STILLWATER, Okla. -- The single-engine plane circling Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday afternoon was single-minded. It answered the question that aviators and Oklahoma fans have pondered for ... days:
Is it possible to taunt from 5,000 feet?
|'I think we have a really good chance when you look at what we've done the last two weeks,' Bob Stoops says. (US Presswire)|
"45-35 -- settled on a neutral field," said the banner trailing behind the plane the same way "Use Coppertone" might be seen flying past the beach on a sunny day. This message, though, attempted to clear up a situation murkier than GM's.
That was the score by which Texas beat Oklahoma on Oct. 11. Just in case, you know, you were looking for a way to break an unbreakable three-way tie in the Big 12 South.
To OU, though, 45-35 was sooo 50 days ago.
"To me that's a little ridiculous," Oklahoma's Sam Bradford said making his team's pitch, actually four of them if you count his touchdown passes in the Sooners' 61-41 victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State.
For three days Bradford and his mates have been watching Texas wage its not-so-subtle campaign to stay above Oklahoma in the BCS standings in the event of the three-way tie that became reality on Saturday. At the end of a long, hard and -- in the end, dominating -- regular-season, the perfect teammate, son and player let loose.
"We were watching it," Bradford said of Thursday's 49-9 Texas win over Texas A&M. "A couple of guys came over for Thanksgiving. The fans all had those signs '45-35'. If that's what our system has come to, you have to lobby at the end of the year then I don't know ..."
Actually he does know, so does the entire Sooner Nation. At least it thinks it knows after another 60-point performance -- its fourth consecutive to end the regular season -- produced something close to another blowout.
But it wasn't quite a blowout. When Oklahoma recovered a late fumble up 54-41, you wondered if Bob Stoops felt he had to go for the jugular or merely run out the clock. He split the middle style-points wise, keeping it on the ground with 2:20 left. Chris Brown then ran 28 yards for the touchdown that broke 60 with 25 seconds left.
The exhale could be heard from here to Norman. In the end, that score might be the deciding factor. As distasteful as it might seem, you must admit that a lot of the 175 Harris and coaches poll voters didn't watch or nodded off as the 3 1/2-hour game neared midnight Eastern Time.
When they wake up and open the Sunday paper, 61 will look a helluva lot better than 54. So will scores on Oklahoma's last eight possessions (seven touchdowns, one field goal). Don't forget converting on nine consecutive third downs.