NORMAN, Okla. — There’s a school of thought abound that says Oklahoma can’t win. That it can beat Texas A&M at the Cotton Bowl, but still not strike a blow for hearts and minds.
If that’s really true, it’s an indictment of an idiotic college football nation much more than a descriptions of the fix the Sooners will find themselves in Jan 4 at Cowboys Stadium.
Indeed, this is very much the bowl game OU has been waiting for. Really. If the prospect of beating the Aggies — who took the SEC by storm in their inaugural trip through the alleged greatest conference on earth — carries no weight, then what exactly have other recent bowls done for OU?
Did it do much to see the Sooners beat a mediocre Iowa team at the Insight Bowl? Did it do anybody any favors when OU finally broke its BCS losing streak against a bad Connecticut team that backed into the Fiesta Bowl?
The year before, after a trying season that included four losses, the Sooner Nation finally finished a season victoriously when OU beat Stanford at the Sun Bowl, but what did the Cardinal or the venue do for anybody?
Two and three years before that, OU really couldn’t win. The Sooners played heavy favorites in consecutive Fiesta Bowls, against Boise State and West Virginia, a pair of games in which winning only amounted to breaking even. Losing both remain the greatest bowl disappointments of the Stoops era.
This is not that.
Iowa, UConn, Stanford, West Virginia nor Boise State upset the No. 1 team in the nation on the No. 1 team’s home field, as A&M has, before taking on OU. Nor did the Hawkeyes, Cardinal, Mountaineers or Broncos roll out a Heisman Trophy winner to lead their offense.