Oklahoma, Oklahoma State learned valuable lessons in the desert

Oklahoma got out of El Paso with a win, while Oklahoma State was not so lucky in Tucson. But at least the Cowboys will go into Big 12 play knowing a little more what it takes to compete.
by Berry Tramel Published: September 9, 2012

The Sooners went to the desert in college football's opening weekend, played poorly and made us all wonder what in the tarnation was going on.

Then the Cowboys went to the desert in Week 2 and showed us what tarnation really looks like.

The Sooners didn't do much of anything in El Paso and survived UTEP 24-7. Sometimes doing nothing is not so bad.

The Cowboys went to Tucson, did all kinds of things, like commit 15 major penalties and four turnovers and let receivers run free like open-range mustangs, and were bushwhacked 59-38 by Arizona.

Remember all the angst all week over OSU-Arizona not being televised here on the Plains? Be glad you missed it.

It was one ugly performance, made even more perplexing by freshman quarterback Wes Lunt, who acquitted himself quite well. The kid just off the high school graduation stage was the least of OSU's problems.

And now we're left to wonder if OSU is headed for a major crash. Play like that all season, and the Cowboys won't win six games.

But truth is, just like I said a week ago, strange things happen on the road. That's why football coaches don't like to play outside their own ZIP code. That's why Mike Gundy would take a sheepish rout of hapless Savannah State over a trip to Cactus Land.

All kinds of nonconference results from Saturday remind us that you never know what can happen when you go on the road.

UCLA over Nebraska. Oregon State over Wisconsin. Utah State over Utah. Wake Forest over North Carolina. Change those locales and the result flips, guaranteed.

But road games are necessary in conference play and beneficial out of conference. Remember the old USGA anthem? The tough U.S. Open courses don't punish champion golfers, they identify champion golfers?

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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