NORMAN — It is worth remembering five games into this Oklahoma season that this is the only way the Sooners have ever won a national championship in the Bob Stoops era.
The last juggernaut was 2008, when OU raced to the BCS championship game scoring 58, 62, 66, 65, 61 and 62 points, all before scoring 14 and watching Tim Tebow and Florida ride off with the national championship.
In 2003, it was a similar deal, the Sooners posting 52, 77, 41 and 56, before netting just seven against Kansas State at the conference title game and just 14 against LSU at the Sugar Bowl.
But OU’s 20-17 Owen Field victory over TCU Saturday night was impressive for everything it felt like, as well as what it didn’t feel like.
Because it didn’t feel like a team in trouble. It didn’t feel like a fantastic escape. It didn’t feel like smoke and mirrors. It didn’t feel fraudulent.
It felt far more substantial than that, especially on the heels of another tight fourth-quarter decision, won last week at Notre Dame Stadium, the first time this season OU made every play it had to have to win.
It felt not unlike a few tight victories 14 short years ago.
It is the history nobody remembers about the 2000 national championship season.
Everybody remembers Josh Heupel leading OU through Red October, an unbeaten season and the program’s seventh national championship.
What’s not recalled is coming from way down in the fourth quarter at Texas A&M (even if Torrance Marshall’s interception is remembered), getting past Texas Tech just 27-13 the following week, taking Bedlam by the difficult score of 12-7 and outlasting Kansas State 35-31 at the conference title game, followed by a national championship victory in which Quentin Griffin scored the Sooners’ only touchdown.
In retrospect, that team wasn’t so dominant as it was simply a winner. Five games into 2014, similarities abound.