Sooners might get back in BCS race after all

BY TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, thaney@opubco.com Modified: October 30, 2011 at 8:22 pm •  Published: October 30, 2011

NORMAN — When am I going to learn that college football is unpredictable?

In 30 years' time, I've seen enough of the game to know better. And yet, for some reason, I thought a week ago that Oklahoma would not be able to get back into the national title conversation.

At 7-1 and four regular-season games to go, the Sooners still aren't quite there. But they made enough progress in one week, just one week, to demonstrate they could get there in the next month.

It took one undefeated team, Clemson, losing and Oklahoma again asserting it can play like an elite team – no small feat for one Saturday, the last Saturday, in October.

Snap of the fingers and, just like that, OU is already back up to sixth in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

The Sooners play one of the teams ahead of them, No. 3 Oklahoma State (Dec. 3). No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama play one another this week. No. 4 Stanford has to play No. 8 Oregon next week.

A door that I thought was shut is now creaking open, more and more.

There were, and still are, two sides to the resurrection of the title hopes. There's the internal and external.

First, the Sooners had to go out and play a game to convince me, and a whole bunch of other folks, that the Texas Tech game was a fluke and not the norm. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but something seemed to clicked with OU after it got behind 17-14 in Manhattan.

Yeah, Kansas State wasn't in a fair matchup, because it couldn't keep up with Oklahoma's speed. But for the Sooners to reel off the final 44 points of the game in a 41-point win? That showed something, to do that to a team that hadn't lost previously. And to do it on the road, sometimes a bugaboo in the Bob Stoops era.

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