NORMAN — That’s about the size of it. On the field, the Sooners can still be the best thing going.
Between the lines, Oklahoma can be unbeaten.
Between the lines, an eighth Big 12 championship may be won.
Between the lines, the Sooners can make it 2 for 5 in national championship tries under Bob Stoops, and you better believe today is the next step on that march. Missouri should not be overlooked.
Still, it must stick in the Sooner Nation’s craw. Just when you thought Texas had overplayed its hand, leaving OU with all the political power in the room, it actually seems to have very little.
Oh, sure, if OU wants to head Southeast with Texas A&M and all its crazy cadets, align itself with the universities of the Deep South, many of which were dragged kicking and screaming, and with the help of a federalized National Guard, into the 20th century, yes, there’s probably a home there for OU.
But that’s not where David Boren wants OU to be. The former governor and senator, one is forced to believe, wants the Sooners in a better place.
The football out west is not on par with the SEC, but it’s plenty good.
More importantly, as far as Boren has taken his university, as far as the caliber of student it attracts has risen, as far as the never-ending addition of athletic and academic infrastructure and for all the national respect OU has generated during his tenure, it’s easy to believe that Boren believes, if he could just align with the right partners — Cal, Stanford and UCLA, to name three — there’s no telling how far he might take OU.
Or how far OU (and with the Pokes along for the ride, OSU, too) might take the whole state. Because if Boren is anything, he’s a true believer in the state he’s been serving sine first running for office while an OU law student.
As pleased as he tried to sound at with his near-11:30 Tuesday evening statement, released an hour after the Pac-12 chose not to expand, and as stable as he’s telling everybody the Big 12 will soon become, OU’s president must be disappointed.
Disappointed with the road not taken, likely more disappointed it was Bevo standing in the way.
You want to believe that OU, with al of its gridiron history, holds all the cards on its gridiron destination. Only it doesn’t. Texas does.
It doesn’t matter that Bob Stoops might run up the score at the Cotton Bowl in two weeks, maybe make 63-14 (2000) and 65-13 (2003) look kind by comparison, because Texas, being Texas, is enough to hold OU back from where it would really wants to be.
That leaves today.
Today and next Saturday and the Saturday after that.
And so on and so on.
It may not be everything.
It will have to be enough.
The Sooners proved something last Saturday, most of it good. They have the look, feel and bruising capacity to be a national championship team.
They’ve already played a schedule that should serve well in that pursuit, one that only gets better beginning today.
Once again, almost 90,000 fans will surround Owen Field and maybe that many again will surround the stadium that surround it, just thrilled to be in the neighborhood for another game day Saturday.
And if it goes the way it has, since Sept. 3, 2005, the last time somebody came into Norman and won, OU will be that much closer to making some more history, adding to a legacy very nearly unmatched.
Between the lines.
That’s where it’s at.
It’s where it must be.
Boren had a vision to soar higher. Texas, which cares most about money, intimidation, and setting up rules by which it can whip out more of both than any other school in the land, stood in the way.
OU is left to do what it’s always done.
A week from today.
Texas can’t stop that.