It’s never about the journey; it’s always about the destination. Otherwise, why take the trip? For the 5th time under Bob Stoops, OU had a legitimate shot at winning a National Championship and, for the 4th time, they failed to complete the task. There is not doubt that Clemson was the better team, but Thursday’s 37-17 beatdown left Sooner fans in the all too familiar state of “what the hell?”.
Oklahoma had their chances – a fake punt, stupid penalties, the inability to tackle, block and take advantage of the momentum they did have put the Tigers in the position to roll. If Stoops had the answers to why his teams aren’t winning in the biggest of games, he would have fixed them by now.
In 17 years at OU, Big Game Bob has given you everything you could ask for except a dynasty similar to what Nick Saban has at Alabama. Not that OU fans need a dynasty – even the most out of touch kid knows Santa can’t fit a Corvette down the chimney. Still, another National Championship would ease any ill will you might be having about all those other near misses.
By all accounts, Oklahoma overachieved this season. Winning the Big 12 and making it into the National semifinal after an 8-5 season is a cause to celebrate. Maybe if Stoops had taken down LSU in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, the champagne would have tasted better this New Year’s Eve. Dwelling in the past only works for Troy Aikman.
With Baker Mayfield, Joe Mixon, Smaje Perine, Dru Samia and Orlando Brown coming back, Oklahoma should be good enough to make another run at the playoff. If that is the case, Stoops needs to close.
It’s long overdue for OU to reign again over College Football. If this were Oregon, UCLA, Baylor, or TCU, you could be happy. Barry Switzer says Oklahoma invented winning, and it’s time to let the rest of the sport know that.