NORMAN — One of the downsides of having as much historical success as Oklahoma is the all-out party that breaks out wherever and whenever the Sooners lose on the road.
Recent history illustrates an understandable trend of field-storming when OU goes down away from Owen Field.
Missouri last year? Fans on the field. Baylor this year? Fans on the field.
It's what people do.
Think the same could be true Saturday night in Stillwater, should Oklahoma State defeat OU? It wouldn't be an upset, technically, but emotions would run high if OSU could win its first ever outright conference championship.
It would be the Cowboys' 17th victory in the series, compared to 82 for the Sooners — fuel for the home crowd's fire to get wild.
“You know,” OU cornerback Demontre Hurst said, “I don't want to see any fans rush the field again.”
Yeah, defeating Oklahoma definitely creates a certain, particular frenzy among opposing fan bases. Take Lindsay Stranahan, if you don't believe it.
The 18-year-old Baylor freshman was in the front row at Floyd Casey Stadium for the Bears' upset of the Sooners a couple of weeks ago.
Stranahan and her friends started talking at halftime, when Baylor led 17-10, about what they would do if their school defeated OU for the first time in its history.
The last-minute win, dramatically driven by the legs and right arm of Robert Griffin III, allowed them to do just that. A swarm of Baylor students and fans poured onto the turf and headed for midfield.
Oh, and Stranahan was on crutches.
“Staying back while everyone else celebrated was never an option,” said the native Ohioan who had sprained her foot a couple of weeks earlier.“Baylor had never beat Oklahoma before. I wanted to rush the field to be part of something that I would remember forever.”
It's an operational hazard for the Sooners. If you're good, you're a target – and a reason to celebrate.
“All of Baylor, and I'm pretty sure all of Waco, was crazy that night,” Stranahan said. “As my friends and I were walking, cars would honk and people would cheer when they saw anybody wearing green and gold. Everybody was united.
“Personally, I still can't get over that game. I get excited just thinking about it.”
Naturally, the moment has the opposite effect on the losing team.
“There's lot of things going through your head,” OU center Ben Habern said. “You're frustrated you lost. You kind of just want to get off the field, honestly.”
But that can be tough to do. At Baylor, it's an awkward path as it is to get to the visitors' locker room. Then add in a few thousand revelers, blocking the way to the descending staircase at midfield.
“I wouldn't have had a problem going over and shaking Baylor's hands or anything, but, with all the fans rushing, you get in a pile and you don't know what's going to happen,” Habern said. “It's one of those times when you just want to get off the field.”
Not that they need added motivation in Bedlam, but avoiding a similar scene in Stillwater would be a proper goal Saturday for OU.
“It was my first time being bum-rushed by fans,” Hurst said of Waco. “It's not real fun.”