Oklahoma football: Numbers show steep decline in OU program since last BCS Championship appearance

by Jason Kersey Published: November 9, 2013
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— Oklahoma senior captain Gabe Ikard sat down for his postgame interview Thursday night and made no excuses for his team's embarrassing 41-12 loss to Baylor.

“We're not used to getting beat like this,” Ikard said. “We shouldn't get beat like this.”

Losses of that magnitude, though, have become more commonplace of late for Oklahoma. Thursday represented the Sooners' fourth defeat by 20 or more points in the past five seasons. Oklahoma lost the same number of games by such margins in coach Bob Stoops' first 10 seasons in Norman.

That fact is just one of many illustrating the program's decline since its BCS national championship game loss to Florida on Jan. 8, 2009 — the most recent of Stoops' four title-game appearances.

The Sooners won six Big 12 championships during the first 10 years of the Stoops era, but have claimed just one outright title since.

And after Thursday's loss to Baylor — Oklahoma's second conference setback this season — even a shared title seems unlikely in 2013.

Oklahoma has lost 11 games in Big 12 Conference play since 2009; in the 10 preceding seasons, the Sooners lost 14.

To understand the Sooners' slip in national prestige, consider this: Oklahoma spent 114 weeks ranked in the Top 10 of The Associated Press poll throughout Stoops' first 10 seasons. The past five years? The Sooners have cracked the top 10 just 27 times, and will be hard-pressed to reach that level again this season.

Former OU coach Barry Switzer said the decline can be attributed largely to a drop in talent, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.

“We've fallen off a little bit, and maybe that's why we're not as good as we've been,” Switzer said. “We don't have the Tommie Harris', Gerald McCoys, the physicality of Alabama and LSU and people like that.”

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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