NORMAN — The Sooners started jumping early. Jumping, jumping, jumping, like the sidelines were spring loaded. Jumping like kids turned loose in a mattress factory.
Truth is, they'd been jumping for days.
“Last week,” said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. “It started last week. We came to practice on fire. That's when all the energy started.”
Then Bob Stoops lit the match with a do-better talk to fans, who boiled the old stadium with a rowdiness unseen since that Nebraska epic eight years ago. Owen Field sizzled all night long, and that made the Sooners jump even more, and the pandemonium on the Oklahoma bench spilled over to the playing field.
Before you knew it, the fifth-ranked Sooners had annihilated No. 2 Texas Tech 65-21 in what was supposed to be the game of the year but instead became endorsement for team of the year and player of the year.
And all that jumping might take the Sooners up where they think they belong. Above Texas and Texas Tech in the Big 12 South triangle.
Today's BCS rankings will offer a clue on which squadron will be sent to Kansas City for the Big 12 title game in the case of a three-way tie.
“I think we sent a message to whoever was watching,” McCoy said. “Computers, aliens, whoever. If they seen this game, they know we're for real.”
Tech knows it, for sure. The Red Raiders, ranked No. 2 and sporting a 10-0 record, were butchered on both sides of the ball.
Heisman Trophy favorite Graham Harrell's flying circus crashed to Earth. A beleaguered OU defense, led by McCoy and other ferocious pass rushers and ball-hawking cover men, showed itself still capable of championship performance.