DALLAS – Bob Stoops says he doesn't remember the OU fan reaction after the 2005 Texas game.
But he knows it wasn't good.
Those Vince Young Longhorns routed the Sooners 45-12, giving Stoops a sliver of what life has been like far too often for Mack Brown.
Seven times in the 107-game OU-Texas history, the verdict has been decided by at least 38 points. Mack has been on the wrong end of four of those blowouts. Including two straight that has helped put Mack's career in a sling.
Life's not easy for a coach who loses OU-Texas. Life can't be bearable for a coach who loses two straight by blowout proportion.
“No, I wouldn't think so,” Stoops said. “I'm sure it wasn't for me at that time (2005). But I was fighting through all kinds of issues in that year, just trying to win another game.”
Which is sort of the point. Stoops hasn't always owned Mack Brown; Stoops leads Mack 9-5. Heck, as recently as summer 2010, Stoops had a Texas Problem, having lost four of five to the Longhorns.
But Stoops has rolled up his sleeves and gone back to work. OU football isn't where it once was, but it's a far cry from where it could be. Where Texas is.
This series is a priceless measuring stick. You don't always win OU-Texas. Great teams can lose OU-Texas. The 2004 ‘Horns; the ‘2008 Sooners.
But to be consistently pulverized by an archrival, when everyone from coast to coast calls your program the nation's best job? Inexcusable.
No team comes into the Cotton Bowl unfocused. The second Saturday of October sneaks up on no one. The talent divide between these squads rarely is wide.
So a blowout is puzzling. Repeated blowouts are revealing.
63-14 in 2000. 65-13 in 2003. 55-17 in 2011. 63-21 in 2012. Something is rotten in the state of Texas.
Mack Brown has a job this year not because the Texas brass believes in him. Mack has a job because UT didn't want to face the unpleasantness of starting over.
OU wouldn't be much different. OU leadership would be slow to fire Stoops, if it ever came to that, knowing what he had done for the program. Fans would revolt, much like Longhorn fans demand change. But Stoops is a transcendent coach. So is Mack. Which is what makes the Longhorns' performance in the Cotton Bowl so inexplicable.
Coaches with pedigree foster patience within their bases. Neither OU nor Texas will last long with a coach who couples trying to find his way with Cotton Bowl disaster.
Only 13 times has the OU-Texas game been decided by more than 30 points. Four of those coaches (OU's John Blake in 1998, UT's Fred Akers in 1986, UT's Ed Price in 1956, UT's W.E. Metzenthin in 1908) didn't make it to the next year.
Texas stuck with Darrell Royal after a 52-13 loss in 1973, primarily because he was Darrell Royal.
OU stuck with Chuck Fairbanks after a 41-9 loss in 1970, thanks to an encouraging finish to the season.
Texas stuck with David McWilliams after a 44-9 los in 1987, but that was McWilliams' first season.
Ironically, McWilliams was replaced after the 1991 season, despite three straight wins over OU. Those were different days. The rivalry's status had dipped.
The luster is restored, thanks to Stoops and Mack. They resurrected the monster, which now is devouring Mack.
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.