NORMAN — It may seem like Norman High and Norman North are playing with house money tonight. And, really, that’s a pretty good way to look at things.
They’ve gone about as far as anybody — you know, other than themselves — thought they might this prep football season.
So, no pressure.
They have everything to gain and nothing to lose when Broken Arrow visits Harve Collins Stadium for a 7 p.m. kick against North and NHS visits Owasso Stadium, yet again, for a 7:30 p.m. kick against the Rams.
But if there’s no internal pressure, it’s still worth acknowledging that about three-fourths of the state is rooting for the Tigers and Timberwolves tonight. For that matter, they’re rooting for Huskies and Wolves, too.
It’s quite the illustration, the Class 6A playoff bracket. In addition to the two hometown teams, Edmond North is at Jenks and Tulsa Union is at Edmond Santa Fe.
If you’re keeping track, you’ve got the state’s biggest high school, Broken Arrow, almost 4,600 students, meeting Norman North (not quite 2,100 students). The state’s second biggest high school, Union, more than 4,200 students, visiting Santa Fe (not quite 2,000). The state’s third biggest high school, Jenks, almost 3,100 students, playing host to Edmond North (almost 2,500). And the state’s fourth biggest high school, Owasso, more than 2,600 students, welcoming NHS (barely more than 1,700).
Put any two of the Normans and Edmonds together and you still don’t have one Broken Arrow. Put the two Normans together and you still don’t have one Union.
More than a few times over the years, I’ve written about how any day is a good day to beat Jenks, Union or Broken Arrow, the axis of high school sports evil in this state, and a few times the evil ones did go down. Of course, it’s always been on a soccer pitch or a girls basketball court.