LUBBOCK, Texas — Two weeks ago, quarterback Landry Jones stood at the podium, took responsibility for Oklahoma's home loss to Kansas State and insisted all of the Sooners' goals — including the national championship — were still within reach.
“Typically, every year there's a one-loss team in the championship game,” Jones said. “It's still out in front of us.”
After the myriad struggles through Oklahoma's first three games, Jones sounded like a team leader trying to exude confidence, but also naively clinging to hope where there seemed to be little.
What a difference one Saturday can make in college football.
Jones played what was clearly his best game since losing receiver Ryan Broyles; the Sooner defense applied pressure and earned take-aways; and OU routed previously unbeaten Texas Tech 41-20 in its own house.
Several other unbeatens went down this weekend, which left OU in decent shape in the two human polls that are part of the BCS standings' formula.
OU vaulted four spots to No. 10 in the coaches' poll, and came in ranked 13th in the initial Harris Interactive top 25 rankings, which were released Sunday — one week before the BCS reveals its first standings.
All of a sudden, Oklahoma enters next Saturday's game against archrival Texas with a legitimate shot to play its way back into the national-championship conversation. If Oklahoma prevails in the Cotton Bowl, it would surely be in the BCS's initial top 10.