Another hearty helping of Thanksgiving Bedlam

This time, there are bowl implications at stake for both teams, not just one. Expect a fight to the end.

It is finally here. The week that fans, no matter their allegiance, have anticipated since Nov. 25, 2001.

The lights of the Owen Field scoreboard still glow in the darkness of fans' dreams.


No one expected it, and certainly no one planned it.

The Cowboys were four-touchdown underdogs in the last contest against Oklahoma. This season, though, things will be a little different.

The slumping of the shoulders has turned into a swagger for OSU's men of the gridiron.

They know now that even when adversity is at its toughest, they can pull through.

The defending National Champions weren't invincible during last year's Turkey Showdown. And this year, the Cowboys are finally feared by their in-state rival, finally feared by one of the best teams in the game.

When they enter Lewis Field, Saturday, the Cowboy players should have no problem realizing they are on their home turf. Chants of "Beat OU" will likely flood through the city, able to be heard for blocks and blocks.

Fans now have a lot to cheer for.

Following the 2001 matchup, Sooner players were quoted saying the likes of, "We just overlooked them."

That doesn't sit well with OSU fans, nor its players.

The Cowboys like to think they were the ones who came out on top because they out-played the magic of the Sooner defense.

In fact, when OSU receivers T.D. Bryant and Rashaun Woods made receptions that were difference-makers, the magic was nowhere in sight.

And now, the players are focused on what this year's game will bring.

"They can come overlook us again for all I care," defensive back Chris Massey said. "The game is won on the scoreboard — not in all the talk."

This go 'round, the Cowboys have more to play for, they have more at stake and so do the Sooners.

On the table for OSU — a trip to Boise, Idaho, or a trip to somewhere a step up on the bowl ladder.

For the Sooners, a possible berth in the Fiesta Bowl.

Cowboy fans, more is at stake than bragging rights. The very destination of your Christmas present-opening escapade is awaiting a final score from the turf that Barry Sanders skipped along his road to the Heisman Trophy.

Last year was broken roses, but this year, OSU fans are buying Tostitos chips in bulk.

The greatest story in college football is the tale of the underdog. And the Cowboys are ready to fit in the glass slipper again.

If they close their eyes really tight, they may be able to see those scoreboard lights again.

Maybe on Saturday a new memory will be created. New scores, new dreams. And for one of the teams -- a better future.

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