History says Sooners still a long way from regular-season perfection
Though Oklahoma should be a heavy favorite in its next six games, past tumbles prove just how hard it is to run the table, even against teams you ought to beat
Being unbeaten is best.
For even against an historically light schedule, emerging unscathed on the way to the College Football Playoff will mean Oklahoma never having to say it’s sorry for being there.
Perhaps the Sooners will reprise the Red River Rivalry one more time before entering the SEC at the Big 12 title game, due Dec. 2, at Jerry’s World in Arlington.
Perhaps they’ll face somebody else, because going back almost 10 years one loss has historically led to two, three, four or five additional Longhorn losses.
Indeed, those would appear to be the two likeliest scenarios between now and then, given what remains on OU’s schedule.
• Central Florida
• At Kansas
• At Oklahoma State
• West Virginia
• At BYU
The two toughest of the bunch entering last Saturday appeared to be at Kansas and BYU, each entering the day with a single loss. Yet, Oklahoma State topped the Jayhawks and TCU crushed BYU, so maybe the two toughest are bound to be Bedlam and the Horned Frogs.
Whatever, if you want to put odds to it, the song likely remains the same, because it’s hard to imagine any of the six to be much better than a two-touchdown underdog when it’s time to play the game.
Here, though, is the thing.
OU has been here before.
Less times than you might imagine since the Big Eight morphed into the Big 12, but enough to make it abundantly clear just how difficult it is to continue winning every game even when you’re absolutely supposed to win them.
Check it out.
Nine previous times in the Big 12 era OU has exited the Texas State Fair still unscathed.
Only two of those times did the Sooners reach the bowl season unscathed and the great majority of those losses did not come in the conference title game.
One we can all name quickly: 2000, Red October, the Orange Bowl, also the BCS title game that season, a 13-2 victory over Florida State and the program’s seventh national championship.
The other: 2004, when freshman Adrian Peterson finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting and Jason White, in a bid to repeat, finished third.
Only one of those remaining seven seasons did OU even reach the Big 12 title game unbeaten: 2003; for my money the most dominant Sooner team of the Bob Stoops era. How it fell 35-7 to Kansas State at the conference championship remains a mystery to this day.
Here are the others:
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