The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 5, 2011

Sooners take responsibility for their Bedlam defeat

NORMAN — There have been tough losses for Oklahoma over the years, but all seem to pale in comparison to Saturday night’s 44-10 loss to Oklahoma State.

There wasn’t a phase OSU failed to dominate. It outplayed and outcoached OU in one of the most highly anticipate games in Bedlam history.

OU coach Bob Stoops sneered at the notion his team wasn’t ready to play Saturday night.

“We showed up to play. That couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s masking the problem,” he said Sunday night. “If you say we weren’t ready to play or didn’t want to play or any of that … we just weren’t good enough.”

There was absolutely no doubt which team earned the Big 12 championship this season. The only doubt that remained was whether the Cowboys deserved to play for a national championship next month.

Unfortunately for OSU, Alabama beat it out in the BCS standings by the narrowest of margins. It will head to the Fiesta Bowl to face Stanford.

The Sooners will have to eat more crow because it will be playing second fiddle in the Phoenix area to the Cowboys during the bowl season, facing Iowa in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 30 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

Few would have imagined that would have been the case a month ago and virtually none would have thought that back in September.

OU was the consensus preseason favorite to win a national championship and it didn’t shy away from those expectations. If anything, it promoted them.

“We embraced the No. 1 ranking,” offensive lineman Gabe Ikard said. “That’s why this season as a whole is really disappointing. Nine-and-three is not acceptable at the University of Oklahoma.”

How did it get to that point?

Obviously, injuries took a toll. The Sooners played their final three games without All-American wide receiver Ryan Broyles. The impact his absence has had seemed to grow with every game.

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