Let’s look at just one more thing.
OU cannot lose twice to TCU
Maybe the best thing for the Sooners is seeing Texas on the schedule. If there’s even a hint of being down in the dumps after Saturday’s loss to TCU, it can’t and won’t last long with the Longhorns now the target.
OU cannot lament about what could have or should have been against the Horned Frogs. The missed opportunities on offense. The blown assignments and awful start on defense. Being oh so close but falling short. Although there were a number of things you could dwell about, it has to be left behind.
“It’s extremely disappointing, obviously,” co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We can’t let this game define us, define our season.”
No such thing as a good time to lose, but the Sooners dreams were not dashed on that afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas. OU has fallen to No. 9 in the coaches poll and No. 11 in the AP poll.
Or to put it another way, if the Sooners win the rest of their games, they’re likely to still make that four-team college football playoff.
And Baylor can help out OU this weekend if the Bears defeat TCU, setting up the showdown in Norman on Nov. 8 where the Sooners could once again get an opportunity to showcase what they’re all about to the selection committee.
That game is still a month away and right now all focus has to be on Texas. You figure after last season it shouldn’t be hard to find that motivation. The Sooners were the heavy favorite before getting pummeled 36-20 by the Longhorns.
Texas is reeling itself. That same sense of desperation it had last October in the Cotton Bowl should show up once again this time around. The Longhorns are 2-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
A loss Saturday essentially takes out Charlie Strong’s club from any consideration of a conference championship in his first year in Austin.
It’s the first time since 2007 both OU and Texas are coming into annual clash coming off a loss. That game was a fun one, won by the Sooners 28-21. Records rarely, if ever, matter in a rivalry so rich in tradition such as this one.
“Definitely,” said cornerback Zack Sanchez about if it helps playing Texas after an emotional loss to TCU. “We have to be on our toes. We remember what happened last year.”
The Sooners did a lot of things wrong against the Horned Frogs. From offense to defense to coaching, nobody was free from fault.
OU coach Bob Stoops wasn’t about making excuses following the game. OU wasn’t overlooking TCU. He said his team was ready, was playing it week-to-week like it needed to do.
Simple fact was the Sooners didn’t execute and make the timely plays when TCU did. The loss hasn’t taken away OU’s chances at anything and certainly hasn’t changed Stoops’ opinion about his group of guys.
“I like our team,” Stoops said. “I don’t back down from that even after today. They have a great attitude. They have a great team chemistry. We’ve got to keep getting better.”
That first step is Saturday against its familiar foe.