Saturday's OU-Texas game was college football at its absolute pinnacle. Homerism can think of games that could match the 2008 Red River Shootout in terms of drama or intensity or outstanding individual performances. Yet, I can't recall the last time I saw two teams of this caliber play at this high of a level in this kind of high-profile game, with seemingly everything on the line and the entire country watching. This certifiable classic was college football's equivalent of Balboa-Creed I.
Obviously, it would be easier for Sooner nation to recognize what a great game this was had OU won. And OU fans are sure to lament what could have been in the 2008. (Crimson and Cream Machine has a seriously in-depth breakdown if you want to go this route.) Most notably, this game had the feeling that it may go the blowout route in the first half up until Longhorn receiver Jordan Shipley took a second quarter kickoff back to the house. Likewise, it became clear the tide turned for OU when middle linebacker and defensive leader Ryan Reynolds went down with, presumably, a career-ending knee injury.
Still, the final score of this game had nothing to do with what OU did and everything to do with how Texas played. Portraying this loss as the result of some failing on the part of the Sooners ignores that Texas' upset required the absolute best performance the Longhorns could have given and pitch-perfect play from quarterback Colt McCoy. Watching the broadcast at home with the benefit of instant replay probably made McCoy's virtuosity all the more apparent. Every single throw was right on the money without fail, and time and again, McCoy put the ball in the only possible spot where a catch would be possible. The Longhorns needed every single bit of this legendary performance from McCoy to pull this game out.
Losing to Texas always stings--there's no way around it. But there's no shame in coming up just short in this kind of game. Texas was the better team on Saturday by the slightest of margins. Sometimes, you just get beat.