It’s true, you know.The more we watch this team, the less we really know.

The more we see, perhaps, the better we understand its capabilities, but the less we know about its ability to play up to them. As something becomes more certain, something else becomes less certain.

Round and round we go.

Bob Stoops says he’s enjoying his job more than ever. He must be a man who loves a mystery, because Mickey Spillane, Ross MacDonald and Dick Francis couldn’t make these Sooners any tougher to figure out.

So great a mystery, folks are beginning to see things that just aren’t there. Like how the Sooners have been rolling by opponents for two straight games.

It’s true Rhett Bomar and the boys found a spark against Kansas, yet it’s been conveniently forgotten it finally arrived in the fourth quarter. And it’s true the offense rolled up 299 yards the first 30 minutes against Baylor and it’s true, with Bomar’s passing and Jacob Gutierrez’s running, the Sooners achieved an offensive balance any team would be more than happy to duplicate. But the balance was in the numbers and not over the course of the game. Had there been any, OU would have scored more than three second-half points and the Bears would not have forced overtime.

Now that we’ve straightened out recent history, it can’t be denied there appears to be more there than was there before. And just imagine an offense that gets a full-strength Adrian Peterson 25 carries, a stopping and starting Gutierrez 10 or 15 carries, has a full-strength Travis Wilson to throw the ball to and a talented freshman quarterback who, building on a nice finish at Kansas and a nice start against the Bears, finally puts both together. That’s one doubly dangerous offense.

But it hasn’t happened yet, so it’s hard to believe it will happen now. And, anyway, before it happens, it would be nice to see OU stop taking stupid penalties and turning the ball over. And if this defense gets beat deep a few more times, will any of that other stuff matter?

As mentioned, round and round we go.

So move one, because here’s something new.

Don’t look now but the Sooners are 3-1 in the Big 12 Conference.

Hardly insignificant, it’s the exact same place Texas was at this point in the season last year, the year before that, the year before that, the year before that and the year before that. Not that being Mack Brown or a Longhorn fan was all that much fun from 2000 to 2004 once the second Saturday each October passed, but it’s not like Texas dropped off the map.

And just because the Sooners remain a riddle inside a mystery wrapped in an enigma, OU hasn’t either.

Amazing, but true.

For all the poor play, the turnovers and penalties and inconsistency, which remains the bugaboo the Sooners can’t seem to shake, they remain right there in this conference and right there in the South division. Heck, if they were the in the North division, they’d still be trying to reach the championship game, which means they’d still be trying to play in a third straight BCS bowl.

They’re not, but any number of bowls would still be happy to have them.

The Holiday Bowl even called The Transcript offices this week just to tell us they’d be at today’s game. You know, just in case we have any questions. The Holiday Bowl is in San Diego. Nothing wrong with San Diego.

It can’t be said they’ve righted the ship or figured everything out. Really, not much of anything can be said about this team you’d ever want to take to the bank.

And yet there the Sooners are. That 4-3 overall mark is kind of ugly but 3-1 is no small thing. Seven games in and they still have every chance to make something happen.

Perhaps that assumes they’ll finally get most of the way to wherever it is they’re trying to get. Probably. But the amazing thing? Seven games in and walking into Memorial Stadium, there’s still time.

Clay Horning366-3526cfhorning@normantranscript.com

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