Sick of close games for OU and OSU? Get used to them

Columnist Jenni Carlson writes that this season isn't for the faint of heart. Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have been in lots of close games, and that doesn't figure to change.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: October 5, 2010 at 8:58 am •  Published: October 4, 2010

Returning to headquarters Monday after an extended weekend of football, I bumped into one of the many fans working in the building.

He talked college football for a minute, and even though Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are both undefeated, he couldn't help lamenting.

The problem?

It boiled down to this — he's an old guy with an old heart and he can't stand the close calls.

He might want to get some more meds, then, because heart-pounding, gut-wrenching games look to be the norm for the Sooners and the Cowboys. It's been that way for the first month of the season, and it doesn't show signs of stopping.

Good opponent. Bad opponent. Doesn't matter.

It's the year of the nail biter.

OU and OSU have played a combined nine games so far this season. Six of those games have been decided by single digits. That's two-thirds of the games. That's a ridiculously high ratio.

But wait, it gets better — or worse, depending on the condition of your heart.

Four of those close calls have been decided by a field goal or less. Both OU and OSU have a pair of games that have come down to two or three measly points.

The two teams combined to have that many close games last season, the Cowboys winning by a field goal against Colorado and the Sooners losing by one to BYU, by one to Miami and by three to Texas.

We've already had more excitement in five weeks that we had in an entire year.

Remember, too, that unlike last season, all of these close games have been victories for the Sooners and the Cowboys. That's significant. When the pressure is high and the score is tight, these teams have the ability to persevere. They fight. They hang on.

Of course, some glass-half-empty folks might see the flip side, that both teams have an inability to finish games.

It's true that these squads have found ways to make games interesting.

Thursday night against Texas A&M, OSU took a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Then, the offense sputtered and the defense softened and the Aggies tied the game.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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