Not even two years have passed since Oklahoma played for a national championship.
It seems like longer.
The months since then have been tough. A never-ending rash of injuries led to a five-loss season a year ago. A possible return to glory has been derailed by serious road problem this season.
Forty years of wandering in the wilderness, it isn't, but still, this hasn't been a two-year era flowing with milk and honey either.
But win on Saturday at Oklahoma State, and all will be right with the Soonerites.
Consider what a Bedlam victory would mean to OU â€“ validation that the road woes are a thing of the past, victories against rivals Texas and OSU in the same season for the first time since 2007, a Big 12 South title and a trip to the conference championship title game.
The Sooners have played for the Big 12 title seven times in the past decade. Going back to the championship game would be familiar. Playing again the first weekend of December would be comforting.
It would also be a chance to say goodbye to longtime rival and Big Ten wannabe Nebraska, the likely North Division rep.
A fitting parting gift?
Perhaps a swift kick in the backside, just for old time's sake.
But before the Sooner Nation starts making plans for a big-red reunion, there's this serious matter of Bedlam.
Winning in Stillwater is going to take a big-time effort and a high-level performance. There have been plenty of years when OU has taken a superior team to OSU and struggled.
2006: The Fiesta Bowl team squeaked by OSU, 27-21. Lendy Holmes tipped a potential game-winning touchdown pass away from D'Juan Woods on the final play of the game.
2004: A team that would play for a national championship won arguably the best Bedlam game of all time, 38-35. A game-tying field goal hooked left with 11 seconds remaining.
2002: A Sooner squad with a shot at the national championship game had those title hopes dashed with a 38-28 Cowboy victory.
Bedlam in Stillwater over the past decade or so has almost always been a competitive game, no matter how much better the Sooners have been.
But here's the thing about this year's contest â€” OU isn't better than OSU.
How will the Sooner defense handle a Cowboy offense that is explosive yet balanced? How will the Sooner offense fair against a Cowboy defense that continues improving?
OSU isn't without its faults, but the Cowboys have been more consistent, more predictable than the Sooners this season. Yes, OU finally got a win in a true road game last week at Baylor, but it could've been a fluke. An inferior opponent. An out-of-the-ordinary road performance for the Sooners.
Or maybe OU really has its road woes solved and proved it by smacking around a decent Baylor team.
We'll know for certain Saturday.
Straight up, OSU is the better team heading into this game, which would make an OU win even more meaningful. Go to OSU and leave with a win, and it would be a big-time accomplishment. It would be the highlight of the season. It would be the signature win.
It would be a way out of the wilderness.