Remember that childhood game, King of the Hill? One kid stands at the top of some sort of mound or pile while other kids rush up the incline trying to dislodge the "King."
Any time one of the youngsters is pushed from the summit, the one who does the pushing takes his place. Adults normally stop the game in its early stages because it almost always results in some sort of injury, but that's not the main reason for its brief duration.
No, the game is short on staying power because once the biggest, strongest brut has ascended the top, there is virtually no moving him. The game ends out of frustration when the mystery disappears.
College football used to bear a strong resemblance to King of the Hill. Then parity struck.
Domination has waned for several reasons. Some credit scholarship limits. Others say the summer seven-on-seven leagues are producing more passers and catchers. Many cite outstanding high school coaching, while some point to general improvement in training methods.
Whatever the reason, there are simply more good players than perhaps ever before. And because of that, it's harder to win, and win consistently, than ever before. That's what makes Oklahoma's 7/11 so impressive.
The Sooners have won seven conference football championships over the last 11 seasons. In the BCS world, that's rarified air.
During that same time frame, 2000-2010, only two other schools in BCS conferences can make a similar claim, Ohio State and USC, but since neither plays in a league that decides an outright champion, both have numerous ties. The Buckeyes have shared four of those titles, the Trojans three.
Beyond that, it's difficult to find a school that comes close. In the Big East, five different programs have won or tied for five. In the ACC, Florida State and Virginia Tech both have four. In the SEC, LSU and Florida own three.
The level of competition only accentuates what the Sooners have accomplished. Over those 11 seasons, they've played 41 games against conference opponents that were ranked among the AP top 25, including 14 against top 10 foes. In 2007, OU knocked off No. 1-ranked Missouri in the Big 12 Championship game at San Antonio.
And that win in the Alamodome was somewhat symbolic. Of the 41 games against ranked Big 12 teams, 30 have been played away from Norman, including 11 of the 14 bouts against top 10 foes.
In other words, the seven Big 12 titles cannot be laid at the feet of a weak schedule played mostly at home.
A good friend of mine, a Division I college basketball coach, once made a simple, yet profound assessment of sports when he said, "Winning is hard, losing is easy. I don't know if a lot of people realize just how hard it is to win."
Indeed, yet there stands Stoops and Oklahoma at the top of the hill in seven of the last 11 seasons at a time when just maybe, it's harder to stand there than ever before.