Recruiting rankings said it, and Saturday night showed it. The talent level gap right now for Oklahoma compared to the elite of college football is there.
What Ohio State did to the Sooners at Owen Field has rarely occurred, but you might think if they met again in Norman, the exact same thing would happen.
OU is trying to claw its way back into the thick of things with the 2017 class. SoonerSquad17 is the third-ranked recruiting class for Scout and features 14 of the 19 recruits as members of the Scout 300.
And OU went all out with its visitor weekend against the Buckeyes. Nineteen official visits with 12 of them being commits with one Texas commit (Kobe Boyce) and six uncommitted recruits.
The result wasn’t what OU was hoping for, no denying that. But sometimes you can turn that loss into a positive.
“I know from visiting with guys through the weekend they had a great weekend,” Stoops said. “They loved it. I thought our personnel handling it did an awesome job. And all the feedback I got was incredibly positive. They’re aware that’s unusual for us.
“We haven’t lost at home much, but they also are aware that they probably could come in and help and make a difference. They know they got to see a great atmosphere and the fans. Every game here has been sold out here for 18 years. That’s pretty special.”
OU hasn’t earned a commitment from the visits just yet, but the Sooners have put themselves in a great position to land multiple ones. Always have to remember the game is just a small part of an official visit weekend.
It was a big part, though, especially for Stoops. He knows on weekends like that his job is not done no matter what happens Saturday. And this time around Sunday wasn’t about celebrating a major victory but trying to pick up the pieces of what went wrong.
No time to sit and pout. It was back to work.
“We had them all over at my house for brunch Sunday morning,” Stoops said. “You pick yourself up and dust yourself off and give yourself a pep talk and go at it. And they’re all special recruits, I think I’m allowed to say that. It’s a special group of people.
“I’ll tell ya, my wife said it when they were all leaving. “What a great group of people.” When you see parents are with them, it’s part of one of the joys of our job, getting to meet people like that and how positive they are.
“Just good people. And to have them over for an hour and a half or so, they pick you up, too. So it was positive.”
The vibe has been about making sure Saturday never happens again. Those in SoonerSquad17 want to make sure when OU goes to Columbus next season, a repeat performance won’t go down.
Those not already in it can get a feel of how they could impact the situation if they were to make the call. There have been times when it’s felt like OU has struck out on the trail in a big visit situation.
This wasn’t one of them. It wasn’t a home run. It wasn’t a strikeout. More like a double that bounced off the wall.
Not the huge impression OU wanted, but the Sooners will have other chances to come up big. As long as SoonerSquad17 remains united, remains a tight unit, OU won’t be too far off to where Saturday realistically will not happen again.