Dissing Oklahoma.

Something I read in a HeismanPundit post this morning made me wonder why Oklahoma gets more of a pass from people these days than does Ohio State.  Here’s what HP wrote:

… West Virginia didn’t beat Oklahoma because it had more speed. It beat Oklahoma because it ran a very difficult offense to defend, one which Oklahoma doesn’t see very often. The same thing happened against Boise State and USC–the Sooners wilted against offenses that used the whole field and mixed it up with odd formations.

Well, wait a minute.  Here’s a list of schools that Oklahoma played during the regular season last year, schools that run some version of an offense that “used the whole field and mixed it up with odd formations”:  Tulsa, Colorado, Missouri (twice), Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.  Lack of familiarity with spread offenses wasn’t Oklahoma’s core problem in the bowl games HP references.

And that’s what I don’t get.  At least when Ohio State laid a postseason egg, it was against teams that won national championships.  Oklahoma lost to the WAC champ and a team that dropped its previous game to a Pittsburgh squad with a losing record.  Yet mention Ohio State to a typical college football fan, and there’s a visceral, negative reaction to the Buckeyes’ chances for playing in the BCS title game this year, one that I don’t sense the Sooners generate.

For some reason, Stoops’ teams haven’t shown up ready to play in their most recent bowl games.  I can’t say for sure why, but if you’re gonna roll your eyes about OSU’s chances because of its less than stellar recent showings, you shouldn’t be showing Oklahoma any more love.  In fact, given the inferior talent of the last two teams they’ve played, the Sooners, if anything, deserve less respect.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Dissing Oklahoma.

  1. kckd

    Senator,

    OU was called out many times by the media after the loss to OU for their very bad BCS bowl record of late. If you missed it might be because those games don’t mean anything in the current BCS system and so you decided to retire early. But there was a good five to ten minute discussion about their demise by Corso, Herbie and company after their loss and quite a few articles by the local media and others immediately following the game.

    OSU has done it in two games that really mattered and that’s probably your answer.

    Also, OU’ conference did win the title three years ago against a team most felt was unbeatable. OSU takes a huge amount of flack not only for their own performance, but because of the overall demise of their overrated conference.

    As far as HP and those offenses, according to him nothing has happened in the past ten years that isn’t linked in some way to the spread. I’m waiting for his blog entry on how the spread effected the recent flooding, tornados and earthquakes that have been happening in the world. I’m sure it’s coming.

  2. kckd, perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I wasn’t talking about the media; I was referring to the average Joe’s attitude about OSU. Hence my reference to the “typical college football fan”.

    It’s just my impression from what I’ve heard directly from other fans and what I’ve read on college football message boards and blogs.

    Unless by some metric unknown to the rest of us, you consider Herbstreit and Corso to be “typical”, in which case I apologize for confusing you.

  3. peacedog

    It’s because they haven’t lost on the “biggest stage” or whatever you want to call it. If they had lost in a title game, or alternately lost the conference championship game with a title shot on the line, we’d here more. It’s silly, I agree.

    In fairness to the Sooners, the team that lost to Boise was limping to the finish line that season. As for last year – yeah, they just got whipped. I think the Big 12 as a whole was down maybe (I should go look at some numbers and see if that’s true or just my own misperceptions), and so maybe they emerged not quite the elite battle-hardened unit that everyone thought they were.

    Also, the “they never face Offense of type X” argument is a good one to discuss but it is a dangerous one. I’m not sure we’re ever really in a position to judge it properly. It’s the same way it was when SEC champions were getting slaughtered by the Cornhuskers in the 90s; no SEC teams faced a real option team and of course Nebraska was doing it with elite athletes.

    I don’t think not facing an offense or even a particularly flavor of an offense is necessarily a driving force in games like this. Usually? yeah, probably. But not always. I’m reasonably confident the Sooner coaching staff didn’t find USC’s offensive scheme to be some sort of baffling, new fangled futuristic thing that traveled back in time to conquer the planet. The USC talent, execution, and in-game adjustments were top notch of course.

  4. The USC talent, execution, and in-game adjustments were top notch of course.

    I agree. Giving Norm Chow a month to prepare with two Heisman Trophy winners lined up the backfield is almost unfair. (Which is something that’s hard to get an Auburn fan to acknowledge.)

  5. kckd

    Well, again. If you are talking about the average Joe blogger, I’d say it’s not the teams, but the conferences that cause that. OU did win a conference with two pretty good teams who didn’t choke in their bowl games. OSU lost at home to a team that USC killed. The same thing happened the year before. The problem OSU has is that it’s not just them getting their clocked cleaned in bowl games, their whole conference tends to have a problem with it.

  6. chefboyardee

    What kckd said is true, but also, OU’s losses the past few years have come at the most inopportune times, taking them out of the national title conversation. I don’t know it’s a “free pass” they’re getting so much as it is indifference.

    OSU, on the other hand, is always hovering around #1 or #2, so the “who have they played” question is legitimate.

  7. OSU lost at home to a team that USC killed.

    And a week later dominated a team that beat Florida in its bowl game.

    By the way, take a look at the game stats from the Fiesta Bowl and the BCS title game. At least OSU outgained its opponent. Oklahoma was thoroughly dominated in the stats by a team that lost its last regular season game and its genius coach.

    My point isn’t that OSU hasn’t done anything to deserve some of the brickbats thrown its way. It’s that Oklahoma, if anything, has a shabbier resume right now, but seems to take less hits for it.

  8. Teh Commish

    I didnt read the entire post or all of the comments, but Oklahoma is going to run the table in the regular season this year. DeMarco Murray is going to be the 2nd Soph to win the Heisman and then they are going to get crushed in the NC game.

  9. Burtondawg

    I would like to second the Senator’s point here. OU has not performed on the big stages. BCS games. OU is 2-4 in BCS bowl games this decade. With the two victories coming first. 0-4 since 2003.

    IMO, OU only gets a pass from everyone due to the fact that they “win their way into the BCS games”. Along the way they would have beat 3 to 4 quality teams and then actually play in a conference title game and win it.

    OSU always seems like they play their last game on Halloween and then wait for everyone else to loose. As kckd put it, This perception of OSU is a direct reflection of the despise that other conference fans have for the Big Ten. They don’t have any true depth (when the argument is who is your #4 team PSU or the Illini…you don’t have depth), they don’t play a conference championship, and they finish playing so early. OSU always seems like a quality team, but a 0-8 bowl record against the SEC is tough to overlook.

    So I don’t know if I made the original point or continued the hate on OSU. However, OSU is 3-2 this decade in the BCS, yes they may have laid an egg in the championship the past two years, but they had a 3-0 streak before that. They had beat Miami to win it all, they beat KSU in 2004 (who had beat the snot out of OU in the Big 12 championship), and they beat the Golden Domers in 2005. While OU has beat FSU to win it all in 2001 and the Washington State!?! in the Rose in 2003, then in the last 4 BCS games OU is 0-4 with a point differential of -64. Granted two of those were for the BCS NC, but the other two were to Boise and WVU.

    I can sit here and argue about which one of these teams are the most over valued all day long. Both are given way to clean of a slate each year and continuously pump up by ESPN. But I remember Pat Forde’s article right after the BCS game this year.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=3186010&sportCat=ncf

    I think the same case should be made for OU too.

  10. kckd

    Say what you want Senator, Which conference has been seen as overrated and much weaker the past few years, Big 10 or Big 12? I’m simply telling you why I think OSU is whipped up on more than OU. You’re asking the question.

    BTW, Michigan’s RB and QB both were barely able to play against Ohio St.

    And UF was overrated last year. You seem to agree on that point in some of your earlier entries.

  11. When did the Big 12 become such a formidable conference? Nebraska’s fallen off, so has Kansas State. And Kansas and Missouri didn’t become relevant until last season.

    Really, for most of the decade, it’s been a two team conference.

  12. From an objective standpoint (I’m not one who definitively can’t stand tOSU), I think Oklahoma has indeed gotten their chops busted for their last three BCS trips. The reason most people have centered on is that OU “didn’t look prepared” or “overlooked the competition.” All psychobabble, really, but there might be truth to it; compare OU/Boise and UGA/Hawai’i or UGA/Boise. tOSU’s reason for failure is always notched to speed or toughness or whatever. So I think the consensus for OU is that they can kick ass but for whatever reason refuse, while tOSU is just feeble. All of that is probably pretty wrong.

    And I’ll note that, still, I think Oklahoma will play in the MNC game this year.

  13. HP

    You fail to mention that of the teams you mentioned that OU is familiar with, it lost to two of them–Tech and Colorado.

    Obviously, Oklahoma will still out-talent teams like Tulsa and it seems to have a good read on Missou.

    My point is that, whatever the case, OU did not lose to West Virginia because of speed issues. We can agree on that, no? It’s not like OU isn’t fast. The issue was OU doesn’t face WVU type of players in that style very often. And as you have shown, when it does, even in its own conference, the results are mixed.

  14. HP, the only point I was making with regard to OU’s schedule is that the Sooners are familiar with defending spread attacks. That they don’t seem to be consistently good at it is a different story. ;) So that’s why I didn’t mention the in season losses.

    I agree with you about the Fiesta Bowl – OU didn’t lose because it was the slower team. To me it looks like OU’s gotten into a bad habit of showing up in BCS games as the more poorly prepared team. Why that’s the case, I don’t know. But I’m surprised so many are willing to give them a pass when they won’t give OSU one.

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  16. Tyler

    kckd,

    That’s a ridiculous thing to say…that Ohio State lost in games that really “mattered.” Do you think that only one game a year “really matters?”

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