Barry Switzer often says that Bud Wilkinson built the monster and it has since fallen to subsequent coaches to feed it.
Most would define the monster as the long-term achievement of the Oklahoma football program. It’s probably just as much the level of expectation for that achievement. Perhaps they’re one and the same.
The OU championships have become so numerous that we’ve become somewhat callous to anything that doesn’t come with a trophy.
And because championships tend to beget championships, no one would suggest that the standard be relaxed. What I might suggest is that we broaden it just a bit to enjoy a little more of the ride.
This is the time of year when the bottom-of-the-screen trailer reminds the world that Oklahoma has lost its last five BCS games. In the name of perspective, that fact should be balanced. Only five of the 120 FBS schools have even played in five BCS games. Oklahoma has played in seven. Only Ohio State has more with eight.
Oklahoma won the 2000 national crown
and has since lost three BCS title games, including two in the opponent’s home state. Only four schools have played for three championships. By playing in four, Oklahoma leads the nation.
And when a program plays in BCS games
, it plays against the elite. A lengthy string of bowl victories and regular participation in the BCS rarely go hand-in-hand.
To even get a BCS opportunity, a program has to win at a ridiculous rate. It was mentioned earlier this season that Oklahoma reached double digits in victories for an unparalleled 32 times
. The fact that the win total now stands at 11 is more impressive.
Oklahoma has reached that total 20 times, six more than any other school.
A common denominator in much of this? Bob Stoops
, his staff and his players.
The BCS numbers all came on Stoops’ watch and the same can be said for nine, yes nine, of those 20-win seasons. Point of reference: Stoops has only been at Oklahoma for 12 years.
The Switzer Center
exhibit area was built to house Oklahoma’s immense collection of hardware. The thirst for more will never be quenched. But it also was built to chronicle memories and the Sooners’ place among college football’s elite even when the end result nets something other than a trophy.
Here’s to hoping that while we recognize one’s importance over the other, we never lose sight of the significance of both. This isn’t a matter of substance over style. It’s a matter of more substance in some years than others.