NORMAN - Well, we always seem to uncork a stinker every year that results in a head-shaking loss. So it was yesterday, as Iowa State came into Norman and won for the first time since 1990, 38-31.
To be sure, the Cyclones deserved the win, but the Sooners couldn’t have done much more to help them. Critical, stupid penalties. A turnover inside the Iowa State five-yard line that turned what was about to be a 15-point Sooner third quarter lead into a tie game. A defense that couldn’t manage to get pressure on a second-string QB that had barely played and a third-string QB that also played linebacker. Coverage busts. Receivers that couldn’t get open. Baker Mayfield pressing and holding the ball way too long. We could go on and on.
Frankly, it would not do any good to rehash the game itself. It’s best forgotten at this point. A change at defensive coordinator was likely after this season, given the change at the top. This performance, along with the defensive disaster against Baylor, should hasten that process. We are not saying a change will happen during the season, but even a miracle turnaround going forward doesn’t change the fact that a change at DC is likely coming.
As usual, when this happens, the pundits and the polls drop us, and the fan base implodes. It will be hard to find a Sooner fan today that thinks we can win the conference and go to the playoff. Some of the media types have even dropped Mayfield completely from their Heisman predictions, in the face of all logic, reason, and facts, including what was a very good stat line from yesterday, believe it or not.
We know most of you will not believe this is possible, but the fact is that all of this team’s goals are still in front of it. All we have to do is run the table. Ohio State doing the same would help, as well. Yes, we know you don’t think that is possible after the debacle against Iowa State. Just like you didn’t think it was possible after last year’s debacle against Ohio State. Just like you didn’t think it was possible after the 2015 debacle in the Cotton Bowl. The fact is that it is possible until it’s not possible anymore, and just because we are bummed after an egg was laid doesn’t change that.
The fact also is that we have a history of running the table in situations like this, and a very recent history, at that. That doesn’t mean that’s what’s going to happen, and it doesn’t mean we are saying it’s going to happen. But until it doesn’t happen, it’s there to shoot for. And it says here that a 12-1 Big 12 Champion OU team would be in the Playoff. Even more so if Ohio State is a 12-1 B1G Champion.
So, until it’s not possible anymore, that’s what we’re going with here – trying to run the table, win the conference championship game, and see where the chips fall. That task starts Saturday in the Cotton Bowl. See you there. BEAT THE HELL OUTTA TEXAS!!