Breaking the BCS Blues

PHOENIX — The slide began back in the 2004 Bowl Championship Series National Championship game when OU fell 17-14 to LSU.

USC romped OU 55-19 in the 2005 BCS National Championship game to make it two in a row.

Boise State pulled the improbable back in 2007 with a 43-42 overtime Fiesta Bowl victory over the Sooners, making it three.

West Virginia, another big underdog, smashed the Sooners a year later 47-27 in the desert.

And the following season, OU lost its third straight national championship game appearance, this time to Florida in a 24-14 decision, and the BCS streak hit five.

Now, though, is yet another chance to snap it.

And you better believe they're ready to do just that.

"I wouldn't say [we're] angry, just, you know, [out] to prove people wrong," said defensive tackle Jeremy Beal. "It's going to give us a little motivation. People saying we can't win a BCS game, of course, is going to give us motivation to go out there and win."

Slot receiver Ryan Broyles said they're due.

"I'm just saying we've lost the last four or five, so it's about time to get one," Broyles said.

Beal seconded that.

"We haven't won one in a long time," Beal said. "I think it's five straight now, just, you know, it's an opportunity to show that we can win a BCS game, and we're going to come out strong."

Defensive coordinator spoke of the humiliation of losing five straight and how that should play a role in motivating the Crimson and Cream.

"Like I said, the only thing I've heard about Oklahoma now is people laughing at how we've shown up in these BCS games the last five times," Venables said. "So, I know me as a coach, us as coaches and I feel like our players are the same way, that they're tired of hearing it already and embarrassed about it and we ought to be ready to fight like mad to win this game."

In midst of OU's recent BCS struggles, a lot of criticism has arisen from both inside and outside the Sooner fan base, and that's something head coach Bob Stoops admitted was legitimate.

"Well, in the end, sure, to a [degree] there's always, any time you lose, you're going to be criticized," Stoops said. "That's how it goes."

He also said this:

"You know, in the end, there's always different stories to all of them," Stoops said. "And never right or wrong or never an excuse--in the end, you need to win--but, you know, some of them are to, what's three of them are national champions? You lose to the best team in the country. Other ones, you know, you look, and I'm looking forward to hopefully we'll be at full speed. But the last time we were down there we're without Malcolm Kelly and DeMarco Murray and Reggie Smith and DeMarcus Granger. So, that doesn't help you, and other times, there's coaching changes, so all of that together."

To make a long story short, not one single factor can define why the Sooners have had their problems.

"There's a lot of varying reasons that [you lose], and you're playing championship teams," Stoops said. "That's the other factor everyone just [forgets]. You know, you're playing a champion of another conference is always an excellent football team when you're in these games. So, you know, to a degree sure. Maybe to some other degrees, you know, it doesn't matter. Well, in the end, that's just what's going to happen if you don't win [is criticism]."

This time, like in other years, the mindset of expecting to win won't change, Broyles said, but maybe the outcome actually will.

"I feel like we've done that every other time, too," Broyles said. "So, we'll just come prepared to win like we do every other game. If we're cursed, then we're cursed, but I feel like curses are meant to be broken."

Eventually, all curses, streaks and everything the like are broken.

But will the BCS blunders end this season?

Sooner fans and the nation alike will find out Jan. 1 when OU takes on UConn in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

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