Sorry for being a day late on the column this week, but when the judge tells you you're going to trial on Monday morning, that means Sunday afternoon/evening is spent getting ready for trial, and columns have to wait. It was just as well, since it took almost that long to get dried out after the game.
As a longtime admirer of the Nebraska program and fans, I can only say that what I saw Saturday night made me sad. Those folks have turned their proud tradition over to a hack of an athletic director who hired a worthless NFL has-been of a coach to drive them into the ground. Do you think Dr. Tom, his 90's blowouts of the Sooners notwithstanding, would have run off the field screaming at the Sooner fans, calling them "****ing hillbillies?" Would Dr. Tom have gone ballistic over a few oranges tossed onto the field? Would Frank Solich, who played and coached at Nebraska, have done something like that? Of course not. Bob Devaney must be spinning in his grave, God rest his soul.
At least when the Huskers smoked us in 1996 and 1997, we were trying to win. We didn't have the horses or the coaching, but at least we were trying to win. Nebraska came into Norman Saturday night, and it was like watching Pat Jones' old OSU teams play at Lincoln years ago. Up the middle, up the middle, up the middle, punt. Get scored on, repeat. Multiple runs up the gut on third and long. Running the draw play (that was their only good play) seven or eight times after we had finally diagnosed it and getting stuffed every time. They were only trying to keep the clock running and keep the score down, not trying to win the game, and that's pathetic.
The bizarre thing is that Bill Callahan came to Nebraska after getting fired by the Oakland Raiders. Again, that was the Oakland Raiders. You know, the team whose fans dress up in bizarre costumes and throw batteries at the opposing players? Yeah, those Oakland Raiders. But Callahan is appalled by the "throwing of fruit" on the field?!? At the OU-Nebraska game?!? I'd venture to say that there have been more oranges thrown at OU-Nebraska games over the years, by both sides, than Florida can put out in a good growing season. I guess as far as Callahan is concerned, it could have been apples or pears – it was just fruit.
And then, of course, there was the incident before the game when a geeked-up Nebraska scrub lineman head-butted a Ruf/Nek with his football helmet and knocked out a few teeth. According to Callahan, that was our fault, too, what with those guys with the "pop guns" so close to the field and all. It's a recipe for trouble, according to Callahan, with the "pop guns" and the flying fruit. Never mind that the Ruf/Neks have been around for nearly 100 years and no other opposing players has felt the need to head-butt any of them before the game.
Now, I don't blame anyone in Husker red for being peeved that some idiots were throwing oranges at the Nebraska players. That's just wrong. Of course, I saw a couple of Nebraska players chucking oranges back from the field into the stands, and that's a no-no, too. I also don't blame them for kicking the field goal at the end of the game. I mean, we had just been trying to run the score up on them, and they had a chance to put up some points against our scrub defense. Power to them for sticking our noses in it and ruining our shutout.
However, that having been said, I had no problem with the blatant attempt at score padding. 30 points wasn't nearly enough. It wasn't enough for payback, and it wasn't enough for style points for the pollsters, whatever the hell that means. Maybe if our guys do flips when they cross the goal line, we'll get more style points. Anyway, if we're lucky, we'll see them again in Kansas City and we can really put a whipping on them.
And is it just me, or have the Huskers' scarlet red pants gotten so bright that they're almost orange? Maybe it was just the lighting, but it definitely looked weird.
And so, now we're embroiled in yet more BCS controversy, since Auburn, as the flavor of the day, beats Georgia at home and pulls even with us in the polls. Funny, but the unwritten rules of poll voting would seem to preclude that happening. Not when it comes to the Sooners, apparently. After all, we didn't deserve to be in the Sugar Bowl last year, so if anyone gets screwed this season, it'll be us if the pollsters have anything to say about it.
I've got news for you folks, though. Fear not. The math says Auburn would have to pull way ahead of us in the polls to offset our advantage in the computers if both teams win out, and that's unlikely to happen. Besides, either Auburn or USC will lose a game before the season ends, making all of this angst moot.
The thing that boggles my mind is that people seem to have forgotten why the computers were put in the BCS system in the first place – to add some objectivity to the system. Computers don't care when you lost or how many points you won by, or whether it was "stylish." They look at the raw facts, apply them to every team equally, and give ratings based on those raw facts.
But last season, the subjective judgment of the media was that our loss in the Big XII Championship Game should have counted more against us than LSU's loss earlier in the season or USC's loss to Cal. So the system got changed. And if OU, USC, and Auburn all go undefeated and Auburn gets left out of the Orange Bowl, the system will be changed again. If that happens and the Sooners get left out, the system will stay the same. Bank on it.
Of course, all that will be moot if there are only one or two unbeatens. It would be nice to have no controversy about it this year. So, as the Sooners trounce Baylor and roll up some "style points," be sure to throw a little "Roll Tide!" and "Go Irish!" (ugh) in with your Boomer Sooners. See you in Waco.
The Road Warrior is your typical OU fan in the stands, with one notable exception. He's been in the stands for every Sooner football game, home and away, for 164 consecutive games, dating back to October 12, 1991. His views appear in each issue of Sooners Illustrated.
Bob Devaney must be spinning in his grave
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
OU recruiting report: DefenseEvaluating some of the top performances from OU's commits on defense.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 11:41 AM
OU unfiltered: Joe MixonIn his first interview of the season, it's OU running back Joe Mixon.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 8:50 AM
OU recruiting report: OffenseA review of the offensive performances of OU's commits so far this season.
Sooners IllustratedWednesday at 11:24 AM
Thomas, Walker making big impressionsPart II as reflect back on the best performances seen LIVE so far this season on recruiting trail.
Sooners IllustratedWednesday at 10:01 AM