While watching TCU viciously tear Ole Miss limb from limb in the Peach Bowl on Wednesday, it occurred to me that Oklahoma nearly beat the Horned Frogs in their house this year. The OU team that took the field that day couldn't have looked more different from the one that got its backside kicked a few nights ago by Clemson.
A lot happened to the Sooners between the TCU game and the end of the year. Still, it seems farfetched to think that a collapse of the magnitude that OU experienced this year is indicative of the players on the field getting that much worse in the course of a couple months. More likely, the squad folded after having its goals snuffed out. That reflects even more poorly on Bob Stoops and his staff than if they just didn't have the talent to do better than an 8-5 season.
It's possible that OU's coach is complacent, which is rubbing off on his team. Like I said previously, though, there just seems to be sense of anxiety hanging over the program. Despair appears to set in on the Sooners' fragile psyches in response to the slightest setback.
I don't know if that can be fixed so long as OU football continues to be nothing but The Bob Stoops Show. If OU's head coach can't flip that script, changes to the personnel, schemes or coaching staff will all be pointless.