Overheard in the Houston airport Sunday morning: an OSU fan told another, “I sure didn't think we looked very good.”
This after an 18-point victory, on a neutral field to boot, over an SEC team coming off three straight winning seasons.
Forgive the fan his hubris. He was watching a game that was foreign to his eyeballs.
Just part of a strange, strange August Saturday. The Cowboys and Sooners each won football games. They gave up three points combined and their quarterbacks both did more damage with their legs than their arms.
What is this, 1948? Did they also play single-platoon, with leather helmets and turtleneck sweaters? Did the Cowboys travel by train to Houston, where they dispatched Mississippi State 21-3? Did the Sooners celebrate their 34-0 thumping of Louisiana-Monroe with sockhop at the Student Union?
This kind of football — the OU-Monroe game totaled 17 punts; OSU-Miss State totaled just three possessions that got within 10 yards of pay dirt — is a mystery to us.
We haven't seen this in years: 21-3 is a typical first quarter score for OSU; a Sooner shutout of a spread offense has been dreamland for the longest time.
In the previous three years, OU played six games in which the losing team scored at least 30 points. OSU played 15 such games.
Plus, the quarterbacks were old school.
State's J.W. Walsh threw for 135 yards and ran for 125. OU's Trevor Knight completed 39 percent of his passes, which is straight out of 1948; he rushed for 103 yards and passed for just 86.
So what did we see Saturday? A cosmic collision that shoved us off our axis? Or have we turned the battleship, and video-game football is in the rearview mirror?
Bob Stoops says for everybody to hold their horses.
“We haven't done anything dramatic,” Stoops said Saturday night. “Last year we had a lot of good (defensive) games early too, right?
“You guys were bragging on them and bragging on them, then you wanted to throw them under the bus. It's ‘what have you done for me lately,' but lately it's pretty good.”
Lately as in one game. So Stoops is right. Despite some evidence that Louisiana-Monroe had some offensive prowess, it's still Louisiana-Monroe.
And even though Mississippi State is in the SEC, the Bulldogs aren't Georgia or Alabama or one of the Dixie Darlings.
The Bedlam boys will play much better offenses.
But how much better? Robert Griffin is gone. Brandon Weeden is gone. Ryan Tannehill is gone. Landry Jones is gone, and even though ol' Landry took a lot of grief, he never flirted with 39 percent.
The Big 12's opening week reminded us that the league's quarterbacking has taken a dip. West Virginia and Kansas State, for example, played I-AA foes and each scored just three touchdowns.
The Sooners and Cowboys are going with quarterbacks better at running, rather than flinging the football, around the sandlot. Partly by design, partly out of necessity.
Maybe the cosmos have conspired to bring sanity back to football in our part of the country.
“All the credit really goes to the defense,” OSU tailback Jeremy Smith said after the victory over Mississippi State. “Those guys stuck their nose in there and got after it.”
Been awhile since we've heard that. This is going to take some getting used to.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.