NORMAN —The only logical assumption was Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops must have gone out of his way to disrespect Andre Ware’s mother. "How dare he!” cried Sooner Nation in August, after the former Heisman winner and current ESPN analyst predicted the Sooners would lose four games. Ranked No. 3 in the preseason polls, Oklahoma was among a handful of favorites to compete for the national title. Oklahoma won 23 of its 28 games in two seasons, and with several players in the conversation for the best at their position in college football, Ware took plenty of criticism, thanks to his peculiar prediction. "Oklahoma fans are passionate, and rightfully so,” Ware said this week. "When you say something like that, a lot of places will let it go and move on down the road. That’s not the case at the University of Oklahoma.” With the season now more than half over, Ware’s prediction doesn’t look so outrageous. Though Oklahoma was a three-touchdown favorite in its season opener against Brigham Young, Ware said the Sooners would lose. They did. He warned that a road trip to Miami would be far from a repeat of the Sooners’ 2007 blowout win in Norman. It was. Ware was wrong about Tulsa’s offense troubling the Sooners (shutout in a 45-0 loss in Norman), but Oklahoma came a step closer to fulfilling the former Houston quarterback’s prediction after losing to Texas in Dallas to fall to 3-3 on the season. "I’m not in the business to feel vindicated,” Ware said. "I don’t take any satisfaction in saying, ‘Hey, I told you so.’ It’s what I believed at the start of the season, and it’s how it’s seeming to unfold. I just keep calling games.” Ware never quite explained, other than referencing Oklahoma’s suspect offensive line, what made him think the Sooners’ national championship hopes would be shattered so early in the season. Now, he says his inspiration was Clemson’s 2008 team, which returned a host of skill players, including a pair of superstar running backs, C.J. Spiller and James Davis, but just one offensive lineman. The Tigers, who opened the season in the top 10, were blown out by Alabama in their season opener and finished 7-6, winning just four ACC games. "When I looked at Oklahoma, I saw the same picture,” Ware said. "It was quite clear to me, even with Sam back, that there were going to be some struggles, especially early, before the line had a chance to gel together.” Bradford sprained the AC joint in his throwing shoulder just before halftime of the Sooners’ season-opening loss. The reigning Heisman winner missed three games, returned for one, but was shelved for good after re-injuring the shoulder on Oklahoma’s second offensive drive against Texas. "I didn’t take into account or factor for injuries, though certainly they’re a part of the game,” Ware said. "I just felt the teams I picked them to lose to would be better, at the time they played them, than the University of Oklahoma.” The Sooners are still a loss away from fulfilling Ware’s prediction, but he sees no reason to revise his preseason prediction. Rather, he says Oklahoma is still on track to making him look like a 21st-century Nostradamus. "They’ve got one more loss coming, and it’s against their rival, Oklahoma State,” Ware said. "I still think they’ll finish the year 8-4.” Text "SOONER” to 65360 for your chance to win a $100 gift card from O’Connells. OU news text updates from NewsOK sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts.
OU at Nebraska→When: 7 p.m. Saturday →Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb. →TV: ABC (Cox 8) →Radio: KRXO-FM 107.7