As Oklahoma rolls toward the 2008 season carrying reasons and high hopes for a national championship, one optimistic question keeps rising up: Is this the year?
Can the Sooners claim title No. 8 in '08? "I'm planning on it,” OU fan Sherry Nutley said Thursday night as the Sooner Caravan made its final stop at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum. There's a buzz encircling this Sooner squad, one that amplified with Thursday night's gathering, complete with appearances by OU athletes and room-stirring speeches from Joe Castiglione, Jeff Capel, Sherri Coale and, of course, Bob Stoops. Even Coale sounded like she could sense that special something in the air, glancing over her shoulder in response to a rollicking rendition of Boomer Sooner in the sold-out room full of Sooner fans. "There's always a special excitement this time of year because football's about to start,” Coale said. "As you can hear in the background, it's like a good 'ol gospel revival going on.” The good word: No. 1 "It's real possible,” said Charles Russell, a season ticket holder from Oklahoma City. "If the injuries are healed, the little nicks and bruises and whatever, I think they'll be great.” As for concerns, Russell rolled the idea around in his head and failed to produce. "There's really nothing not to like.” Rhett Bolen, another season ticket holder from Oklahoma City, hesitated only slightly. "Keep our linebackers healthy,” Bolen said. "If we can keep those guys healthy, that's my only concern right now. "I think going into the season, you always have to say they're going to win it all.
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OU women's basketball coach Sherri Coale autographs a ball Thursday at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman