I finally had to spend the night in Waco. After having been down there to see us play four times without having to make it an overnight trip, the weasels at Fox Sports Net forced me to spend the night in the jewel of Central Texas when they decided to show this dog of a game at 11:00 in the morning. I mean, it's all good that we've been on TV every game this season, but was it really worth it to put this game on TV. Maybe they still owed Baylor an appearance.
The Sooners sort of sleepwalked through the first quarter and a half, before finally getting untracked with a long TD drive in the waning minutes of the second half. After the teams came out for the second half and Adrian Peterson ripped off 49 yards on the first play of the half, it was all over but the shouting.
And there was some interesting shouting going on towards the end of the game, as a good portion of the 20,000-odd Sooner fans there let loose with a few rounds of "Roll Tide Roll!" Some of the pep band members had a sign rooting on Alabama, and there was a guy with a small box of Tide detergent mounted on a stick with a roll of toilet paper fastened atop it. Thus, Roll Tide, literally. It didn't do much good, as Alabama hung tough before falling 21-13 to Auburn as Sooner fans drove home from Waco. Still, Bama was down to their third string QB, and was deep down the depth chart in other critical positions as well, and still managed to give Auburn a tough fight.
As a result, the Sooners picked up a few points on Auburn in both polls and remained second across the board. From everything I'm seeing, there is virtually no chance for Auburn to pass us in the BCS for the Orange Bowl bid unless we lose, in which case it won't matter anyway. There will be a lot of crying and hand-wringing, but once again we will head to the National Championship Game under the rules set up before the season – the same rules they changed last year because they didn't think we deserved it. The irony of that is delicious.
Don't get me wrong – I would have loved to have seen Bama knock off Auburn yesterday, but getting to the Orange Bowl, by whatever means, is all that matters. Auburn isn't going to lose to Tennessee in Atlanta – the Vols have no QB, and even when they did they were shellacked by the Aubies on their home field – so they will be whining and crying regardless. Notre Dame has a legitimate shot to beat USC, which would remove any doubt about who should be going where for their bowl game. While I'd like to get a crack at USC in Miami, I'd also like to see there be some certainty in the whole thing. So, needless to say, I'd be thrilled for either USC or Auburn, or both, to drop a game before the bowl invites go out on December 5. We've got to take care of our business first, though. Like Jason White said after the game yesterday, we left something in Kansas City last season, and we aim to go up there and get it back.
And speaking of the Big 12 Championship Game, all I have to say is - Iowa State. I can't believe we're going to play Iowa State in Kansas City. But it's going to happen if Nebraska beats Colorado on Friday or ISU beats Missouri at home on Saturday. I'm telling you right now that ISU will beat Missouri like a drum in Ames. The Tigers are the biggest collapse artists in the country, and Gary Pinkel is about to get himself fired. If by some chance Colorado beats Nebraska and ISU loses to Missouri, then it'll be the Buffies in KC, which will definitely reduce the ticket prices outside Arrowhead Stadium.
But that's not going to happen. It'll be Iowa State, and there will be hordes of cardinal and gold clad folks rolling the three hours down I-35 to watch their overachieving team get smoked by the Sooners. And make no mistake, that will be what happens. I anticipate a much friendlier interaction with the Cyclone fans than would have happened with the KSU types. In fact, I'm looking forward to it. If by chance CU makes it, fan interaction won't be much of an issue, because there won't be very many CU fans there to run into.
In my brief forays onto the ISU message boards, I find Auburn fans urging them on to beat us, as well as KSU and Nebraska fans doing the same. Meanwhile, the more realistic ISU fans are just hoping to get to KC, then get out without any serious injuries for their bowl game.
One thing is for sure, the Sooners will not take whoever they play in the title game lightly, no matter whether it is Iowa State or Colorado. That lesson was learned a year ago. We will all surely freeze our behinds off, as is the norm in KC. But it'll all be worth it for a trip to balmy Miami and a date with, hopefully, those painfully arrogant USC Trojans. Actually, while I'd prefer it to be USC just to finally shut them up, it doesn't really matter who we play in the Orange Bowl. It'll probably be USC, but it could be Auburn, or Cal, or in a really weird set of circumstances, Texas. Just as long as we win.
Stay warm and enjoy the Saturday off. I'll see you in Kansas City. I hear they've added hold-em poker to the lineup at the Missouri riverboats, so that's where you'll probably find me on Friday night.
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 165 consecutive games, dating back to October 12, 1991. His views appear in each issue of Sooners Illustrated.
Road Warrior: See you in Kansas City
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