NORMAN — Four days after Baylor routed Oklahoma 41-12, causing widespread panic throughout Sooner Nation, coach Bob Stoops was asked to assess the state of his program.
OU hadn't won an outright Big 12 championship since 2010, didn't have a clear offensive identity and wasn't landing the big-time recruits it once did.
“Seven-and-2 and working to the end of the year,” Stoops tersely responded. “Just co-champs a year ago, right? What else do you want to know? We won it in 2010 and tied it in 2012 and we're going through '13.
“I think there are only 4-5 teams that have won more games over the past five years. I believe that's right. If that's not the answer you are looking for, I'm not sure. It seems like every time you lose a game, it's like ‘Oh geez, the sky is falling.'”
In the less than two months since that statement, Oklahoma went on a four-game winning streak — capped by a stunning 45-31 Sugar Bowl upset of No. 3 Alabama — and now seems like a legitimate 2014 national-title contender. And in the two days after their bowl victory, the Sooners have scored a pair of major recruiting victories.
Five-star running back Joe Mixon announced Saturday that he would sign with Oklahoma, and on Friday, four-star Jenks defensive tackle Marquise Overton committed to the Sooners for next year's recruiting class.
Mixon's announcement came during the fourth quarter of the U.S. Army All-American Game, after which he was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
The 6-foot-2, 207-pounder from Oakley, Calif., is ranked by Rivals as the nation's top all-purpose back, and picked Oklahoma over California, Wisconsin and UCLA.
“Once they won that Alabama game, that sealed the deal,” Mixon said after his announcement on NBC. “Now I'm a Sooner. Let's get it.”