Wow, the third quarter of the Cotton Bowl was the single worst quarter of football I've seen OU play since the second quarter of the 55-19 debacle against USC in the 2005 national title game. The warning signs were all there in the first half: Big-play drives by Texas A&M countered by long, time-consuming drives requiring constant execution by the Sooners.
*Tress Way had a good last game punting the ball for OU.
When the final gun sounded on Oklahoma’s 41-13 humiliation at the hands of Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, I tried to write about the game itself.
About one of the worst defensive efforts in recent memory. About horrific offensive play-calling. About watching a team that slumped through the second half like they were on their way to a colonoscopy. About an ass-kicking typically reserved for Savannah State showing up for a paycheck game.
Maybe it reflects a lack of creativity or simple competency on my part, but I have run out of ways to write of the stunningly familiar disappointments of Bob Stoops’ tenure as Oklahoma’s head coach.
*Fullback Leon Heath rushed for 150 yards on 15 carries (11.3 average) and scored two touchdowns to the lead the Sooners to a 35-0 victory over LSU in the 1950 Sugar Bowl. Heath was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player. Health followed that by rushing 20 times for 121 yards (6.05 average) in a 13-7 loss to Kentucky in the 1951 Sugar Bowl.
*Halfback Larry Grigg scored the only touchdown in OU’s 7-0 win over Maryland in the 1954 Orange Bowl. As a defensive back, he also intercepted the Terrapins’ pass in the end zone late in the game to thwart a possible tie.
*OU and Maryland met again two years later, and the Terps (trailing 14-6) were driving for a score. Carl Dodd intercepted at the 18-yard line and sailed 82 yards for the game’s final touchdown. The Sooners prevailed, 20-6.
The Texas A&M Aggies’ meteoric rise grew into one of the 2012 college football’s biggest stories for a number of reasons, not the least of which being the skepticism about their ability to compete in the SEC. Forget pundits – I suspect that if you asked A&M fans before the season, a vast majority would have considered seven wins or so a successful year.
Win 10 games and beat Alabama? Dream on.
In the course of 12 games, however, new coach Kevin Sumlin, Heisman-winning freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel and the rest of A&M’s overachievers have completely changed the dynamic around the program. The discussion no longer revolves around whether or not the Aggies can survive in the SEC, but instead whether or not Sumlin is building a monster in College Station.
When the Sooners and Aggies tee it up at the Cotton Bowl on January 4, it is expected to be an exciting match up of high-powered offenses. Perhaps the most exciting bowl game ever for OU was the 1981 Orange Bowl, which found the Sooners also relying on its offensive firepower to score a thrilling win.
The 1980 Sooners began Barry Switzer’s eighth season at 2-2 with wins over Kentucky and Colorado, but they dropped games against Stanford and Texas. After starting at No. 5 in the preseason, Oklahoma had fallen to 17th in the polls. The Sooners swept their next seven games, which included an out-of conference win over North Carolina, and captured the Big Eight conference title. They had climbed their way back to No. 4 in the country. As Big Eight champs, they got an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl to meet second-ranked Florida State.
The 10-1 Seminoles had outscored their opponents by an average of 32 to 7. They lost to Miami 10-9, but, just like OU, rebounded to win their final seven games, too.
All-conference candidates Demontre Hurst, Tony Jefferson and Aaron Colvin would lead the secondary and provide some big plays. Javon Harris and Gabe Lynn would thrive in their new roles. OU would stop giving up so many long scoring passes and 400-yard passing days.
The days of watching linebackers on midget slot receivers 40 yards downfield would be over. Real nickel and dime formations would be used.
I think the article is saying that while both teams in the Cotton Bowl may have the same record, Texas A&M’s version of 10-2 is clearly superior to the one sported by Oklahoma. I’m taking that from the headline and bits and pieces of the article, because it's far from clear to me.
Anyway – assuming I’m reading Cessna’s intentions correctly – they’d call this one “bulletin board material” back in the day. Whether or not Bob Stoops maintains a bulletin board in the OU locker room, though, I imagine the Sooners have picked up on the idea that Cessna’s opinion isn’t unique among the punditry.