NORMAN – Bud Wilkinson, Bob Stoops. Split-T, shotgun spread. Epic winning streak, BCS title game.
Doesn't matter who or what. Doesn't matter when or where. Notre Dame beats Oklahoma.
The Fighting Irish owned the Sooners in the 20th century, and it's Notre Same in this century.
The Irish spanked the Sooners 30-13 and delivered sobering news.
The better team won. Not the flashiest team, other than those glow-in-the-dark helmets that are an abomination to Knute Rockne. But the better team.
“Heck of a football game,” Stoops said. “We came out on the bad end of it.”
Sooners from the '50s and '60s know the feeling.
Luck of the Irish? Luck didn't have anything to do with it.
Cierre Wood's 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, through a hole bigger than Manti Te'o's biceps? Everett Golson's 50-yard strike to Chris Brown in the fourth quarter, which completely reversed momentum? A defense that stuffed the OU run game and rarely let Landry Jones' receivers roam free? Manti Te'o's interception with 4 1/2 minutes left off fellow linebacker Dan Fox's breakup on Jalen Saunders' attempt at catching the ball?
What's lucky about that? The Irish hit harder, played smarter and produced better.
“The second half, the focus was on physical and mental toughness,” said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
Ouch. That's a kind way of saying the Irish were tougher Saturday night.
The Sooners had set the stage for what could have been a glorious fourth-quarter victory, clawing their way back to a 13-13 tie with 9:10 left. Heck, for a moment, the Sooners made the state forget that the Thunder had just traded James Harden. (Yep, that news broke in the fourth quarter.)
You thought this might be a magical night. A night when Landry Jones could claim the signature victory that has eluded him, and the Sooners could chase some of the demons of Notre Dame games past, notably the 7-0 victory 55 years ago which ended the historic 47-game winning streak, and OU could mount a case for the Big Bowl.
Instead, in those final nine minutes, the Irish dominated.
The Owen Field crowd, 86,031 strong, the biggest in state sports history, grew increasingly nervous the longer the game went.
Probably the way the OU throng felt in 1957, when Notre Dame stuck a knife through the Sooner hearts.
What became more and more clear is that Notre Dame is one heck of a team. Far better than anyone thought.
This Irish team, now 8-0, deserves the No. 2 BCS ranking – Notre Dame's schedule to this point is tougher than Kansas State's – and most definitely has awakened the echoes.
Meanwhile, the Sooners must deal with a consolation November. No Big Bowl contention, and no Big 12 title contention, unless K-State loses twice.
“It stinks to lose,” Stoops said. “But in the end, let's recognize we played an excellent football team.
“I'm not looking through any rose-colored glasses, looking to get any moral victories.”
Moral victories are about all that's available for the Sooners against Notre Dame.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.