Sooners' season not a disappointment so far
The college football season is a long one.
Let’s keep that in mind throughout this column. As we saw in the Big 12 on Saturday, anything can happen in college football, so I don’t want to look too far ahead.
But for at least one week, OU looks like it may have a brighter future than previously thought.
Keeping in mind that Kansas has a pretty pathetic defense, there were plenty of reasons to expect OU to go into Lawrence on Saturday and return to Norman 3-4.
The Sooner offensive line is young, banged up, and consistently unimpressive. The Sooners played without an All-American tight end, a Heisman-winning quarterback, and their game-changing tailback. And still, the OU went on the road, and beat a ranked Big 12 team handedly.
That’s why I think, come the end of this season, fans may not remember this as the season-that-could-have-been. Instead, it could be Bob Stoops and staff’s best coaching job ever.
The problem with people who say Stoops can’t win big games anymore, is that the definition of a “big game” is different for everyone. To me, Saturday was a big game.
Despite Kansas’ difficulties, they’re offense is top-notch. While OU’s defense is great, everything was set up for this to be a letdown game. This defense knows its good enough to win a national championship, but they also know that’s not going to happen anymore. Sitting at .500, it would have been easy for this defense to play uninspired on Saturday.
A big part of coaching is getting your team motivated, and the coaching staff did that. They convinced this team there was something to play for, and they harassed the Jayhawks all afternoon, making an offense that embarrassed OU last year look ordinary.
The big games left on OU’s schedule seem to be Nebraska and Texas Tech on the road, and Oklahoma State at home. On Saturday, Iowa State took down Nebraska in Lincoln and Tech was embarrassed by Texas A&M in Lubbock. And while anything can happen, it’s hard to picture the Sooners losing in Norman.
So suddenly, OU running the table and finishing 9-3 is a real possibility. It’s even possible that if Texas were to go undefeated and head to the National Championship, OU could find itself in the Fiesta Bowl come January.
Remember, I realize it’s a long season, but this could happen. Even though it came against a maligned Kansas squad, the Sooner offense took a step forward Saturday. The offense had some success trying some new things with sophomore wideout Dejuan Miller, and senior receiver Adron Tennell looks like he might have finally figured things out. And the more games that Landry Jones gets under his belt, the better he’ll be.
And this defense will keep the Sooners in any game.
So what if this team goes 9-3, and then wins a BCS bowl game? Surely, with the adversity this team has faced, the season would have to be considered one of Stoops’ best. Suddenly, this season that seemed almost lost from the beginning is kind of like an Oscar-award winning film that takes a while to get to the action.
It’s long, and may have gotten off to a slow start, but by the end will be considered one of the best ever.
Steven Jones is a language arts education senior.