AMES, Iowa — Bob Stoops has been grousing about late-night kickoff times for his Sooners. Well, Saturday, he should be pleased.
OU plays at 11 a.m. at Jack Trice Stadium, and barring flight delays, 17 overtimes or an Iowa State upset, the Sooners can be back home before sundown, adorned with orange pom-poms.
That's right. OU must turn cheerleader in this month of November. Cheerleader and scoreboard watcher. Lighting a candle or two wouldn't hurt, either, as the Sooners try to coax victory out of whoever is playing Kansas State.
With Big Bowl hopes gone, the Sooners now chase a Big 12 Championship, which can only come if Bill Snyder's Purple People Eaters lose twice. Saturday night against OSU would be a good place to start.
“Maybe someone will help us,” said OU center Gabe Ikard.
The unbeaten, second-ranked Wildcats have run roughshod over the Big 12 since springing a 24-19 upset on the Sooners in September. K-State throttled Kansas by 40, West Virginia by 41 and Texas Tech by 31.
The only squadron to stand toe-to-toe with K-State were these Cyclones, here at Jack Trice. KSU survived 27-21 on Oct. 13.
“Obviously, led by Collin Klein, they're really a fundamentally sound and physical football team,” Ikard said. “They're playing the same way every Saturday. Their consistency's impressive.”
But the Sooners can hope against hope, because similar fortune has come their way before. In 2006, Texas whacked OU, then took a 6-0 record into the second week of November.
Then quarterback Colt McCoy was banged up, and the Longhorns suffered back-to-back upsets, at K-State and home against Texas A&M. Suddenly, the Sooners were South Division champs and went on to win the Big 12.