The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 1, 2009

For Sooners, '08-'09 a year of almost

Commentary

Mark down the season that was Sooner everything a fine one.

Several programs moved forward and precious few moved back. Even in the one still kicking, track and field, identifying success is not hard.

Just don’t mark it down as magical.

Magical doesn’t require a national championship, but it does require just a little more from so many programs across the board.

It’s more observation that judgment, but nonetheless clear. For Oklahoma, the school year ending has been one of almost.

The football team doesn’t have to win it all to attain magic in any season but the one it plays for it all. It must, though, win a BCS game after four, now, four straight losses.

Sherri Coale’s women’s basketball team didn’t have to win a national championship as Courtney Paris was so inclined to insist, but it had to play for one.

Not because only the Sooners on a lightning-hot shooting night had a chance to derail Connecticut’s perfection. Instead, because even on a cold-shooting night they were the better team on any floor, just as long as it was Louisville on the other bench.

Jeff Capel’s Sooners had to reach the Final Four. In just three seasons he’s guided the program to a level nobody dared demand so quickly and one his predecessor only reached after eight, yet as March approached, many believed OU had no peer. Consider Capel a victim of his own sudden success.

Sonny Golloway’s baseball team had to go to Omaha, because there’s only one magical place in the college game. The Sooners had a great regular season, yet clearly finished things too soon. They thought they were World Series worthy, but nobody reaches Rosenblatt without starting pitching or a lineup, no matter how dangerous, that can be all but no-hit on the season’s last day.

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