Looking Back: The Surprise of '08?

The football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams all had high expectations coming into the season. And they all fared well, with the football team falling short in the national title, women's basketball falling short in the national semifinals and men's basketball dropping out in the national quarterfinals.

But whose run towards a national championship was most surprising?

In order to understand why the football team's run was the most surprising, it's crucial to look at the schedule.

It's not the fact that the Sooners got to the BCS National Championship Game that was surprising, but how they got there.

Aug. 30, 2008--OU 57, Chattanooga 2
Sept. 6, 2008--OU 52, Cincinnati 26
Sept. 13, 2008--OU 55, Washington 14
Sept. 27, 2008--OU 35, TCU 10*
Oct. 4, 2008--OU 49, Baylor 17*
Oct. 11, 2008--Texas 45, OU 35*
Oct. 18, 2008--OU 45, Kansas 31
Oct. 25, 2008--OU 58, Kansas State 35
Nov. 1, 2008--OU 62, Nebraska 28*
Nov. 8, 2008--OU 66, Texas A&M 28
Nov. 22, 2008--OU 65, Texas Tech 21
Nov. 29, 2008--OU 61, Oklahoma State 41*
Dec. 6, 2008--OU 62, Missouri 21*
Jan. 8, 2009--Florida 24, OU 14*
It was a rollercoaster season, to say the least, and the games with an asterisk next to them indicate it.

The Sooners started off the year No. 4 in the nation, but they quickly climbed up to the top spot thanks to the other three teams in front of them all losing, and it was capped off when USC lost to Oregon State, and two days later the Sooners beat a ranked TCU team in order to take over the top spot.

A week later, OU dominated the Baylor Bears in Waco, and in the nation's eyes, the Sooners were well above the rest of the competition, as they moved into the Red River Rivalry a heavy favorite over the rival Texas Longhorns.

But the next week, the Longhorns took a stranglehold on the Big 12 South and seemingly knocked the Sooners out of their goals of winning their third straight Big 12 title and playing for a national championship.

The Sooners quietly crept back up the rankings, though, and after OU destroyed Nebraska on the first night of November, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree gave OU the break it needed after catching a game-winning touchdown against the Longhorns, setting up what was to come.

After OU beat a highly-ranked Oklahoma State team, completing a brutal stretch with six straight victories following the Texas loss, the BCS rewarded the Sooners, bumping them above the Longhorns and propelling them into the Big 12 championship.

The Sooners then romped Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium for their third straight conference title, but fell short of capping off a ridiculously exciting season with a national championship.

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