OU Football: This season was supposed to be about so much more

COMMENTARY — Oklahoma looked off all night in a game that brought home the reality this season isn't going to be about all that it was supposed to.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: November 20, 2011 at 12:25 am •  Published: November 20, 2011

WACO, Texas — David King trudged across the turf, then pumped his fists in a fit of frustration without ever breaking stride.

Gabe Ikard stood motionless on the field as celebrating Baylor fans zigged and zagged around him.

Brennan Clay knelt on the sidelines after his teammates had gone to the locker room.

Try as they might to come to grips with what happened Saturday night at Baylor, Oklahoma players are sure to be left with aggravation and agitation for a long time to come.

Baylor 45, OU 38.

Opportunity lost.

On a night the Sooners had a chance to leap to No. 3 in the BCS rankings, they instead find themselves completely out of the national championship picture.

“It's difficult to go through a year,” Sooner coach Bob Stoops said. “Look around the country. Not many teams are undefeated.”

True.

But no one said the Sooners had to be undefeated. Win at Baylor, and OU would've been squarely in the hunt for a spot in the Big Bowl. Beat the Bears like they have every other time they've played them, and the Sooners would've overcome that loss to Texas Tech and set up a win-out-and-play-for-a-title scenario.

But now with two losses against them, the Sooners would need complete and total implosion by so many teams that it's a scenario that's impossible to fathom.

“Our goal of winning the Big 12 championship is still out in front of us,” Sooner quarterback Landry Jones said.

True, too.

But this was a season that started with the Sooners own head coach talking about it being about time for his team to win another national title. He set high the bar. He made lofty the expectations.

Now, his team will end the season instead clawing to scrape together a conference title.

This season was supposed to be so much more.

And it could've been even after Friday night brought a serious problem — an Oklahoma State loss.

After OU lost to Texas Tech, the thinking went that the Sooners needed to win out and face an undefeated Cowboy team in Bedlam to have a chance to play for the national championship. When OSU lost at Iowa State, that equation was thrown out of balance.

But then Saturday came along. No. 7 Clemson lost at N.C. State. No. 4 Oregon lost to USC.

That meant that OU had a chance to jump to No. 3 behind LSU and Alabama. And with those other losses, there was a good chance that OSU was only going to fall to No. 6 or 7 at the worst.

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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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