Iowa State, Baylor remind us why college football is great

by Berry Tramel Published: November 20, 2011
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Different days. Different parts of the country. Different weather. Different moods. Different endings.

But make no mistake. The Cowboys and Sooners were in the same place over the weekend.

Never-Never Land.

Never before had Iowa State beaten a team ranked No. 2 in the country. Or No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 or No. 6.

Never before had Baylor beaten the Sooners, no matter the ranking.

All that changed in a 24-hour period that shifted our state off ground zero of college football's annual Wipeout.

Two straight nights of fans storming the field, first Friday night in the cold of Ames, Iowa, then Saturday night in the warm humidity of Waco, Texas.

Down went the Cowboys from national title contention, then out went the Sooners.

And once again America was reminded of why this maddening sport, with its scandal and its deified coaches and its immoral scheduling and its unsatisfying postseason, still grips us the way Pete Rose gripped his Mizuno.

We can't quit this sport, not when it gives us a weekend like Iowa State 37, OSU 31, and Baylor 45, OU 38, and Southern Cal 38, Oregon 35. Not when a couple of unassuming November nights leaves the top 10 looking like one of my bowling splits.

It stinks for the Cowboys, who were bearing down on history. It stinks for the Sooners, who were thinking Big Bowl themselves.

But it's fabulous for college football. You know it's coming, a week in which upsets reign, you just don't know when.

And it's fabulous for the Big 12, with its historic bottom-feeders pulling off the double upset.

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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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