But the decade's first season produced a perfect Sooner season, 13-0 and OU's seventh national championship.
By decade's end, no program played in more BCS bowls than OU's seven, which matched USC and Ohio State. The Sooners' six conference titles doubled the total of LSU and Florida and were more than even Southern Cal, which won 51/2 in the Pac-10, a league which was noted for its USC monopoly.
The Sooners would be runaway choices for program of the decade, had they won any of three games: the national-title losses to LSU (2003 season), USC (2004) and Florida (2008).
But results count. National championships are the ultimate carrot and carry more weight in determining historic greatness.
So OU probably doesn't rank No. 1 in the '00s, although the Sooners could be slotted anywhere in the top four without too much argument.
It's a decade that ranks with the greatest in Sooner history. The '50s and '70s might have been a hair more glorious; the '80s a shade less so.
But the '00s (the oughts?) take their place with those grand eras, and the 2000s were extra special because of what they followed.
OU in the '90s played in zero BCS (or equivalent) bowl games. The Sooners finished outside the final top 25 six times in the decade. OU's winning percentage for those 10 years was .543.
OU's winning percentage in the '00s — despite a full decade in the tougher Big 12 and an archrival (Texas) at the top of its game — was .821.