Bad news

Potential national champs look so-so in opener

There was much preseason hype. The young new head coach had everyone excited after an undefeated season. Sooner Football was back. Then disappointment set in.

The opening game effort by the Sooners had a sellout crowd wondering if they still possessed the magic. An uneasy air swept through Memorial Stadium in the second half as the partisans became anxious for a more impressive victory. Every Sooner mistake was magnified. The opponent wasn't that good. By the fourth quarter the negative comments became louder. After all, the offense was lackluster. And of course the national media was watching, on top of that we also had the polls to consider. This game would ruin everything. There would be no way to recover. No way to be the team we thought we were. Texas, Nebraska and maybe others would surely have a field day against this team.

Maybe teams had caught on to the offense. Maybe the Sooner's simply weren't as good as we thought. Leaving the stadium after the game, most fans spoke aloud their doubts about the team. Some were far more vocal than necessary.

The score was 'only' 28-11. The opponent was an average Baylor team. The year was 1974. The young coach was Barry Switzer in his second season. The Sooners would go another 18 games before they experienced defeat, and would finish the year undefeated and untied, winning their fourth National Championship, their first of three under Barry Switzer. Oh yes, the Sooners defeated a tough Texas team 16-13, (one year after blowing them out 52-13), in a classic that year, and Nebraska 28-14 at Lincoln.

Take heart Sooner fans. We don't need 14 blowouts to accomplish our goals. Learn from history and let the negative commentators rage in their drunken fury. They are the offspring of their fathers, who left the same stadium 26 years ago in a panic, questioning the team, the coaching and the future, all at a time when the Sooners were on the front end of a remarkable era of domination. How wrong they were in their complaints, and we for listening, for neither had any validity or effect on the final outcome.

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