink. And boy, were they in trouble young man, giving up seven sacks and four turnovers.
Oklahoma prevented this disaster by having their players drink a different Dr. Pepper product, that being Schweppes carbonated water.
When asked by reporters why he chose for his players to drink Schweppes, Bob Stoops replied, "I didn't want my guys to get to high or too low during this contest. Also, I didn't want my guys (namely Jeremy Beal) having to take constant bathroom breaks which I knew I would be able to prevent by making them drink Schweppes.
"Man that stuff is awful, it's like European or something...But getting back to my point, by drinking a beverage without sugar I felt that we would be able to outlast Nebraska in the fourth quarter."
Stoops was right, as his Sooners were able to outscore Nebraska 6-0 in the second half en route to to a 23-20 victory.
This is believed to be the first game affected by product placement since the 1998 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl when after taking a 21-0 second quarter lead Virginia went on to lose 35-33 to Georgia after the Cavaliers downed too many chicken tenders at half time.