, Muskogee, OK

October 26, 2013

Staying the course requires beating Tech

By Clay Horning
CNHI News Service

— Here we go.

That’s what it feels like, doesn’t it?

Like we’re going to find something out today. Like something might be decided.

It’s not a lock.

Texas Tech beat Iowa State by a touchdown, even in Lubbock, two weeks ago, leading the Cyclones to turn around and play Baylor within 64 points.

Last week, the Red Raiders topped West Virginia 37-27. It was a nice win, but the Mountaineers are a 13-point underdog in Manhattan today, where Kansas State is still looking for its first conference win.

How good are they?

Of course, that kind of goes for both teams taking Owen Field at 2:30 p.m. today.

Any team that gets through half its games without a loss gets to think about a national championship and that’s where the Red Raiders find themselves, even as they’ve clearly yet to be tested.

Best win?

How about 20-10 over then-No. 24 TCU, in Lubbock, Sept. 12.

Oklahoma, saddled with the results of not showing up at the Cotton Bowl, does not have the luxury of national title dreams, and still the Sooners are better tested, though only barely, and that’s all about grabbing victory at Notre Dame.

Really, today’s about keeping the dream alive and the dream is that this Sooner team is kind of special. Maybe not special enough to roll the Longhorns, but we’ve heard so much about the intangibles and we know it’s a transitional season on both sides of the ball and there’s this feeling OU might be on the ground floor of something really special, yet continuing to believe that has to mean defending your home field against Texas Tech.

Yes, the Red Raiders are 10th-ranked, but how scary are they, really. Wouldn’t half the SEC be more scary than the Red Raiders?

So OU needs to win.

Blake Bell needs to get off the schneid. Mike Stoops’ defense can’t remember where to lineup only after a lousy first quarter and, jiminy Christmas, can special teams not appear to have special needs a week after laying about three eggs at Kansas?

It already seems like the Sooners have played two seasons. They went unbeaten in the first one, capping it with a win over the Irish. Since has been another one: three games, two wins and this constant sense that the team’s headed the wrong direction. Today, a new one begins.