It’s not like there weren’t any signs.
Game one, Tulsa, OU gets burned deep more than once. It was early, correctable, so no problem.
Missouri game. OU secondary gives up big plays and goes down by two touchdowns. But we dominated the second half and won. All is good.
Texas Tech, unranked, comes in and runs a track meet in the first half and goes up by 24. But OU comes back and almost pulls it out. OU was just sleeping. We can dominate if we want. It was a fluke.
No it wasn’t.
A crazy chaotic season was playing right into the Sooners’ hands. Teams were dropping like flies. First, Clemson goes down, then Boise St. and Stanford. Finally, Oregon is felled and like a Belldozer run, the path was clear. Chaos is lovely, unless you’re a part of it. The Sooners were next. In what was supposed to be a championship season, the Sooners have had the two worst defensive performances, both losses, in the history of Sooner football in the same season. It was amazing we even got this far.
Quite frankly, the defense hasn’t dominated since Mike Stoops left for Arizona. Sure they’ve been really good, but not dominant. Not a championship defense. OU had an SEC defense before the SEC did. 2000 feels so far away, when greatest defense in the BCS era held the offense of defending national champion Florida State, averaging over 40 points a game and in their third straight BCS title game, scoreless. I repeat, scoreless.
Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables has had eight years to do what Mike Stoops did in two. He hasn’t. How long must one be given a chance before something else is tried? When is the expiration date? Is there one? Are an infinite amount of Big 12 titles with no national titles good enough for the Sooners? We all know that answer to that. It’s up to Bob Stoops to make the right decisions. It’s on him. This program is his and he bears sole responsibility for the outcomes that we see.
Here are this week’s rankings based on total season resume:
1. Louisiana St. (Last week: 1) – Undefeated. No argument. Arkansas comes to town next.
2. Alabama (4) – Alabama can just sit back and watch. Should have no problem in the Iron Bowl against Auburn, but the way this season is going they’ll probably lose by 20.
3. Oklahoma St. (3) – It’s amazing that the Cowboys lose to an unranked Iowa St. and maintain their position in the rankings. That tells you how crazy this past weekend was. What a perfect time to lose.
4. Arkansas (7) – Razorbacks are hotter than Oklahoma St., but their resume is substantially weaker. Fewer wins against winning teams than the Cowboys. Razorbacks have too many poor performances against weak teams. Arkansas can change things in a huge way, though, if the Hogs beat LSU at Baton Rouge. Will be a total fustercluck of a BCS if they take down No. 1.
5. Stanford (8) – Got by Cal in the Big Game. Not impressive, but in this season they’re good enough for top five.
6. Houston (9) – Still poised for a BCS berth if the Cougars win out. Who knows, if Armageddon hits and all teams ahead of them lose, they could jump up to the top two. Go ahead and laugh, but the way this season is going, nothing would surprise me.
7. Boise St. (10) – Will probably be the highest ranked team not allowed in a BCS bowl due to not being a conference champion.
8. Oregon (3) – Ducks will ask themselves “what if?” just like the Sooners. And just like the Sooners, they can still win their conference. Yet, that will still be a disappointment.
9. Virginia Tech (-) – A very weak ACC schedule has enabled Va. Tech to skate by with only one loss. Credit must be given, though. Other teams have lost to the caliber of teams the Hokies have beaten.
10. USC (-) – I know they beat Oregon head-to-head, but the Trojans’ loss to Arizona St. is significantly worse than the Ducks’ loss to LSU.
Dropped from rankings: Oklahoma (5), Clemson (6)