One of the rallying cries for Oklahoma heading into the 2015 season was being the underdog. It’s easy to get behind that and come together as a team.
Experts across the board were picking TCU and Baylor to be the top dogs in the conference and the Sooners were, to coin a popular term, irrelevant.
Heading into the Red River Showdown, nothing could be further from the truth. The Sooners enter at 4-0 and are back in the top 10 in both of the polls.
But if you ask cornerback Zack Sanchez, the underdog label still applies. The chip on the shoulder isn’t going to go away.
“That chip is still there,” Sanchez said. “It's not going anywhere any time soon. There's still a lot of things that we've got to do and we feel that we've got a lot of improvement left to make as a defense collectively and as a team.
“That chip's still there and probably will be until January, until we're holding up that golden trophy. It's just a mentality that this team has. It's one week at a time and we've got to get better every week.”
It’s an interesting dynamic partly because OU is playing so well that it’s hard to fathom why anybody would think it could possibly lose before the Nov. 14 showdown in Waco against Baylor.
No doubt the Sooners have an interesting three-game set here coming up, starting with Texas on Saturday, but there’s nothing to suggest OU cannot handle it.
The only thing is 2014 when the Sooners weren’t physically or mentally tough to be able to take a hit and bounce back. This doesn’t feel like that team. But the key to doing what OU has been able to do so far this season has been having that edge. It can’t go away Saturday in the Cotton Bowl.