Can OU, OSU football teams get excited when they'd rather be somewhere else?

CHIPS ON THEIR SHOULDER — How difficult will the Bedlam brothers trips to the desert be? OSU would rather be playing in the BCS big bowl and the Sooners would rather be anywhere else, frankly, as long as it was better than the Insight Bowl.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 25, 2011
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“We had big hopes, big dreams. It didn't go the way we wanted … this game is pretty much to get this program back on track.”

Well said. But how can the Sooners be sure each teammate is committed to the cause, especially with several players transferring or considering it?

“One of those things you can't really gauge,” said guard Gabe Ikard. “But I know the guys on this team really want this game.

“We want to go into winter workouts with a positive attitude coming off a victory.”

An Insight Bowl victory does not erase the disappointments of 2011. No one really suggests otherwise.

“We know we didn't have the season we wanted; we all came here for one thing, to win championships,” said safety Tony Jefferson.

But, Jefferson said, “Coach Stoops has been saying we've been practicing well. I speak for the team; we're going to go out and prepare for this W.”

The Sooners hear the grumblings of fans. The disgust with players and coaches alike.

“That's part of coming and playing football at a program like Oklahoma,” Ikard said. “You lose a game, you're disappointing everyone in the state.”

Perhaps the Sooners can use that. Summon an us-against-the-world mentality, which sometimes can be fraudulent but in this case is legit. Not even ardent OU fans are excited about this team or this game.

“A lot of people are doubting us and say we have no heart,” said receiver Kenny Stills. “We want to prove we're the Sooners and we'll play for that name on our jerseys.”

Even if they'd rather be somewhere else.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


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...
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GRASS IS GREENER

BCS BLUES

How teams that thought they belonged in the national title game have fared in their bowl game in the 2000s:

WON

* 2000 Miami: 37-20 over Florida in Sugar Bowl

* 2003 Southern Cal: 28-14 over Michigan in Rose Bowl

* 2004 Auburn: 16-13 over Virginia Tech in Sugar Bowl

* 2008 Texas: 24-21 over Ohio State in Fiesta Bowl

LOST

* 2006 Michigan: 32-18 to Southern Cal in Rose Bowl

* 2007 Virginia Tech: 24-21 to Kansas in Orange Bowl

* 2007 Oklahoma: 48-28 to West Virginia in Fiesta Bowl

SOONER SLUMP

How OU has done in bowl games in which it would rather be elsewhere:

* 2001: Beat Arkansas 10-3 in Cotton Bowl

* 1994: Lost to BYU 31-6 in Copper Bowl

* 1988: Lost to Clemson 13-6 in Citrus Bowl

* 1981: Beat Houston 40-14 in Sun Bowl

* 1976: Beat Wyoming 41-7 in Fiesta Bowl

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