The Sooners had just gotten swept by the Texas Longhorns at home in embarrassing fashion – Texas did not allow a run in the series until the finale – and any shot at making any kind of run in the last month and a half of the season seemed bleak.
But OU surprised everyone and went on a run that propelled it from a postseason contender to a 50-win team in the College World Series.
How did the Sooners do it?
Well, catching fire at the right time was one thing, but the main factor was the team finding its identity and having a never-say-die attitude.
All of that is gone now.
The Sooners are trying to live in the past and haven't had any kind of attitude that resembles a championship-caliber team since losing their first game after starting the season 16-0, head coach Sunny Golloway said.
"But the fact is that when you feel entitled – if you feel entitled as a coach, an assistant coach, a manager, a player and you don't do what you're supposed to because you're entitled to things, you're never going to be a champion," Golloway bluntly said after a 5-2 victory of Bacone on Wednesday. "You're not going to be a champion. So, that's a big problem with what we've got going on right now."
In essence, this team has become complacent and has a sense of entitlement.
And the only way to fix that potential ill-fated mentality is by growing up and being mature about the situation, Golloway said.
"If you go put me in the top row [of the stands] on Friday, don't let me coach this weekend, make me sit up in the stands, I promise you on Tuesday I'm going to coach with a joy in my heart and be glad I'm back in the uniform," Golloway said. "But you don't have to put me up there. I'm going to have a maturity about it, our coaches are gong to have a maturity about it and our players need to. And there unfortunately may be some guys sitting in the top row that have never been off our 27-man [weekend roster] to find the joy to be able to make strong push."
Nobody can assume that some of the team's key players, some of whom have played the past few weeks without much energy and leadership and have played with that sense of entitlement Golloway talked about, won't be on the weekend roster because removing them would weaken the team.
Maybe the Sooners would only be weakened on paper based on how poorly some have played, but the risk of being weakened that much is not worth sending a message to a lackluster squad.
Making a move like that may be the spark that ignites this team during a time when it can't afford another series loss in conference play, but a spark is all that is needed.
Last year's punch to the gut by Texas was that ignition toward last year's run to Omaha.
A series sweep by Nebraska won't be the same kind of spark for a possible run this year, but anything that changes OU's non-existent attitude and identity would welcomed with open arms.