Wow! Oklahoma 65, Texas Tech 21
If for some reason you weren't watching Saturday night's game between Oklahoma and Texas Tech, you missed a clinic by one of college football's longtime powers. With the pundits expecting a see-saw battle between a pair of great offenses, Oklahoma's defense put a wrench in the works, stopping the Red Raiders offense cold early and often. Meanwhile, the Sooners' offense simply rolled in the first half like they have all year, taking a 42-7 halftime lead on the way to a euphoric 65-21 victory.
Those 65 points were achieved in just over three quarters of work, as Oklahoma's final touchdown came a minute into the fourth quarter. After that the reserves came in, threatening to cross the 70-point mark several times before a raucous and festive Norman crowd.
This was one of those monster blowouts people will remember for a long time. Oklahoma's been on the other side of a few of them, but tonight it was their chance to put on a show. With No. 1 Alabama idle and Florida bashing lowly Citadel, tonight's showing could make things very interesting when the next round of polls come out. The Sooners are guaranteed to gain some first-place votes, and perhaps jump any combination of those ahead of them: Alabama, Florida and Texas.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech is in for a hard, hard fall. Graham Harrell's Heisman Trophy hopes are dead. Their victory over Texas will likely be questioned, if not outright ignored. Coach Mike Leach will get teased a bit after a tremendous season built on erasing old demons.
Texas Tech's offense was perceived as a gimmick until it took down Oklahoma last year and Texas this year. But life isn't fair and, right or wrong, this big of a defeat right at the peak of their success -- at No. 2 in the rankings -- is disastrous for their public perception. College football is nothing if not about perception.
Oklahoma's demons aren't erased, either. They have a history of disappointing bowl defeats under coach Bob Stoops and smart voters will be cautious when it comes time to make that final decision about who to place in the BCS Championship game. Oklahoma must still face rival Oklahoma State in the Bedlam series and could win the Big 12 Championship game if they win the conference tiebreaker.
For one night though, none of that matters. Like the fans in Cincinnati tossing oranges on the field, folks in Norman are feeling good about themselves and their team tonight. The stadium energy was as good as I've ever seen for Oklahoma, taking on a party feel in the chill of November. Rock on.