For recent memory the in-state rivalry game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State has lived up to its namesake: Bedlam. This year though, it was just a beat down.
ESPN’s College GameDay came to Stillwater as the Sooners took the Big 12 title in impressive fashion, and made a statement to the college football word: They belong in the CFB Playoff.
For the players celebrating with the Sooner fans that braved the ice, cold, and hostile environment, it’s a far cry from where this team was at in mid-October. After the loss to Texas it looked like their season goal of winning the conference, and possibly more, had come to an early end. The cries to fire Bob Stoops, albeit faint, could be heard.
In hindsight, it was a turning point for the program. Following the loss the Sooners were dominant. They beat Kansas State, Texas Tech, Kansas and Iowa State by a combined total of 232-50.
Coach Stoops kept the team focused and never lost sight of what could still be earned.
Some will say that OU got a lucky break down the stretch, and truth be told, they did. They ran the November gauntlet against #6 Baylor, #18 TCU, and #11 Oklahoma State without facing any of the three school’s starting quarterbacks.
Football is a game of breaks though, and make no mistake, the Sooners owned November. Injuries, player attrition, wins, and losses, it’s all about how you manage the season, and not many have done a better job than Bob Stoops. The ones crying for coach Stoops’ job earlier in October, are now lobbying to name him the Coach of the Year. That’s an impressive turn around.
It’s hard to say coach Stoops doesn’t deserve the accolade either. In just seven games the Sooners have gone from “another overrated OU team” with a walk on QB to Big 12 Champs and CFB Playoff contender with a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Congratulations to Oklahoma on a phenomenal season. Congratulations to the Big 12 Champions!