Two years later, after the Sooners routed Texas Tech and created a memorable three-way tie, OU emerged from the pack to win the conference and play for the national championship.
In each of those seasons, though, Oklahoma could've destroyed its good fortune by losing to Oklahoma State in late November. In 2006, the Sooners won 27-21, and two years later, beat the Cowboys 61-41.
This season on Sept. 22, Oklahoma lost at home to Kansas State and fell in the Big 12 standings behind a Wildcats team that — until last weekend — seemed destined for the national-title game.
After Baylor upset the Wildcats last Saturday, though, the Sooners are another K-State loss from taking control of the Big 12. The Wildcats' only remaining regular-season game is at home against Texas on Dec. 1.
If the Sooners lose this year's Bedlam tilt, messy scenarios like four-way ties atop conference standings become possible.
OU's path to Big 12 supremacy is far simpler by beating OSU, then TCU on the road a week later.
“What really matters to my guys is practice today and the game Saturday,” Stoops said when pressed about his team's chance at winning the Big 12. “How are we gonna play well? We're gonna do what we do and work the process and see where we're at on Sunday.
“End of story.”