What a difference two games makes.
Oklahoma went from being a solid favorite over Ohio State when the early games of the year lines were released this summer to a consensus three-point underdog as of this week. Early money apparently went to the Sooners, with the Wynn dropping the line a half point quickly after it started taking bets on Sunday afternoon.
This will mark the first time that OU has been an underdog at Owen Field since 2000, when the Sooners knocked off then-No. 1 Nebraska on their march to an undefeated season and national championship. The only other time the Sooners have entered a home game getting points was in 1999 – OU beat 3.5-point favorite Texas A&M 51-6.
We'll see if the move was warranted on Saturday night. (It strikes me as reactionary.) However, it did get me thinking about OU's record as an underdog under Bob Stoops.
In the last 18 seasons, the Sooners have 14 outright wins in 27 contests when getting points. An expected win total, though, would be around 10, based on the distribution of point spreads in those 27 games.*
(*Save the nonsense about "point spreads are only meant to get an even split in action so that the house can make money off the juice." That's a fairy tale.)
Personally, I tend to look at the idea of "Coach X is at his best when he's doubted" as fanciful black magic dreamed up by sportswriters. Even so, I have no doubt that Stoops will talk this up to the team this week.