Editor’s Note: Another week, another conference. This time, Matt and Vincent talk about favorites and least favorites in the Big 12.
by Vincent Kwan
Outside of being part of a fanbase that regularly wins National Championships (ROLLTIDEROLL), the best kind of team to cheer for is the one that always overachieves. The stars shine brightly for a constantly overlooked team in a bad market that continually finds itself in a bowl game on or after New Year’s. The fanbases of the Kansas States and Wisconsins of the world are continually appreciative, they’re getting something more beautiful than they could have hoped for.
Oklahoma is on the opposite side of that coin. In the Bob Stoops era, Norman’s been home to two Heisman winners, a national championship, and some of the most dynamic offenses in college football history. When you have that much recent legacy, as a fan base, you’d be right to expect big things every year. But the difficult thing about expectations are that they make success the new normal and leave you more increasingly exposed to disappointment and heartbreak. From an outsider’s perspective, making four national championships in less than 15 years is a dream, but when you have suffer through three national championships losses, that’s a different story. In recent seasons, Oklahoma seems to be defined more by their losses than their accomplishments.
The Sooners suffered two straight National Championship losses in 2003 and 2004 (the 2004 spanking at the hands of USC stands out particularly), but it was 2006 that cemented Oklahoma’s bridesmaid status. Oklahoma played the giant to Boise St.’s David and their Fiesta Bowl loss, one of the most entertaining games in recent memory, ushered in a new era of respect for mid-major football. Adding insult to injury, Oklahoma’s loss to an upstart Boise St. team made them a symbol of the traditional powers loosening their grip, ever slightly, on college football’s pinnacle. The next season would find the Sooners losing to a West Virginia team that had just been unceremoniously abandoned by Rich Rodriguez.
The seasons since for Oklahoma have followed a similar pattern: high expectations met with inopportune losses and unsatisfying results. Oklahoma, like Adam and Eve, have experienced utopia, only exacerbating their pain for having now been cast out of it. Oklahoma fans can often be found glibly describing to others what it was like to feel the providence of God/the BCS, reminding themselves that they, not those football heathens in Manhattan and Ames, have tasted divinity. But in the end, Sooner boasts carry no weight among the philistine ears of the Big 12’s middle tier, only perpetuating the wretchedness that comes with having known glory, only to lose it.
Whatever. Fuck whatever school makes videos like this: